Working with influencers to promote your business
Getting your brand in front of a new audience by working with an influencer can be a great marketing strategy for many businesses, but there are a few things you may want to be careful of if you're thinking of giving it a go yourself.
Working with agencies
Influencer agencies bridge the gap between brands and influencers, and take a cut of the money exchanged. Agencies generally have relationships with a wide range of bloggers, or social media influencers with larger audiences.
If you were to work with an influencer agency, to start with, you need to be sure you will have full control of who you work with, and that you are completely happy with the projected outcome versus the expense. Once you've run a few campaigns, you'll be a little more confident, and if you are working with the same people again, there'll be more trust there around the nature of the content.
Always make sure that the influencers you work with truly like your product or service, or it will come across. Not all influencers are great with being selective over who they work with, so make sure this is being managed well.
Working with influencers directly
Working with an agency means that all work must be paid, but if you work with influencers separately, you may be able to work with those with smaller audiences with a contra deal where you give or loan them an item for them to create content around. It's often beneficial to find local influencers that you’d like to work with, who have a relevant, engaged audience. This content could be created, depending on the influencer, any topics that are related to your business, products, or services.
Make sure you have clear communication, since you want to have very clear guidelines and expectations from both parties, which you may want to back up with a contract. Make a decision on whether this partnership is for brand awareness, or if you would like to convert on the interaction. If you'd like to see performance based on conversion, you need to figure out how people would purchase from you if they saw this influencer’s content, whether through an affiliate link, or by using a promotion code.
When to not work with influencers
If there aren't any influencers that have an audience which matches your target market.
If the influencers that have an audience which matches your target market want a bigger budget than you feel comfortable with. If you're uncomfortable from the outset, you're less likely to be happy with the result.
If creating influencer content around your product or service isn't engaging. Not all products and services can be made exciting, by even the most experienced, positive influencer.
If the platform your desired influencer uses doesn't allow for people to click through to your website, meaning people will have to Google you to find you if they see the content. If they can't spell your name, or be bothered searching, you've lost them.
If you are working with influencers to gain links to help with your search result ranking, but the content will be posted on social media, not a blog or website. Social media links don't quite count as full referral links where Google is concerned.