How to Work with Influencers: Guide for Marketing
Influencer marketing has become an essential part of any marketing strategy. With influencer marketing, brands collaborate with influencers who have built a large and engaged social media following in their niche.
Influencers promote products or services to their audience. This helps brands increase awareness, trust, and sales. According to a recent study by Influencer Marketing Hub, 89% of marketers say influencer marketing is an effective strategy.
There are many benefits to working with influencers:
- They have solid relationships and trust with their audience
- They create authentic and engaging branded content
- They expand brand reach and exposure to new demographics
- They drive genuine engagement, website traffic, and sales
However, there are also challenges with managing influencer campaigns. Building the right relationships, setting clear expectations, tracking performance, and measuring ROI can be difficult.
This guide will teach you best practices and how to work with influencers to maximise the impact of your brand.
Finding the Right Influencers
Connecting with the right influencers is the foundation for an effective influencer marketing campaign. With so many influencers, narrowing the options can take time and effort.
Here are tips for finding and vetting influencers:
Identify Your Goals and Target Audience
First, be very clear on your campaign goals and target demographic.
- What content do you need to create?
- What actions or conversions are you driving towards?
- Who is your ideal customer persona? Age, interests, behaviours, etc.
This will help refine which influencers are best aligned.
Leverage Influencer Marketing Platforms
Influencer marketplaces like Upfluence, AspireIQ, and Grin allow you to search influencers by demographic data and content style—filter by location, gender, age range, and interests to find the right fit.
Evaluate Reach and Engagement
Assess potential influencers based on audience size and engagement rates:
- Number of followers
- Average likes and comments
- Content consistency
- Audience quality and relevance
Influencers with more minor, highly engaged niches may outperform mega influencers—Prioritise quality over sheer quantity.
Vet Content Style and Production Value
Study an influencer's content and aesthetic to envision the partnership.
- Do they produce content you would be proud to feature?
- Do they collaborate with other brands you admire?
- Is their content high-quality and on-brand?
Seek influencers who align with your visual style and brand image.
Confirm Values and Work Ethics
Research how influencers engage with their audience and community.
- Do they seem authentic? Ethical? Professional?
- How do they interact with followers?
- How often do they post sponsored content?
Avoid influencers practising questionable tactics like fake followers or engagement baiting. Values alignment is crucial.
By carefully evaluating reach, relevance, content quality, and ethics – you can discover winning influencers for your brand.
Reaching Out and Vetting Influencers
Once you've identified prospective influencers, it's time to reach out. You’ll want to cast a wide net and vet interest and availability.
Here’s how to effectively reach out to and vet influencers:
Draft a Concise Outreach Message
Create a short email, DM, or comment introducing your brand and campaign vision.
- Describe intended goals, content style, topics
- Propose potential partnership ideas or content formats
- Keep the first message short – aim to schedule a call
Flatter their work and show you did your research on them specifically.
Schedule an Intro Call
Hop on a quick phone or video call to discuss a potential collaboration further. Be prepared to elaborate on:
- Your brand, products, target demographics, and assets
- Campaign goals, desired content, distribution plan
- Ideal timeline, pricing, and expectations
Take notes on their responses and fit. Was communication smooth and enthusiastic? Did campaign ideas align?
Send Over a Formal Agreement
If the intro call goes well, follow up with a formal agreement covering:
- Content strategy, topics, formats, and distribution plan
- Timelines for content creation, revisions, approvals, publishing
- Usage rights and licensing for the content
- Compensation structure and payment methods/timeline
Leave room for negotiation if needed. Get signatures from all parties before activating the partnership.
Conduct an Account Audit
Do some final due diligence by auditing their account analytics. Review through a free social media audit tool like HypeAuditor.
- Fake followers check: under 10% is ideal
- Engagement rates check: 3-5% is good
- Audience Demographics correspond: aligned with your target
If everything looks ethical and transparent, you’ve found a genuine partner!
Structuring Compensation and Pricing
One of the trickiest parts of working with influencers is determining fair compensation. Rates vary drastically based on follower count, engagement, and content demands.
Follow these tips when developing pricing packages:
Set Content Worth Expectations
Map out all the content pieces, requirements, and usage rights. Consider:
- Number of posts/videos
- Production demands like editing, writing, graphic design
- Level of exclusivity and usage parameters
More content deliverables and usage rights warrant higher packages.
Research Industry Standards
Use creator marketplace rates as a baseline for pricing guidance. Also, study what comparable brands in your industry pay. Remember that nano influencers often have better engagement and may work for cheaper or accessible products.
Consider Both Cash and Product Packages
Offer cash payment and free branded products depending on what motivates that particular influencer. Many do revenue-share promotions as well.
Outline Package Tiers
Construct clear Bronze, Silver, and Gold tiers with cash and product amounts tied to deliverables. For example:
|Bronze||$500 + $200 in product||One sponsored post||Six months|
|Silver||$1,000 + $500 in product||1 post + 2 stories||One year|
|Gold||$2,000 + $1,000 in product||2 posts + 5 stories||In perpetuity|
Customise packages around your budget and campaign scope. Both parties should feel incentivised by the partnership terms.
Guiding Content Creation and Brand Alignment
The content creation process requires close collaboration with your influencer partner. Provide guidance, assets, examples, and feedback to inspire campaign content that truly resonates with their audience while aligning with your brand.
