Whether or not a business should work with influencers and micro-influencers to promote their brand is a pretty hot topic these days. While there can be many benefits to influencer marketing like reaching a new audience, building backlinks and building a (positive) reputation – there can also be drawbacks. These hidden hindrances can include cost, time to execute and a potential negative effect on your brand reputation if you partner with a certain influencer, so it’s important you thoroughly research your potential partner and choose someone that truly fits with your brand’s identity.
Here are some things that a brand should look for when choosing to partner with an influencer:
This could probably be broken down into a few different subcategories but a few key questions to ask yourself here include:
- What is their social following like?
- What are their monthly web traffic stats and where does that traffic come from?
- Who are they targeting and who are they reaching?
- What does their engagement look like on the social media channels that your target audience uses?
Ideally, you want to choose someone who is targeting the same or a similar audience as you but who is not a direct competitor. This makes the relationship mutually beneficial for both parties. While a large audience is ideal, keep in mind that micro-influencers can be valuable too. A highly engaged smaller audience is better than a large number of fake, spammy followers.
As previously mentioned, someone targeting the same audience as you is ideal. That being said, not everyone who targets the same audience is going to align with your brand values. Some key questions to ask yourself here include:
- What kind of lifestyle is this influencer promoting?
- Does this influencer have similar characteristics to my ideal customer persona? (psst… Don’t know what this means? Book some time with us and we can chat about it)
- Who are the other brands that this influencer has chosen to partner with?
- Will a partnership with my brand feel genuine to both of our target audiences?
In the past, I was approached by an influencer to partner on some courses, do some cross-promotion and affiliate marketing. The partnership seemed like a good idea at first. I had a phone call with this influencer to discuss strategy and marketing ideas but I felt some hesitation when I found out she would also be working with one of our direct competitors, which I felt would be confusing to our target audience. Later, she dropped the competitor and approached us again but this time I had even more hesitation as I noticed some of the other partners she worked with and advice she was giving her clients weren’t things that aligned with our brand and we ultimately chose not to work with her. The moral of the story: trust your gut and do your research before agreeing to anything, and make sure you get the terms of your agreement in writing with an option to back out if need be.
There are many different ways a brand can partner with an influencer and it’s important to make sure that you and your influencer are on the same wavelength when it comes to what your partnership will look like and who will be responsible for what.
I’ve used influencer marketing on a number of different projects in the past that included: joint webinars, guest blog exchanges, affiliate marketing, social media cross-promotion, sponsored content posts, sponsored giveaways, co-hosted events, and more.
When speaking with your influencer, you’ll want to find out what types of services they offer/are comfortable with offering and what types of campaigns they have experience with. Before you begin your partnership you’ll also want to outline who is responsible for what and what (if any) costs are to be associated with your partnership.
So, how do you get all of this information about your potential influencer partner?
Generally, I would start by approaching the influencers you’re interested in working for and asking for a media kit. Most influencers will have one ready to send you. A media kit contains important information about all of the above points discussed and generally will also include a price list. It may also contain previous work samples. In addition to the media kit, make sure to do your own due diligence. You’ll want to make sure you look at the comments on their social media feed to verify engagement and authenticity, check out their website’s Alexa ranking, and look through their website and social media content to make sure it fits with your brand.
Assuming everything lines up, then the next step would be to get an agreement drawn up and start working on your first campaign together. If all goes well, then you’ve just started a great relationship with someone who has the ability to positively impact your business and vice versa.
Best of luck to you!
Digital Marketing Strategist / Token Canadian
Our resident math nerd and millennial cat lady, Alicia is the keeper of all the magical marketing tricks that get your business seen by the right people at the right place in time.