You could be forgiven for thinking that having an Influencer plug your product will be easy and will effortlessly send sales sky-high. After all, every week we see yet another influencer making waves for all types of brands; everything from fashion, beauty, and lifestyle to travel and health.

Influencers, if relevant, should form only a part of your marketing strategy and not be relied on as the main event. Think of it like this – if your marketing plan were a firework display then your influencer collaboration would be the catherine wheel that does make the audience squeal with delight but does not steal the limelight

Always put strategy first

It is doubtful that you built your business and reputation on anything other than good planning and strategy. Your marketing should be the same, with or without influencer involvement.

If you have not drawn up any type of marketing plan yet, sit down and write up a brief outline of your goals and expectations. “When everyone around you is telling you that you should get this and that influencer on board it can be tough to keep your business head on and act rationally,” says Bonnie Hays a business writer at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. “Be mindful of your impulse or knee-jerk reactions,”  says Hays. Having a plan formed will remind you of your goals and will prevent money from being wasted on unnecessary marketing methods.

How to choose an influencer for your brand

Good influencer marketing can bring you bigger audiences. Well-thought-out influencer marketing will bring you the right audiences and more sales.

Resist handing over all of your budget on the biggest names and instead look for who fits what your brand is about and vice versa. This starts and ends with your target audience. You need to understand what they are about. What do they like and dislike? Look for an influencer that fits with your audience.  A great example of fit is the 2016 Samsung campaign with Snapchat influencer CyreneQ.

Consider also what reach you expect to get and compare it to the reach of the influencers you are contemplating working with. Go beyond the number of followers they have and look at the level of engagement instead. It is OK to ask your potential picks questions. The real professionals will have a stat-sheet that they will share with you. This will give you an overview of their reach and approach. You can also check out how real their influence is with some useful online tools that are available.

Create Great Content

Once you have found the perfect match, work with them to in a collaborative approach. If at all possible, avoid issuing them with scripted messages to dole out on social media. Instead, discuss what you are trying to achieve and what kind of content you would like to end up with (written, audio, video, visual, live event). An influencer who shares your brand values will present your brand and products in a way that is authentic and relatable. Including them in the creation process allows them to stay authentic and enthusiastic. An absolute must for any audience.  “Transparency is key when working with anyone of influence. Don’t try and pass off a marketing campaign as anything other than what it is. Audiences are not afraid to call out fake and ‘unauthentic’ collaborations. This can cause you unrepairable damage,” says Eduard Lopez, a content marketer at Draftbeyond and Lastminutewriting.

Influencer Marketing Types

For your first influencer collaboration, you might like to just dip your toe in. This could include a sponsored blog post or a guest blog. The latter could then be shared by the influencer with their fans. A step up from this would be having them act as a brand ambassador, keep in mind that exclusivity can cost you more money.

Lead creation can be achieved with a giveaway campaign. Allowing the influencer to share your products with their followers whilst collecting information that you can use for direct marketing campaigns.

For the all-or-nothing approach, hand over the reins and let your influencers (did I mention that you can work with more than one at a time?) take over. Send them out for the day wearing your fashion brand. Let them live stream a pamper party trying out your beauty masks. As stressful as it sounds, giving over the control to your chosen partner sends a clear message to your audience and their’s. It says that you trust them. That your brand values match and best of all, that they love what you are selling.

Valerie Caswell on Wordpress
Valerie Caswell
Valerie Caswell is a marketing professional at LuckyAssignments and GumEssays. She has written widely on a number of aspects of technology, online marketing and entrepreneurship. Valerie enjoys reading and is a firm believer in life-long learning and self-development.