We are living in an age where young people are aspiring less to be celebrities and more to be influencers. However the definitions and rules of the space can be complex. What counts as an influencer? Simply put someone with significant internet clout on a social platform, normally associated with Instagram, who uses their lifestyle to advertise products for either themselves or businesses who pay them.
There is no set follower amount to become an influencer, however the blue check is reserved for those with top tier online & offline affluence, making it coveted as Instagram won’t let you request it or pay for it. There is a rising user base who define themselves and their ‘influencer status’ by a new tool, the ‘Public Figure’ denotation. This status change takes less then 5 minutes to set up via Instagram, all you need is a business account and a Facebook page to become a verified ‘Public Figure’.
There are business advantages to becoming a ‘Public Figure’ on Instagram, as you can access important engagement analytics, learning about your followers’ demographics and the reach of your posts. Also, you can, if your following is above 10K, add a link to your Story, just like verified users, which allows you to use the swipe up feature. This can help drive traffic to a separate site, either your own or a sponsored product.
All sounds above board doesn’t it?
Well this seemingly innocuous tool is mudding the waters for those less then social media savvy. With so called influencers spamming other business accounts with offers to ‘Collab’ there is a temptation for small business owners to part with their marketing budget to reap the so-called reach of these ‘influencers’. Charging significantly less then big accounts, the Instagram rich list estimates that Kylie Jenner, who boasts 111 million followers, can bring in $1,000,000 per sponsored post, it can seem like a win-win partnership on the surface.
Being selective of which, if any, partnerships you take on is imperative.
For instance, while £30 for a couple of shout outs and a product placement may seem like a bargain in comparison you have to look at the return on investment.
5 Things to ask yourself when negotiating with influencers.
- How many customers will that shout out return?
- How many new followers will that post get you?
- What does it say about your product to be featured on that person’s page?
- what is their reputation and how will it affect yours?
- What’s their follower demographic and does it align with your target group?
Remember that the algorithms mean that only a percentage of followers ever see posts and updates, and the ones that do are the ones that frequently interact with that person’s feed – who may not be the person most likely to buy your products. After all, for £30 you could run an entire week of advertising on Facebook, and it would be really targeted, unlike posts by influencers. Buffer recently did a study of “What $5 Per Day Will Buy You on Facebook” their results worked out to be:
With Facebook Ads you can tailor them to your exact market, demographic.
How to make Influencer Marketing work for your brand
If you do decide to go down the influencer route, make sure of the following:
• You have a clear agreement in place – Ensure that you and they know exactly what is required, the time scales and sign off process, and what is your responsibility and what is there’s.
• The post is clearly flagged as an endorsement – influencer endorsement is advertising and has to be clearly declared. CMA (Competition & Market Authority) have a really handy guide line to see what is above board on the Government website.
• You are clear on the creative. Yes, you want it to tie in with your brand, but equally it has to suit the influencers style and branding. The partnership will work best if you work with the Influencer on the way the product is placed, how the photo or video is created and presented and also the wording of the post. Most of them are very creative and won’t take kindly you to you telling them how to do a photo or video – this is their feed and they are not models.
You know the best times and dates to post and the influencer is happy to post it at the optimum time.
• Hashtags are on point for your keywords.
• That you are clear about any follow up, especially if it’s a competition.
• You don’t neglect your influencer – think of it as a relationship, not a one-night stand. Always say thank you!