How to Get Started With Influencer Marketing
Since the introduction of social media, the number of users and the number of platforms has steadily risen YoY. According to statista.com, there are 4.59 billion social media users worldwide in 2022. This makes it a huge opportunity for companies to get in front of their target audience in a less traditional and more targeted way. One of the more unique avenues for marketers is to implement influencer marketing strategies. A-list celebrities are no longer the only candidates companies should be looking to work with now that the rise of everyday influencers exists. The challenge for most marketers is how to get started and who’s the right influencer to work with. With that being said, we have a few tips to share.
First a little historical fact. The concept of influencers can be dated back to the year 1760 when a potter named Josiah Westwood created a tea set for Queen Charlotte and branded himself as the “Potter of her Majesty”. With that title and the royal family’s stamp of approval, his brand became a household staple. It may not be 1760 anymore, but the concept of influencers is stronger than ever with social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube each harnessing at least 1 BILLION users each. No one could have guessed how much impact these applications would have on the way companies market their products and services. More notably, no one could have guessed that the everyday person would have the opportunity to have such a big influence on the buying decisions of others.
Leveraging social media influencers for marketing is a great way for brands to increase awareness, expand reach, build trust, and generate leads and sales. It is important to understand how to work with an influencer in order to have success with this trending marketing strategy. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to feel confident in launching your own influencer marketing campaign.
What is Influencer Marketing, and Why Does it Matter?
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as leaders within their niche –hence, an influencer. With the rise of popular social media platforms like TikTok, creators are going viral overnight and building an audience of users who trust and value their content. Although users may go viral overnight, the ones we want to work with are the ones who are making the effort to create high-quality engaging content. Influencers that don’t fall into the category of mega-influencers (>1 million followers) are trying to build their personal brand, and do this by engaging with their followers, listening to what their followers want, and producing content that will keep followers coming back to their page.
Influencer marketing is a great strategy because of the high amount of trust built up over time between social influencers and their following. If an influencer is promoting your brand, it will serve as a form of social proof to your potential customers which can then lead to more sales and better-qualified leads. Influencers put a lot of time and effort into creating content since the algorithm favors high-quality and consistent content and brands can benefit from that. When considering influencer marketing as a strategy, it is important to know how to work with influencers and identify the right influencers for you to get the most success out of your influencer marketing efforts.
How to Leverage Social Media Influencers
The first thing you will need to get started with your influencer marketing strategy on any social media platform is to find the right influencer to work with. Easier said than done, right? Thankfully, creator marketplaces are available which allows brands to find creators they want to connect with using the respective collaborative platforms. With a creator marketplace, you can search for influencers based on audience demographics, if they have expressed interest in working with your brand, have tagged or followed your brand, and if they are similar to creators you have already found through the filters.
The sweet spot for the number of followers the influencer you are partnering with should have is between 1,000 – 100,000 which falls into the categories of nano-influencers (1K-10K followers) and micro-influencers (10K-100K followers). You don’t need an influencer with millions of followers, we recommend starting off with micro-influencers since they are usually more personal with their followers and have built strong loyalty and trust. An extra bonus for your budget, they are likely to have smaller fees so you’re more likely to see a better return on money.
Once you have found an influencer that you want to work with, sending the right message is crucial. Be sure to personalize your email instead of sending a standard mass email since influencers are busy and may have hundreds of messages to sift through each day. You want to make sure yours stands out! After they respond and agree to work with your business, be sure to not micromanage your influencer. To prevent this, let them use their own voice when developing content for ads which will help bring authenticity to your campaign instead of making it salesy which is what influencers are best at. Make sure to always provide your goals and guidelines so the influencer knows what the campaign goal is and has all of the assets they need to reach that goal. Lastly, communication is everything. Build a relationship with your influencer and keep the lines of communication open.
A few key questions to consider before diving deep into influencer research:
Is the creator in your market segment?
Does the creator hold the same values as your brand?
Does the creator have a high level of engagement?
Is the creator developing content on the relevant platforms to reach your target audience?
Finding Influencers on TikTok
The best way to partner with influencers on TikTok is to use the TikTok Creator Marketplace. In order to access the platform, you will need a business account first. Once you have your business account and you’re logged in, you can begin discovering creators in the marketplace. In the platform, you can choose relevant filters to find creators that most align with your brand objectives.
You will be able to get an overview of creators’ profiles to see their most recent content and performance over time to determine if they meet your standards for success. After compiling a list of potential influencers for partnerships, you can then use the creator marketplace to create a campaign brief that will be shared with the creators which outline the overview, desired deliverables, compensation, and any additional relevant information. After reaching out and sending the campaign brief to the chosen influencers, they can choose to respond and accept the collaboration.
The creator marketplace also has a reporting tool that will allow you to track and analyze campaign results. You will be able to see how each creator performed on the campaign you ran to determine who is the best partner to continue collaborating with.
Finding Influencers on Instagram
Instagram’s creator marketplace will also be the best tool to partner with influencers on Instagram. The platform just launched in July, so in order to access it you will need to register your interest in joining as Instagram continues to expand access. Once you have been granted access, the process of searching for influencers and working with them will be the same as TikTok.
Finding Influencers on Facebook
Facebook also has a tool similar to TikTok and Instagram’s creator marketplace called the Brand Collabs Manager. To access this platform, a page admin for your brand needs to apply first. The process here will be the same as TikTok and Instagram in searching for and working with influencers. An Insights tab is also available in the platform to evaluate potential creators based on their current metrics like branded content, views per video, engagement rate, etc.
Finding Influencers on YouTube
YouTube is one of the social media platforms that has been around the longest, thus it has had a version of the creator marketplace around for a while. YouTube began connecting brands and creators with FameBit which has now evolved into YouTube BrandConnect. You will need a Google Ads account in order to use BrandConnect which can be accessed with the help of the Google Sales team. The process here, too, will be similar to the other creator marketplaces mentioned previously but there are a few unique features you will find.
Audience-First Matchmaking – finds creators who click with your audience based on the search terms that your target customers are using.
Google-only Measurement Tools – helps brands measure the impact and ROI of influencer marketing like Brand Interest Lift, Influencer Lift, and organic view-through conversion rates.
Additional Resources for Finding Influencers
If you’re not sure what platform is right for you, there are many other online tools that can help you find the right influencer to work with. Some of our favorites include:
Upfluence – From finding & recruiting, to influencer management, to campaign reporting, this platform has it all.
Aspire.co – An influencer marketing software platform for high-growth eCommerce brands.
Post For Rent – An advanced, automated Influencer Marketing software catering to all industry needs that boasts they are “reshaping the world of influencer marketing”.
Influence.co – A Creator Economy’s professional network to connect you with real influencers and creators.
In addition to these tools, another way of finding influencers is to do it the old-fashioned way. That means going to the search engine of each platform and searching for your own product/services or your niche. From there, you can explore the top creator pages that appear and look through their videos and engagement to see if they will be a good fit. It may take longer, but it is still a valid method.
The world of social media marketing is ever-changing and influencers are at the top of their game, so the value influencer marketing can bring to your brand is huge. Finding the right influencer to collaborate with isn’t easy, but there are plenty of online tools that make the process seamless.
Looking for a team of experts that can help you get started on an epic influencer marketing strategy? The LeadLab Media team is here to help you through the process!