How to make a paid Influencer campaign work for you
I’ve had quite a few business owners inform me that their paid Influencer campaign resulted in very low, or no sales at all. This is frustrating news for small businesses, who are relying on the Influencer to heavily 'influence' their followers.
This is not surprising. While paid Influencers do have a place in the promotional mix, it shouldn’t be as quick and easy as paying an Influencer for one post. The “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am” method doesn’t work in business promotion, and it never should.
Planning and strategy is key.
Here are my top tips to follow when paying an Influencer to promote your business so you don’t fall into the same trap:
1. Know your customer persona so you can select the right Influencer. Engaging an Influencer to spruik your brand because they have thousands of followers won’t work. Your product or service must be relevant to their followers or the money and effort will be a huge waste.
2. That leads to research. Do it, and thoroughly. Once you know your target audience, investigate Influencers who not only have decent numbers, but who have the right audience. A celebrity Influencer who is into health and fitness for instance, may have lots of other celebrity followers and fans, but only a handful who are into health and fitness. Open the conversation with the Influencer, ask them questions, obtain their media kit and make sure their platform and audience are relevant to your brand.
3. Followers vs engagement: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you base your choice on overall followers, you’re taking a huge risk because not all followers engage or even see each post. This has a lot to do with social media algorithms which weed out the followers who don’t engage regularly or posts that aren’t relevant to the user. Don’t look at followers, look at engagement. How many of their followers clicked or ‘liked’ their posts? Evaluate those metrics and you’ll have a much better idea of how many people could engage with your paid post.
4. Have the Influencer write you a proposal. You are paying them, and if they are professional, they will not only want to work with you, they will truly want the paid post to WORK for you. Open the lines of communication and ask the Influencer for a ‘package’. Don’t fall into the trap of paying for one post. One post won’t be effective enough. Advertising is not only about targeting the right audience, it is about being visible and creating repetition. Ask for three or more posts scattered throughout a week or two. Make that money WORK for you! If an Influencer truly knows how marketing and advertising works, they will not only understand this, they will offer this. Pay the post what it is truly worth and base it on engagement and past success (ie. Influencing power), not followers. I’d seriously question paying $500 and over for one, lowly post.
5. Once you have a short-list of potential Influencers you’d like to work with, request to see testimonials from, and case studies about, former clients. If they aren’t willing to sell themselves to you, then you shouldn’t sell your business on their platform. This will weed out the true marketers versus the hacks who want to make a quick buck.
6. Once you’ve selected your Influencer/s, plan and prepare. You pay, you control the messaging. Businesses who pay for advertising are in total control of the look and feel of the ad and content. I understand Influencers want to stay true to their own style and brand, so work closely with them on this and create a post and image you’re both happy with.
7. Finally, work with the Influencer to take your investment further. Can they share, for example, an Instagram post on their Facebook page? Can they do a shout-out on the podcast they co-host? Again, make sure they are committed to giving you the best return on your investment as possible.
Again, there is a place for Influencer marketing, but make sure it not only works for you, but that your audience is active on social media.
There are many other methods of business promotion out there that might be more suitable for your brand or you can execute along with a paid post. A good promotional plan will include more than one opportunity to grow your business. Look at other digital and social media options such as network via Facebook Business groups, face-to-face B2B networking, You Tube Vloggers who are great with testing out products, media coverage, customer loyalty programs, and more.