Promotional partnerships between brands and influencers have been a method of persuasion for centuries. As far back as the Roman Empire, gladiators would endorse particular blacksmiths in exchange for their products. In today’s world, working with social media influencers is standard practice for businesses looking to increase brand awareness and remain relevant among key audiences.
From micro-influencers to macro-influencers and even celebrity influencers, as their impact grows so does the challenge to marketers: How can they determine which influencers are best aligned with their brand? And how they can maximize the potential of those relationships?
Here are six pro tips to consider when evaluating a potential influencer collaboration to ensure it meets your marketing objectives:
1. What makes this a strong collaboration?
An influencer is defined as “a person who inspires or guides the actions of others.” But if those “others” don’t include an audience that is relevant to your brand, you risk wasting marketing budget and time. Concentrate on working with influencers whose brand aligns with your own. Work smarter, not harder, when it comes to influencer collaborations, and take the time to make sure each opportunity has real benefits for your brand.
2. Get a clear outline of requests and deliverables.
If you’ve determined the collaboration makes sense for your company, your next step is to nail down the exact request and determine deliverables. What is the influencer willing to offer (e.g., social posts/stories) in exchange for partnering with your company? Precisely what does your company stand to gain (e.g., impressions, reach)? Is the benefit to your brand worth what the influencer wants in return? Not all influencer partnerships are equal trade opportunities.
3. Confirm fees and that they align with budget.
Many influencers have predetermined fees based on the type of partnership and deliverables. If your brand has a budget, make sure it aligns with the influencer’s fees. If your brand does not have a budget, find out if the influencer is willing to trade exposure on their channel in exchange for your product or experience.
4. Audit all social platforms.
When researching a social media influencer, take a deep dive into their metrics across all platforms. At Mower, we offer social media analysis services for clients using advanced research and discovery tools. If your brand works with influencers often or is considering branching out into social media influencer marketing, having a social media analytics tool will help tremendously.
Here’s what to look for:
- Authentic followers. You want to determine the number of real and authentic followers, not fake profiles, robots or users who follow a mass amount of accounts.
- Authentic engagement. This refers to the number of likes, comments and shares the influencer receives per post from real people.
- Engagement rate. This tells you the percentage of their audience who like or comment on posts. A low engagement rate means followers either aren’t interested in the content or they don’t see it, which indicates poor reachability.
- Previous collaborations. Has this influencer worked with brands like yours before? If so, this indicates the influencer’s audience may align with your own.
- Audience location. If specific target markets are important to your brand, then it is critical to consider where the influencer’s audiences are located as well as their age demographic.
- Page aesthetic. Every influencer has their own brand look, and it is important that it matches your own if you plan to reshare their content.
5. Develop key messages.
Every collaboration that your brand participates in should have a specific objective, whether it’s increasing brand visibility, showcasing a product or promoting a special offer or event. While discussing expectations and deliverables with the influencer, it is important to develop key messages they should include in their content. Taking care of this in the planning stages ensures the influencer understands your campaign purpose and expresses it in their own voice and style.
6. Monitor and report on promised deliverables.
This may be the simplest part of influencer marketing: If the influencer agreed to a specific number of social media posts, then it is your responsibility to keep an eye out for that exact deliverable. Establish a schedule or timeline with the influencer to help you monitor the posts and their performance. If your company does not use a social media analytics tool, ask the influencer to send screen shots or an insights report of the coverage. This will help you calculate post performance, including engagement, impressions and click-through rates, and determine your campaign ROI.
Are you ready to get started? Mower’s PR and social media experts are available to lead your social media campaigns, help you discover new partnership prospects and evaluate incoming influencer requests to ensure your company is maximizing social media opportunities and ultimately expanding your reach and brand visibility. We’d love to explore opportunities with you.