Set clear expectations by documenting:
- Desired aesthetics, tones, formats
- Keyword targets and hyperlink requirements
- Mandatory visual assets like logos and product imagery
- Legal, compliance or disclosure needs
Create a shared file housing all brand guides, tools, and resources for easy access.
Brainstorm Intriguing Content Angles Together
No one understands an influencer’s audience better than them. Pick their brain for unique ways to present branded content that excites and engages their niche. Crowdsource creative ideas together.
Provide Inspiring Examples
Share 3-5 top-performing sponsored posts from competitors or other influencers. Demonstrate what engaging, on-brand influencer content could look like.
Request Outlines and Drafts Upfront
Before total production, request content outlines or drafts for review. Provide constructive feedback on areas to refine or add detail around selling points, features, or positioning.
Encourage Creativity Within Brand Boundaries
While maintaining brand standards, allow reasonable creative license. The more authentic and original, the better results. Unless necessary, avoid excessive revisions and rigid dictation.
Building trust and camaraderie during content creation will strengthen the working relationship and fuel organic advocacy.
Tracking Performance and Measuring ROI
Influencer spending means something with proof it positively impacts business. Monitor both quantitative and sentiment-driven metrics across the campaign's duration.
Monitor Conversion Activity
Track website traffic, email sign-ups, content downloads, purchases, or other desired actions driven by influencer content. Set UTM parameters on links for precise sourcing.
Example Conversions Data
|Email Signups||1,500||2,300||53% increase|
|Link Clicks||800||1,900||137% increase|
Show decision-makers that influencer investment pays dividends.
Gauge Social Engagement and Sentiment
Follow engagement metrics like reach, impressions, comments, and hashtag usage to quantify buzz.
But also qualitatively assess audience reactions and commentary sparked by the campaign. Did followers express interest in purchasing or tag friends to share? Or was feedback neutral and indifferent?
Sentiment scoring provides richer context beyond vanity metrics alone.
Calculate Campaign ROI
Tabulate total revenue directly influenced by the partnership. Factors in campaign costs include fees, product discounts, team hours, etc.
Revenue – Campaign Costs = Total Profit
Then, divide profit by cost to determine true campaign ROI.
Total Profit / Campaign Cost = ROI
Most influencer campaigns yield between $5.00 and $10.00 profit for every $1 spent when done strategically.
But don’t forget the long-term brand visibility and relationships built. These intangible benefits continue driving value after the campaign wraps.
Fostering Ongoing Influencer Relationships
The best collaborations spark genuine connections beyond one-off transactions. Cultivating influencer relationships generates repeat engagement sans excessive outreach efforts.
Make Payment Simple and Timely
Nothing sours new partnerships like late compensation. Submit payment on the day content goes live. Ease admin friction by leveraging fast payment solutions like Hyperwallet.
Show Appreciation with Small Surprises
Send handwritten thank you notes or surprise branded ‘swag’ deliveries. These personal touches build social capital and delight critical partners.
Highlight Their Work on Your Channels
Repost campaign content across your social channels and website. Tag and thank the influencers while exposing them to your following. Proactively endorsing their work drives reciprocal goodwill.
Keep a Feedback Loop Open
Check-in periodically to gather insights from their perspective. Collect feedback on what campaign elements performed best, opportunities for improving future collaborations, or emerging topics of interest among their niche. Apply learnings to enhance ongoing outreach strategies.
Explore Long-Term Partnership Potential
If a collaboration surpasses expectations, broach formalising an ongoing brand ambassador contract. Structure recurring compensation and defined deliverables to lock in ROI. Highly converting influencers become invaluable amplification engines for driving conversions over time.
By valuing influencers as true partners beyond contractual obligations, you enable socially influential advocates for your brand.
Influencer marketing delivers unparalleled access to qualified, engaged audiences that trust recommendations from voices they relate to.
But only when executed thoughtfully and mutually beneficially for all parties involved.
By nurturing relationships, co-creating content, compensating fairly, and tracking true impact, brands and influencers can build highly prosperous connections, driving tangible ROI.
When done right, these partnerships produce delightfully authentic storytelling that converts passive audiences into loyal brand enthusiasts—ultimately investing in influencer collaborations well worth spending.
How to Work with Influencers FAQs
What are the first steps for running an influencer campaign?
The first steps are identifying your campaign goals, defining your target audience persona, researching relevant influencers, vetting influencers for reach/relevance/quality, drafting outreach messages, and scheduling intro calls with prospective partners.
How much do influencers cost?
Influencer fees vary drastically depending on audience size, content demands, rights requested, and vertical. Micro-influencers charge a few hundred per post. Celeb-status influencers charge over $100k per post. Typically, expect to invest around $5k-$15k per influencer collaboration.
Should I pay influencers in cash, products, or both?
Most influencers appreciate a mix of monetary compensation plus free branded products. Cash incentivises them to create content specifically for you. Free products let them authentically showcase and endorse your items through long-term organic integration.
What makes a good influencer post?
Great influencer posts feature creative and original angles that intrigue or educate their unique audience. They seamlessly blend branded assets like logos/products with the influencer’s signature style. The caption tells a compelling story while highlighting brand values. And they often spark high engagement and positive sentiment in comments.
How do I make sure I work with authentic influencers?
Vet each influencer through third-party auditing platforms like HypeAuditor. Review their fake follower percentage (should be under 10%), engagement rates (3-5% is good), audience demographics, post consistency and commentary sentiment. Analyse quantitatively and qualitatively before formalising any contract.