In a world where consumers are using ad blockers and trading out live television and radio for ad-free streaming services, it’s important to rethink your company’s advertising game plan. Nowadays, consumers are checking in with their peers and role models for advice on what to purchase, which is why you should add influencer marketing to your advertising playbook.

What is influencer marketing?

In a nutshell, this is when you leverage a person who has a strong following to support your business through content creation and product endorsement. It’s similar to celebrity endorsements, but your spokesperson could include anyone from Instagram Fashion Bloggers, YouTube comedians, podcast hosts, and more.

Before you jump into the world of influencer marketing, consider the following:

Establish your Goals 

What are your goals? For many brands, this is the most difficult question to answer. Typically, most marketers focus their influencer marketing efforts on increasing brand awareness, generating new leads and attracting niche markets.

How will you measure ROI? Depending on your advertising platform, it might be difficult to determine how effective influencer posts are in your customer’s purchasing journey. In addition to looking at specific post engagement rates, consider providing your influencers with unique coupon codes and links to share with their followers; this allows your analytics team to differentiate between influencers and see who’s ads are more effective.

How do I compensate my influencers?

The most common formula is as follows:

$100 x 10k followers + extras = total fee

This can vary based on the influencer’s audience, experience and engagement rates. Many influencers use a “one-time fee per post” model, but it’s best to ask for your influencer’s rate sheet or media kit upfront. Tools like SocialBook can also be used to estimate fees.

What should I expect? Once you hear back from interested influencers, provide them with a sample of your product or service to review, solidify what the exact exchange will be (ex: product and payment in exchange for three posts and rights to reuse content), and clarify what you would like included in their posts (think hashtags, talking points, social media handles and coupon codes). Expect openness and honesty – in addition to letting their audience know that you are a sponsor, they will likely share their exact thoughts and feelings about your brand. Embrace both positive and negative critiques! Should you receive a less than glowing review, provide quick and positive customer service and use their feedback to improve your brand. One product out of an entire catalog may not be for everyone, but showing that you value feedback encourages others to explore the other items you offer.

Ready to dive in?

The Loop Marketing’s top influencer tips:

#1 – Start by looking at influencers who have contacted you already. Check your emails and DM’s for messages from influencers who are interested in becoming your brand’s next ambassador. If they produce quality posts, have a strong and engaged audience, and resonate with your brand, utilize them!

find influencers online

#2 – Run an influencer-hosted giveaway. Contests are a great way to spread the word about your brand and gain followers. Provide your influencer with entry rules that require participants to follow their account, follow your brand’s account, and tag a friend in a comment to the contest post for maximum exposure.

#3 – Work with experts to find exceptional influencers. If your company has the resources, designate a team to research and contact influencers, coordinate product delivery, and analyze the results. If you need an external extra hand, contact The Loop Marketing to discuss whether influencer marketing is right for your company.

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Elijah Litscher
Elijah Litscher is an author, educator, entrepreneur, and marketing innovator with over 18 years of experience in digital marketing. He has traveled extensively as a professional speaker while educating thousands of business owners across the country in online marketing best practices. Elijah is committed to empowering small and medium-sized businesses to reach their full potential online as founder and Chief Digital Strategist at The Loop Marketing Inc. in Chicago, Illinois.