In order to run effective social influencer marketing campaigns, you first have to establish relationships with social influencers who can truly help your business. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, because some of these individuals may be reluctant to encourage their followers to embrace your business. It’s also likely that your competitors are at least considering the same thing you are, which is hiring those same paid social influencers to promote their businesses. Here are some ways you can go about building relationships with those influencers who can really make an impact on your business.
Choose the right platform
Before pursuing individuals whom you think may be effective as paid influencers for your business, you should take some time and strongly consider which social media platforms you should be using. The specific platforms that you use should be those which are heavily used by your customer base or at least your target audience, and the specific channels that you make use of should be those which are most influential for your audience.
This could be events, conferences, blogs, websites, podcasts, discussion forums, or any other kind of channel which your users might typically make use of. Before engaging with social influencers, you should survey those channels which you already use to reach consumers, and then get really creative to think about other channels you might use.
But don’t just randomly select new and appealing channels, because if your users don’t typically hang out on or make use of those channels, it won’t do you any good. Find out the type of media which your users consume, and feature these channels in your marketing approach. When you’ve done this, then it’s time to start thinking about who those social influencers are that your customers actually listen to and respect.
Select your influencers
After you’ve decided on the channels you intend to use to reach your target audience, you can begin to research potential paid influencers to use. There are a number of ways you can contact social influencers, and the methods you use will depend on the specific individual you’re trying to contact. Agencies are one good way of reaching out to prospective social influencers, especially since they do most of the legwork for you.
There are also search tools you can use to find out about potential candidates, for instance, InfluencerDB, which can provide you with all kinds of comparative rankings, overviews, and engagement statistics relative to each social influencer listed. SocialBakers is another search tool you can use for this purpose, and both make it very easy because they’re organized by the category of the industry you’re in, as well as location and languages used.
Another possibility in terms of finding social influencers is to cultivate your own influencer from within the business. This may obviously take a little longer, because establishing a following certainly doesn’t happen overnight, and it can definitely be hit or miss, whether or not your internal candidate develops a solid rapport with the user community.
If you do have an authoritative and charismatic person in your company who might fill this role, this can be the very best approach to finding a social media influencer. Someone from your own company will be considerably better at promoting company ideals and boosting brand recognition, and would theoretically at least, be much more cooperative in terms of representing the company.
Develop an influencer contract
Having now decided on the social media influencers that you intend to use in your marketing campaign, you should formalize the relationship by developing a professional contract. Until recently, very few paid social influencers actually worked on a contract basis, but it’s far more common now, and to protect your business, it’s a very sound practice.
When considering the terms of a contract, you should try to decide on whether you want this to be a short-term collaboration or something with a longer duration. To some extent, this may depend on the specific influencer that you’re dealing with, and what they’re willing to commit to. However, it should also be a reflection of what your campaign goals and initiatives are, and how long a period you intend to sustain the campaign.
Your contract should also include language relative to how the influencer is to be paid, i.e. on a results basis or on an action-performed basis. Many influencers prefer to work on a flat rate, which is more of an action-performed kind of basis, although in some situations it may be advantageous to both parties to pay the influencer according to how many views or conversions are achieved. You may also want to consider whether you want exclusivity built into the relationship. For instance, you may not want a social influencer that you’re working with to also provide services to a competitor since this could effectively negate any gains you might have made.
Generate influencer campaign content
Now that you have all the details ironed out with your selected social media channels and your chosen social influencers, it’s time to start thinking about the creative content you’ll be using in your campaign. It could be that you allow your social influencer creative freedom, and have that person develop the kind of content which they are comfortable with.
On the other hand, your social influencer may be more comfortable with you drafting material that can be used, so that he/she doesn’t have to make a commitment to produce creative content. If you’re developing the content, you should try to go beyond the scope of ordinary product pitches. Thinking outside the box and offering your target audience something novel and different from what everyone else is providing, can make the campaign much more effective.
Some scenarios which are very popular with social media followers include posts which depict behind the scenes action and show the inner workings of your company. That presents a totally different side of your company to your followers, which most of them have never seen before. It also provides some very interesting content for your social influencer to discuss with your audience, as opposed to simple descriptions of products or services.