On marketing portals, we can increasingly more often stumble upon the opinion that collaboration with influencers is no longer a beneficial solution for brands. However, the problem does not stem from the advertising means, but its quality. Today, consumers are more and more aware and, as a result, more demanding, so that the message authenticity plays a crucial role.
1.Choice of influencer
Choosing an influencer is the easiest and most pleasant part of action planning. It is true when we have unlimited budget and perfectly know which influencers are most popular among a specific target group that also is a target audience for our advertising message. Are you not in such a comfortable situation? Do not worry, this step can still be fun, but requires additional workload. Where to start, then? Start from research.
- Try to remember whether you have not previously received a collaboration offer from an influencer who perfectly knows your brand and has an idea for a joint project.
- Check whether any of the influencers already uses your product or your services. If you cannot think of such a person, ask your friends and people in your target group.
- Not only reach matters! Instead of figures, choose quality. Sometimes, it is more beneficial to start collaboration with an influencer who has a smaller reach, but is more authentic and their message will really influence the audience instead of getting lost in myriads of other products and services.
- Looking for an influencer, always think of who their audience are, as it is them who the message is going to get across. Make sure that they are your potential customers.
- Do not take into account influencers who already work with your competition. First of all, the message will lose authenticity; secondly, such a person could already have signed an exclusivity agreement with the competitor’s brand.
When you know who you want to work with, you also need to know what message is that person supposed to convey. A picture/video with the product or showing how the person uses the product with a message like: “Hey, have you heard of XYZ? It’s great, I totally recommend it!” are not the best ideas. Why? Users of various social platforms perfectly know how sponsored materials work. You should then make sure that the message is authentic and shows the advantages of your product/service in an interesting form. Therefore, it is worth taking care of the context of the whole message. Storytelling is of key importance here. Some brands completely give up showing the product/service in favour of supporting their social campaigns, e.g. activities to raise the awareness of environmental protection, road safety or body acceptance issues.
You are at a stage when you already have a list of selected influencers who you want to collaborate with and know how you want to do this. Time for a quote. Decide what channels of the influencer you are most interested in (now, at the top are YouTube and Instagram, with TikTok becoming a more and more serious player) and describe the rules of collaboration. This will allow a more accurate quotation and affect the influencer’s decision whether to take your offer or not. Having agreed on the details via e-mail, you can draw up a contract. In the case of a one-off action, arrangements made via e-mail are often sufficient and a contract is not necessary. However, if we are planning a longer collaboration or one with potential additional activities, e.g. promotion of a contest by the influencer, using the influencer’s image to communicate the brand or participation in an event, it is worth writing down the arrangement in the form of a contract. In Kreatik, we have created such contract during a six-month collaboration and when the influencer had become a juror in a contest organised by our customer operating in the FMCG industry and took part in the award ceremony. Longer collaboration must also start from setting up a schedule that both parties will observe. Do not forget to ask the influencer about an invoice! It might happen that the influencer does not run their own business and, instead of an invoice, they will issue a bill, which involves a higher cost related to adding tax to the influencer’s remuneration. If the remuneration is high, the additional amount can be significant.
The form in which you send the product will be assessed by the influencer. Remember that, as the name indicates, it is a person that influences the public opinion! An attractive box and personalised note are a good start of building a positive experience with the brand.
If you have a limited budget and cannot afford paid collaboration with influencers, it is worth considering a barter shipment. In such a case, however, you need to really take care that the shipment is attractive enough so that the influencer wants to place the product on their social media channels free of charge. Consider, for example, non-standard appearance of the box or additional brand gadgets. Here, context is also important. Consider a birthday or Christmas shipment. We, for example, have made a Christmas shipment, which proved effective. We sent product parcels with personalised Christmas wishes and funny stickers to 20 people. The effect was 17 Instastories and 2 Instagram posts with the product.
5. Follow up
The materials have been published on the influencer’s channels. But this is not the end! In order to increase the reach, it is worthwhile to promote the action at other places as well. You can do it, for example, by:
- sending press releases about the collaboration with the influencers to relevant portals;
- posting the materials published by the influencer on the brand’s social media channels (provided that it has previously been agreed with the influencer).
After the campaign ends, it is worth drawing up a report/summary that will show the results of the collaboration with the influencers. Obviously, not everything is measurable, but looking at numbers and opinions that you were able to record will serve as a good tool for reflection and drawing conclusions useful in other campaigns.
Working with influencers might not seem very profitable, as by promoting a post on your brand’s profile using the money you have spent on the influencer, you would reach three times more people, but, as we have already mentioned, quality, not quantity is what counts most in this case. The influencers become a face of our brand and receive opinions about our product or service from their followers, which is a valuable source of information. People do not necessarily want to communicate directly with the brand. They are more willing to reach their favourite blogger, vlogger or instagramer.