An ‘influencer’ can be defined as an individual or group that has influence over potential buyers. According to a recent McKinsey study, word-of-mouth or influencer marketing generate twice as many sales as paid advertising and can lead to a 37% higher customer retention rate.
Here at The Red Republic, we are well versed in connecting brands with influencers that are highly regarded by the masses. So we’ve put together a list of the top five things you need to know about engaging with a brand influencer.
- Make sure your chosen influencer is the right fit for your brand
It sounds pretty simple but if you’re a beauty brand make sure you’re looking to beauty influencers, or at least someone interested in beauty, to help reach your audience. So while probably funny, asking Arnold Schwarzenegger to start a conversation about your new lipstick line will not help you to grow your potential customer base. You need to make sure your influencer aligns with your brand, otherwise you’ll confuse your current following or obtain a fan base that is uninterested in your offering. An example of business that has nailed the brand influencer concept is Triangl Swimwear, who targeted Kendall Jenner – the biggest star for their target demographic. Their strategy resulted in Kendall tweeting a photo of herself in the bikini to her 5 million followers which kick-started the brand in the U.S.
- If they’re not already, get them exposed to your brand
It’s important to make sure your chosen influencer has an opportunity to get to know your brand, product or service at no cost to them. This often means giving them your product or offering for free. Make it simple and don’t expect too much in return to begin with. Influencers buy into other brand personalities that enhance their own, so give them some time to get to know (and love!) you and your offering.
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse
If you’re sure they’re the right fit for your brand, make sure you compensate them. If you want someone really influential to engage with your brand, expect an invoice before anything is posted. Unfortunately, nothing is free in this world and the larger the following of an influencer, the larger your bill will be. But don’t take this as a sign they don’t genuinely like your brand, they just want to be compensated for the time they have taken to grow your fan base – and influencers need to earn themselves a living too!
- Be clear about what you want from them
Most influencers want to know straight up what’s expected of them. Simply sending some product with no call to action on can be frustrating for the influencer. Without all the info they need, they’re likely to either ignore it, or post something less than desirable leaving your audience confused. Make sure you provide a clear brief of what you are expecting from them and give them an opportunity to let you know if they can’t meet your expectations. Have a focus on starting a long-term relationship that will benefit both parties, don’t expect it to be all take and no give! Once you have an influencer on board and posting about your brand, it’s important to engage with the content they post. Regram their images and follow those who have liked their post to really capture the audience. Thank them and continue the conversation, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship!
- Don’t underestimate the power of your customers’ opinions
If you don’t have a budget to pay an influencer it’s always wise to look to your current customers to provide experiential influence. Research has shown that what consumers value most when it comes to making a decision to purchase is a word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted source. In fact, word-of-mouth is the primary driver for 20-50 % of all purchasing decisions. As we become overloaded with more and more advertising we are becoming increasingly skeptical when it comes to traditional advertising and marketing and often prefer to make purchasing decisions based on what we can learn from people we know and genuine customer reviews. Therefore it’s always a great idea to ask your customers to share their experience. Tactics for this can include incentivising reviews and asking your customers to share their photos and/or reviews on social media.
If you need help with engaging an influencer, or would like to know more about developing an influencer strategy, contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.