Lesson one: no one pays in exposure.
The influencer industry is worth $21 billion dollars. That’s a lot of content generated, users engaged, and money exchanged. And yet, the space can appear daunting or dubious. But that shouldn’t stop you from working with influencers. Depending on what vertical you are in, adding influencer generated content into your marketing mix can be very beneficial, especially if you are in the travel and retail/services industry.
Where Do You Start?
Before you do anything, start off by allocating a budget to influencer marketing. If you treat this segment of marketing as an afterthought, it’s easy for costs to overrun, to let it die on the vine, or to choose the wrong strategy from the get go. Treating influencer marketing as its own segment with a budget to match will help get more eyeballs onto your brand but more importantly you will also get content you can use that can have a more genuine feel.
After that, you and your agency need to gain a solid understanding of the industry you’re promoting, and your first stop isn’t with influencers themselves. Yes, influencers are a big voice in, for example, the travel industry. But you want to gain your understanding of the industry from boring sources such as industry media, white papers, and data internal to the companies you’re representing. Starting with influencers to understand an industry for which you want to hire influencers can result in the tail wagging the dog.
Next, you want to understand the strategy behind who you align your brand with and the type of content you want created. This is where you see what influencers are up to, and when you’ve narrowed down a list, start talking to influencers about potential content. After all, influencers aren’t just the face of the content or the content itself, they’re subject matter experts in content creating. Generated content from influencers can bring more authentic creative content into your mix and resonate with your customers.
It’s crucial to align yourself with influencers that match your brand. Within the space there can be a lot of fraud, such as fake followers, fake engagement, and fake pictures, so we always work with companies such as Modash to evaluate the authenticity of the audience. This is a great one to use for Instagram where the followers are not regulated as much as on a platform like TikTok who does a better job of shutting down fraud/bots.
An IG influencer may have around 15%-20% fake followers that occur naturally for organic traffic growth as bots are prevalent but if they are much higher than that and more in the 50% range you may need to evaluate working with them or discounting their fees to match their true base.
Your last step before launching your new influencer campaign? Get quotes from a range of influencers, audit and strategize the best mix to get the best value out of your budget. Getting extra footage and clips you can use on your profile and images to add to your content library from them can go a long way. Always negotiate and evaluate to compare services and pricing. Sometimes marketers and clients can get a little starry eyed, speaking to these mini-celebrities, or be caught flatfooted because they don’t understand the influencer economy. Avoid these attitudes. Influencers are just a different type of marketer and different type of business vendor. Treat them like any other vendor you’re partnering with and you’ll be fine.
Utilizing companies like Modash to scan and authenticate: