An influencer has a loud voice, substantial reach, and a significant network, including followers, readers, or viewers. He or she has the ability to sway opinions of a specific audience by association.
Knowing what an influencer is and what benefits an influencer-brand relationship can reap isn’t enough — you need to know how to work with an influencer to get the most out of that relationship.
Here are some tips for working with influencers, by influencers.
Look for Influencers Everywhere
Okay, maybe not “everywhere,” but look in a variety of places. Some influencers make themselves easy to find because they’re already talking about your brand via blog posts or social media. A simple Google or social search can unearth those influencers.
Work with affiliate networks like GLAM Media, who vet, reach out to, and sign bloggers to their network. Affiliate networks are an easy one-stop shop for a brand to reach multiple influencers at once. The network facilitates the contract and partnership.
Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned
Ideally, influencers only support and promote brands and products that completely align with their values. An influencer will be much more intrinsically motivated and passionate about a brand if there is a natural alignment in personal values.
Build out a dossier on each prospective influencer before making the initial contact; strive to find out his or her top values and favorite hobbies on Instagram and Facebook.
Build a Rapport Pre-Approach
The beauty of social media is it allows you to build rapport with someone before you reach out directly.
If your brand wants to work with an influencer, retweet his or her content and share his or her Instagram photos. This will help you engage your fans through a different lens and flatter the influencer that you’re consuming and sharing his or her content.
This makes it easier when you want to reach out to the influencer for a partnership because you’ve built a relationship in advance.
Pay Attention to Content Resonance
When we work with influencers, we gauge success by looking at how our content resonates with their audience.
In theory, an influencer’s audience should be like an extension of our audience.
We’re looking for the indicators of well-received content: web traffic, engagement, and positive qualitative feedback.
Make It Easy and Mutually Beneficial
Make it easy for the influencer to work with you. Also ensure that you both win from the relationship.
This could be in the form of increasing both brands’ awareness, credibility, and also a financial reward for the influencer.
Each influencer will want different things from the relationship. Make sure you know what that is and it should be included in initial discussions and ongoing conversations, because that could change.
Consider the 1-9-90 Model
Think of it this way: the 1% are influencers who create content, shape the market, and drive conversation about a topic.
The 9% are highly active online. They are brand advocates. They recommend, share, sign up, download, comment, and let their communities know what they think.
The 90% are the great majority of any market. They lurk and learn. They are satisfied with using search or consuming peer content. They decide how compelling the 1% and the 9% really are in telling your brand’s story.
Treat Everyone Like a Who
You might define your short list of the most influential influencers to work with specifically, but be generous with how you define “influencer” in any ongoing program.
A clear strength of our social, connected world is that everyone has a voice and can be heard.
Consider incorporating less-obvious influencers from time to time in your program—nurturing them along as you nurture your own business and marketing, by making them part of your success story.
Know the Influencer’s Community
Oftentimes, brands approach the relationship with a “me first” mentality” rather than identifying what matters to the influencer and their community.
Take your time to properly piece together a pitch that clearly spells out the benefits. An influencer has the ability to lead a community and impact decisions, bringing your brand to a potential new marketplace.
If you want to engage an influencer, get to know them and their community before hastily making contact.
Want to Boost Your Influencer Marketing Program?
Learn more from these influencer marketing pros and get a good understanding of the influencer marketing industry in our recently released 2015 Influencer Marketing Guide. Just click below to download.
Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter
I’m the Content Marketing Manager here at Simply Measured. I manage our blog, produce longform content, head our co-marketing initiatives, and host the Simply Social podcast, among a few other things. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.
[Guide] How to Plan, Execute and Measure Social Media ContestsKevin ShivelyBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
One of the best ways to delight and engage your social audience is to run a social media contest. Whether creating a backlog of testimonials, developing user-generated content, or just having fun and rewarding your audience, social media contests can be a great tool for any community manager or social media marketer. “Social media contests… Continue Reading
Simply Measured’s Complete Guide to Twitter AnalyticsJade FurubayashiBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
Twitter offers an incredible opportunity to reach and engage a massive, content-hungry audience. But when it comes to understanding and analyzing the efforts of your social media marketing strategy, there’s a lot that you need to know. At Simply Measured, our mission is to make analysis and reporting easier for every marketer. In our 50-page… Continue Reading
Breaking Down the Twitter Engagement EquationLucy HitzBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
What does engagement on Twitter mean to you? With the ever-improving suite of analytics available to you, it’s hard to stay current on the most updated version of engagement. We’re here to help. There you go. That’s all you need, right? Wrong. To fully take advantage of insight into your engagement, you’ll need to know… Continue Reading
The Most Creative Hashtag Campaigns of 2015 (so Far)Lucy HitzBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
Brands of all shapes and sizes in industries ranging from film to fast food to athletic apparel have debuted a plethora of creative hashtags in 2015 — and we’re not even a whole four months in. I scoured the top brands to find my innovative favorites so far. #MyJobAsAMovieScreenshot #MyJobAsAMovieScreenshot – Go! — The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 9, 2015 Who doesn’t… Continue Reading