The absolutely inescapable marketing tool: influencer marketing. You’ve probably seen influencers all over your social media, without even batting an eyelid at the fact that this is probably their entire career you’re “liking”, or dare we say it? Scrolling past. Better yet, you’ve probably, at some point, succumbed to a product that they’re promoting, or maybe you even swear by your favourite influencers’ recommendations, following their every move.
Whichever stance you take on influencer marketing, it’s undoubtedly growing from strength to strength, dominating the digital marketing landscape alongside social media, and evolving into a core marketing strategy. And, there’s actually good reasons for this.
Why use influencers?
With 64% of marketing executives believing that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing, and over half of consumers relating to influencers as though they’re an extension of their friendship circle, it’s crucial for brands to harness influencer marketing as it firmly positions itself into social media marketing strategies worldwide. Social media platforms have even changed to accommodate influencer marketing too, with Instagram ensuring that influencers must declare when posts are advertisements, and the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), keeping an eagle eye on those who flaunt the rules, influencer marketing has been forced to become more authentic in recent years, meaning it also has much more impact, as consumers are aware of this development too.
Not only this, but 2020; pandemic, lockdowns and all, saw consumers move almost entirely online - a shift that has been predicted for some time, but undoubtedly happened sooner rather than later. With TikTok growing by 38% active users per month in the last two years, and Instagram continually developing new additions to their platform, ensuring they keep up to date with the latest trends and the consumer-led directions, it’s safe to say that the majority of people spend a hefty amount of time browsing through social media.
How to use influencers
The previous attitude towards influencer marketing; aka, find the biggest influencer for the best price and simply put your product in front of them, is long gone. Now, strategic thinking must be put in place, ensuring that the influencer matches the brand and resonates with the audience for that all important authenticity and accurate targeting; you want to make sure your brand is in front of the right people. Failing to take the time to understand who would resonate with your target audience is detrimental. Although influencer marketing is a tremendous tool, it’s easily misused, which can result in ruining brand reputation.
Not only is it imperative to create definite, clear influencer strategies, it’s now, arguably more than ever, extremely important to create relationships with influencers. As this industry continues to grow, so does the power that influencers have, not just with product promotion, but representing an entire brand. People are learning more and appreciating influencers much more for their honesty and integrity that wasn’t as apparent a few years ago.
Essentially, an influencer is providing a service, which goes beyond just clicks and sales, and should be compensated and treated accordingly. This helps to encourage further brand partnerships, and even sometimes sees influencers becoming brand ambassadors, which in turn heightens the authenticity as it’s clear the influencer is fully behind the brand or company that they are promoting.
Whilst brand ambassadors are great, it’s important to keep in mind that a mix of influencers will amplify your reach when creating campaign strategies. This is because eventually, like everything, you can get a kind of “creative fatigue”; where you’re hitting the same exact people over and over again, rather than recruiting new ones.
How to approach influencers to promote your brand
There are a few ways you can approach influencers to build up a relationship and create a partnership. We’ve detailed them more below:
Arguably the most professional and traditional way to contact an influencer is via email. Many creators have their email account in their bio, making them easy to contact - this usually means they’re open to collaborations too, as they’re making themselves accessible to brands.
When approaching an influencer via email, the first step is to gauge their interest. Detail topline information about your campaign, why you’d like to work with them, and why you believe they’re a great match for this collaboration. Don’t be too formal, but friendly and professional, remember, they’re people too!
Social media direct message
One of the easiest ways to message an influencer is through a direct message on their social media pages. However, this is not always as effective as messages can hit their ‘requests’ and never be seen, and sharing of documents such as contracts and fees is much easier to do via email.
It’s also important to note that when contacting macro influencers and celebrities, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be checking their social media inbox for collaboration requests, and an email to them or their management is undoubtedly the best way to contact.
A great way to introduce your brand to influencers, and build up a rapport, is via influencer gift packs. Similar to press packs, this is where you put your product of choice in a designed gift box, and fill it out with some other bits and bobs (i.e. sweets, shredded paper, a little flyer introducing your brand… whatever is relevant to your brand). Some influencers do have their PO box in their bio, but getting their best address is something you may have to approach the influencer with first.
Here at Fluid, we’ve harnessed this development and hit the ground running with our influencer campaigns, solidifying this innovative tool into our marketing tool-belt. With many of our clients, we are holding influencer marketing at the heart of our digital campaigns, reporting back on results that are instant and measurable.
We’ve detailed each influencer tier in a full breakdown, so have a read and find out some more about the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.