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How to Work with Influencers #SimplyChat Recap

We wanted to host an event where social marketers could dig deeper into trending topics, so we decided to host a weekly Twitter chat. The first #SimplyChat was Thursday, 9/14, and the discussion topic was identifying influencers.

Influencer marketing is quite the buzzword in the marketing industry. The basics of what influencer marketing is and why it’s beneficial for companies are pretty well known. We wanted to dig deeper to help you start taking action on creating an influencer program.

Last week’s #SimplyChat was the second of a three-part series on influencer marketing. The discussion topic was Working with Influencers.

Q1: What’s the best way to approach your potential influencers?


What Marketers Can Take Away: The overall consensus from those who participated in Thursday’s #SimplyChat is to approach potential influencers as if you were trying to make a friend.

Influencers have built a bond with their followers. It’s the key to their success. To maintain that trust, influencers need to be picky with the brands they work with. In this video (specifically 2:42 – 3:57), Whitney Simmons, a fitness YouTuber, talks about why she is selective about the companies she works with.

“I don’t have a supplement sponsor. That’s a personal choice. I do do sponsored YouTube videos. But I feel like you have to picky to keep that trust and bond with your subscribers. So I hope you guys know I would never promote something that I didn’t love and that I truly didn’t believe in.”

Q2: How can brands show the value they bring to influencers?

Since the rise of influencer marketing, influencers have learned the importance of being picky with the brands they work with. If they work with any and all brands that are willing to pay them, they will lose the trust of their audience.

What Marketers Can Take Away: When you’ve identified potential influencers, be sure they understand the value your brand brings them.

This article by Econsultancy is a great resource for tactics to use when beginning a partnership with a potential influencer. For example, it talks about how The National Forest Foundation got Jamie King, an influential Instagrammer, to spread the word about a campaign they ran because she cared for the cause.

Q3: What are your biggest challenges when working with influencers?

What Marketers Can Take Away: Katelyn and Javier bring up two great points. Building an influencer marketing program can be an uphill battle, both internally and externally. I asked Javier for suggestions re: overcoming internal obstacles. This was his response.

Internal stakeholders are aware of the value of influencer marketing because it’s something many brands are watching closely or participating in. According to The State of Social Marketing 2017 Annual Report, 84% of marketers are planning to launch at least one influencer campaign this year.

But it’s more a matter of convincing your boss why investing in influencers is efficient. If you need help explaining the value of influencer marketing to your boss, we’ve created this guide on budgeting for CMOs.

Q4: According to our State of Social Marketing 2017 Annual Report, less than 24% of brands have enough budget for influencer marketing. How can you compensate influencers?

What Marketers Can Take Away: The way you model your pay structure is highly dependent on the goals of your campaign. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you can compensate influencers by giving them a portion of the sale. As Katelyn points out, the incentive is how you can hook your influencer.

Not all influencers are looking to be paid. For example, let’s say you’re a brand selling protein bars. If you can find a fitness guru who has mentioned your brand simply because they love your product, you might be able to work out a deal where they promote your product in return for some free product and exclusive taste tests to any new flavors hitting the market.

This works because the fitness guru wouldn’t need to spend money to buy protein bars, and the taste tests are a value proposition for his current and potential followers.

Q5: After deciding to work with an influencer, how can you ensure the content they make is relevant to your brand and audience?

What Marketers Can Take Away: Give guidelines to influencers to set expectations. This gives influencers a starting point and an idea of how, where, when, and why to start. But these guidelines can’t be so strict that they leave your influencers with no room to shine.

Your influencers’ followers need to know that what they have to say about your brand is authentic. For example, this Instagram post explains why Melyssa Griffin, a blogger who teaches tips and tricks on entrepreneurship, partnered with Pencils of Promise for a fundraiser.

When I saw this quote, I knew. Pencils of Promise was the perfect organization for us to support. Throughout my life, my mission has grown stronger and more clear: I want to help people feel SEEN. Because to me, being "seen" means that you are supported. You are loved. And you are unstoppable. And yet, so many kids live in places where no one sees them — where no one knows how much help they need.⠀ ⠀ Yesterday, we launched a campaign to raise $70,000 for Pencils of Promise, which is an incredible organization that builds schools for children in places like Ghana and Guatemala. That $70k will go toward building two schools, which will impact tens of thousands of children over the next decade. ⠀ ⠀ In 24 hours, we've raised over $11,000 — and for that, I am immensely grateful to you. But we still have a LOT more to go. I *know* we will hit our goal — it's not an option to me! But we most definitely need your help to get there. ⠀ ⠀ Here's how this fundraiser works:⠀ 1. I'm offering some of my best courses and products to help you become a better entrepreneur. In turn, 100% of the revenue will go to PoP. ⠀ 2. I'm matching donations, up to $20,000, so your donation will have double the impact. ⠀ 3. If you donate at least $50 by 11:59pm PST TOMORROW, you'll also get my Productivity Power Pack course fo' free. :)⠀ ⠀ You in? ANY amount helps. Remember, this is a community effort. Can you skip today's latte? Ask your friends to donate? Find some small way to contribute? I guarantee, it makes a difference. ⠀ ⠀ The link to donate and learn more about all the sweet prizes is in my profile. Or, you can visit at MelyssaGriffin.Com/POP.⠀ ⠀ THANK YOU to everyone who has been part of this in some way. I appreciate you. <3

A post shared by Melyssa Griffin (@melyssa_griffin) on

If your guidelines don’t allow influencers to show who they are, the content they produce for your brand will be seen as inauthentic. This won’t be good for your brand or your influencer’s image. It will eventually lead to loss of trust.

Q6: How can #influencers be integrated into a larger campaign?



What Marketers Can Take Away: Work with the influencers most relevant to your specific campaign, and have the influencer display a behavior you want others to follow. For example, we have an event called Data & Drinks coming up. We did our usual email and social media tactics, reaching out to subscribers and followers informing them about the event.

Although this is a smaller event, if we ever decided to scale it up to a larger event, in addition to email and social posts, we could incorporate an influencer by doing a giveaway. The prize would be free tickets, and to participate, each person would need to take a picture in the outfit they would wear to the event and tag our event page. Then we would share the influencer’s post on our brand’s social media accounts.

By doing this, not only would our influencer’s followers find out about the event, our followers would see someone they look up to participating and would be encouraged to participate.

Now that we’ve covered how to identify and work with influencers, it’s time to discuss tracking the success of an influencer marketing program. Join us this Thursday at 11 AM PST!

Laurie Anne Nilo

I'm the Social Media Manager here at Simply Measured. I love all things wellness, coffee, watercolor, and travel.

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