How To Choose the Right Influencer: 5 Tips Help to Grow Your Small Business

In today’s social media-driven world, the use of influencers to market and sell products has grown into a full-fledged marketing phenomenon. Influencers, as you are probably already aware, are individuals with a large following for their content on social media. Finding the right Influencer for your brand to partner with can be a great way to expand your product awareness and boost both sales as well as your own following. Here are five quick tips to get you started on finding the right Influencer for your business.

  • Identifying Your Campaign

The first thing you must figure out is this: what is the main goal of your online campaign. Is it to gain more followers on your own social media, increase sales, or maybe you’re looking to increase visibility for your cause. Other important information to decide on is what your target audience is by both age and gender, what socio-economic groups they belong to, what are the things in their lives that are important to them, how they relate to your product, and what problems do your products solve for them. 

  • Researching Influencers

Now it’s time to start looking, particularly on Instagram, to see which Influencers not only have the biggest followings but also can both be considered expert sources of information for your industry and check the most boxes of your campaign identification criteria. Determine what is most important about the influencers as you research them: look/feel of their Instagram account, number of followers, number of people actively following, products they already have endorsed or used, and the all-important comments. Considering what the comments are is important. Look to see if they’re mostly positive or mostly negative about either the brands featured or the influencer him/herself. You want to make sure your brand is always associated with a positive force.

  • Plugin the Numbers

Once you have the influencers you are interested in putting in some type of spreadsheet order (we get it – you run from Excel because sometimes it feels like water torture but you still have to buckle down and use it),  get their username and plug it into a metric tool like Social Blade or People Map. This is one quick way to find out how many people like, comment, and follow their page per day. It will also give you information on the keywords they use in their posts to gain notoriety in their niche. You can also find out what their demographics are amongst their audience. Now you’re starting to really narrow down your list into an even more concise and actionable order. 

  • Ask your Audience

Your audience will often know better than you what your brand advertising needs when it comes to featuring your products with influencers. You might not want to come right out and ask them, though. That’s what we call “bad form.” But there are little tricks you can do to find out. Run a promotion where you ask users to tell their favorite stories from fellow Instagrammers within the niche you want to hit. You can also do fun/funny games where you put up pictures of influencers you’ve identified next to other celebrities or average Joes who you think are their lookalikes. Ask which influencer they think would most likely use your product(s) – and why. Offer prizes like vinyl banners custom printed however they choose or car decals they can hand out to friends. There are a million ways to get creative to not only drive traffic to your own site and familiarize your audience with your products using fun interactive games but also simultaneously get the information you need without being in the face of your audience. As you start to identify their favorite influencers, you can proceed to the next step.

  • Make Contact

 

Reach out to your chosen influencers. The larger influencers are repped by agencies now (read: they have agents – no kidding) so you may have to go that route if you choose to (more on that in a minute). See what they are willing to do and how much it costs. There are many options such as mentions, placement, or a feature on their social media page to name a few. As with a lot of business partnerships, this can make or break your business contact so make sure you are kind, professional, and direct with your request. Social Media Influencers are very busy and often line up their product request calendars months in advance so don’t delay when trying to ask for your brand to be featured with them.

A critical component of this process is your budget. It’s sometimes better to hit a lot of singles and doubles rather than swinging for the fences. It’s not always beneficial to empty your budget to pay big money to one big influencer. That’s a one-and-done scenario and if the payback isn’t fast and significant, that’s money wasted. Smaller influencers with devoted followers are much less expensive, more likely to give your products a genuine push, and deliver an ROI commensurate with their fee. Spread budget around on ten smaller micro-influencers with devoted followings in the 10,000 range. You’ll reach 100,000 people who take your stable of influencers seriously rather than a million for whom your product doesn’t even register.

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