Influencer marketing. Have you heard of it? It’s huge these days. But what is it, really? Even if you haven’t actually heard of it, or recognised the term, we reckon you’re probably aware of it.
Wikipedia defines influencer marketing as a form of marketing where the focus is placed on key individuals, or one in particular, rather than the target market itself 1. It’s really the sway of one individual over others, influencing choices, purchases, and lifestyles. We already know that people buy from others that they know and trust. Influencer marketing builds on that premise and is about people buying from other people who they admire and respect, and importantly, who are seen as authentic.
But how does that affect you as a person who’s about to delve into the market? At Sample Room, we think influencer marketing has the potential to impact your business and the ultimate success or failure your brand. There’s a lot of murky waters surrounding influencers, so it’s best to be well-informed. Here are a few tips for you to ponder.
• You need to think about your brand, about who you want to represent it. If your brand is luxury bed linen, you need to approach someone who embodies class, all things luxe and lavish.
• Do your homework before you get involved with an influencer. There’s a lot of fake influencers out there, those who are in it only for the perks. Some want to be paid for their role in promoting your brand, others are content with discounts off your merchandise. Your homework should include an understanding of the other brands that the influencer works for, to make sure they complement yours, not compete against it.
• To use an agent or not to use a PR agent? An agent might provide much-needed assistance to wade through these murky waters, but it comes at a mighty cost. Can you afford the outlay of an agent’s fees for your brand? Can your brand afford not to use an agent? You alone can answer this.
Influencers do speak with each other. Despite it being a huge part of the marketing world, it’s still small enough for influencers to know each other. While you’re doing your research behind influencers, before you make your pitch, make sure you tailor your request to the individual influencer. Think about why you want to work with that particular person, and what is specific about them. Don’t simply ‘copy and paste’ your requests, as it will reflect poorly on you and your brand. You can also use various apps such as Tribe and Brandsnob.
• Draw up a contract. Clearly outline what you want from the influencer, and what you’ll give them in return, whether that be product or payments. This is a business relationship, not a friendship or a favour. Make sure that the influencer follows through with what they say they will do for you. Stipulate how many images, posts per day. Stipulate that you want the high-resolution images to use on your website. Be clear. It’s important.
• Things go wrong. It would be a great world if everything ticked along smoothly, but sorry, bad things do happen. You need to be prepared for the times when it all does go wrong. Lawyers cost money. There are services out there that can help you to collect your smaller-ish debts. Apps such as collect more are available to assist in this times. It will provide you with the advice that you need, scripts to use when constructing letters or making phone calls, and even help to research before making your decision about working with them.
There is a lot of groundwork to lay before making your choices behind influencers for your brand, but remember like anything, the research and the time and effort you put into in will reap benefits later. Once you select the right influencer for your brand, the sky is the limit! Influencer marketing has the highest return on investment. It is important to try a few, test and measure the results through aps such as Google Analytics and choose who to continue working with.
Here at Sample Room, we think influencer marketing is a great way to get your brand out there, become noticed by your target market, provided you’re careful, prepared and forewarned. Use influencer marketing, to great success.