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Contain influencer marketing tool like a laptop and a pen

If you are a business owner on Social media, you’d have probably heard of Influencer marketing. In Nigeria, this industry is growing rapidly as you wake up every day to new people calling themselves influencers on the gram or twitter. The truth is, millennial consumers, rely strongly on influencer (micro, macro and big) to make purchasing decisions. An average consumer will only try out a new brand because their fav online celebrity talked about the product or the service.

What then is Influencers Marketing? Influencer marketing is the process of identifying, researching, engaging and supporting the people who create high-impact conversations with your customers. It’s a mixture of the old and new media, which means that it uses word of mouth and social media to drive its agenda.

It’s important to note that Influencer marketing is not only for big brands with a huge marketing budget. Small businesses have jumped on this trend to build brand awareness, reach new audiences and increase sales without having to blow up their banks.

The twist to using influencers as a small business owner is that you have to be deliberate about finding the perfect influencer for your brand. This is where most small business owners miss it. The fact that someone is popular on a particular social media platform doesn’t mean that the person will be the best person for your brand audience.

So today, I have come up with a post that will help you make the best use of social media influencers as a small business owner. Below are 7 easy steps to follow when starting a journey in influencer marketing;

Set A Goal for The Collaboration

When choosing an influencer for your brand, you need to be sure of why you need the influencer to collaborate with you on the campaign and what you expect of them. Are you engaging the influencers for brand awareness, brand ambassadorship or boost sales promotion? Once you know why you want these people on board, it will be easier to track the result of the campaign. Don’t ever contact an influencer without having a clear goal in mind. For instance, if you are a fashion designer and you need Fashion Influencers and photographers to take great shots of your designs. You must know your goal is to get people interested in the outfit.

Do Proper Research on These Influencers

Now that you have clearly stated what you want to achieve the next step is to find the best influencer to achieve this goal. Here are a few things you should look out for when researching about an influencer;

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  • Pay attention to influencers that are already in your comment section. This means they might be passionate about your brand. They might also tag you or send you a DM in the past
  • See if the hashtag that the influencer is using is relevant to your niche. This means that they might have the audience that you are looking for.
  • Look at your competitors’ page to see the Influencer that are engaging with their post or that they’ve worked with or for in the past.
  • Research on what social media platform has the strongest Influence
  • Understand their engagement rate. To calculate the engagement rate on a post; divide the number of likes and comments by the followers they have and then multiply it by 100 to get a percentage. A good influencer should have between 2-6% engagement rates on a post.
  • Look at their posts to find out who they’ve worked with/for in the past.

Reach Out To Your Chosen Influencers

Once you have all the details you need concerning an influencer, it’s time for you to reach out to them. Be careful as to what you pen down in your first message to them as this will make or mar the relationship you are intending to build. These few tips will guide you;

  • Make sure you have their correct contact details. Preferably their email address
  • For a professional outlook always send an email not DM
  • In the email ask for their Media Kit to help you sync the information you got via research. A media kit is a portfolio that houses all the works and achievements of an influencer or creative person.
  • Introduce yourself and the brand that you represent
  • Talk about your project confidently and try to let the influencer see why they are the best person for the project.
  • Make sure the conversation is not one-sided.

The following are the things you should totally avoid during your conversations;

  • Copy and paste messages; messages that are not tailored to a particular influencer
  • Reaching out to them first in their comment session
  • Acting like you are doing them a favour

Be Open for Negotiation

Influencer marketing doesn’t have a defined structure yet but that should not be an excuse to under-price them. Be sure of what you want the influencer to deliver and how much you are willing to pay for the services. If you want a fashion Influencer to deliver 3 Instagram posts, Insta-stories with your brand mention, 20 Tweets, and 1 how-to Video then spell it out. Remember to include a deadline for all these deliverables. It’s now their choice to accept or reject the offer. Be truthful and plain about how much you are also willing to give for the project. If you don’t have a big budget, then set up a mouth-watering deal like a referral link for them.

Share Your Brand Resources

Once you pass through the negotiation stage, the next thing is to ensure that they are conversant with your brand, its values and all that it stands for. Don’t forget to share your logo, colour palette and taglines with them. If you have samples of what your deliverables should look like, don’t hesitate to give it to them so that they can understand your expectations and deliver exactly what you want or even better.

Track, Measure and Follow Up with Analytics’

This is a step you can’t afford to leave out because this is what tells you f the collaboration was successful or not. Ensure that you also try to follow up on the collaboration from your end by keeping an eye on the comment section. Also, encourage the influencer to keep you posted on the Insights by sending you screenshots of the insight page.

Say Thank You

Remember that this is a partnership project and you need them as much as they need you! Say thank you to the influencer for a job well done. If you have the means, give them a personalized branded gift item. This is surely going to earn you another brand mention on social media.

You can see that influencer marketing doesn’t need to end up in a rat race and name-calling competition. Once you have these 7 clear steps in place, you’d be able to set up a long-lasting partnership with influencers across various social media platforms.