Influencer marketing is like a hybrid of new and old marketing tools. Simply put, it’s taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign. The idea of influencer marketing has become a lot more present with the rise of social media influencers and celebrities and brands are now utilising these types of people of influencer to influence consumer behaviour towards their product. So in simple terms, influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on an influential person who has influence over potential buyers for that business’s product or service.
We recently spoke to Tara Jane, the founder and designer of TJ Swim, who has built up her brand on social media with the use of social media influencers including Olivia Pierson and Tammy Hembrow. She shares with us her top 5 tips when it comes to putting together a successful influencer marketing strategy.
- Engagement is more important than follower count
It’s easy to get sucked into the big number on social media, that often we forget about what their engagement ratio is like. There is so much more than just a large number, check out the engagement and compare it to the follower count. There are many tools available to help you see if influencers are actually authentic or mostly fake, so make sure you check it out before you invest.
Tara suggests to start with smaller influencers to help with budgets and getting into the jist of communicating with influencer ‘micro influencers are just as valuable as larger influencers and will be more willing to collaborate on a contra deal (item for post)’.
- Look for influencers who have the same target market as your brand
When it comes to working with influencers, you don’t want to work with any kind. You’re going to have to do some research to ensure that their followers match your brands target market. Tara says ‘When selecting an influencer, have a look at the people who like and comment on their posts to see if these followers would be interested in your product/service. No matter how many followers the influencer has, if their followers are not your target market then the collaboration won’t be as effective’.
It’s also important to keep in mind the influencer’s personal style and theme of their page is aligned with your brand image. At the end of the day, these influencers do become ambassadors for your brand and you all need to be in sync with one another’s image.
- Reach out to as many influencers as possible
There is no golden number when it comes to the amount of influencers who you should be contacting, Tara suggest to ‘collaborate with as many influencers as possible. A lot of influencers won’t respond but don’t sweat it because the ones that do will have a genuine interest in your brand and will provide you with the best content’.
At the end of the day, it’s all about building up a relationship with these influencers so they also become raving fans of your products or services. Once you start working with influencers and the word spreads about your product, you will find that influencers will even start contacting you to work with you.
- Don’t be afraid to bargain or negotiate a price
It’s important to note, not all influencers are going to be able to do a contra deal so you will need to consider having a budget put aside to spend on working with influencers (advertisement payment). At the end of the day, you’re never going to be able to predict an influencers rate per post, so Tara suggest to negotiate when you can to save yourself some money, ‘When asking influencers to send through their current rates, it may not be what you expect- sometimes it’s lower and sometimes it’s a lot higher. So don’t be afraid to negotiate a lower rate. If the influencer is genuinely interested in your product, in most cases they will be willing to negotiate’.
- Build an ongoing relationship with influencers
You had your first response from an influencer- congrats! When it comes to maintaining relationships with Tara shares some of her top tips:
- Don’t be pushy- working with influencers can be time consuming and can sometimes take a while to organise, so just be patient
- Start by offering to gift them your product to test and ask for their feedback
- If the influencer loves your product and provide positive feedback, ask them if they would be willing to share a photo of your product with their followers- if they love it, they will be more than happy to do so
At the end of the day, working with influencers is just like working and networking with other business owners, you want to create and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with them for future work together.
Written by Cassandra Hili