With social media becoming an integral part of our lives and marketing, influencer marketing has really caught on. 

Consider this: According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 70% of teenagers trust an influencer over a celebrity. The same study reveals that 86% of women look to social media when it comes to recommendations to make a purchase. 

If your target demographic includes teens and women and you are not using influencer marketing, you are missing out.

Influencer marketing is growing fast, and the customer acquisition costs are low, which is great for businesses.

Involving influencers to your marketing strategy will give you an opportunity to reach their audience and get more engagement than working with only traditional methods. Today, many influencer marketing platforms simplify the process of finding the right influencer for your brand. These allow you to filter all the requirements that are needed, such as influencers’ working sphere, age, interests, follower number, etc. If you have a small business, working with nano-influencers will give you a chance to announce your brand in the local market and engage new customers. As an international brand owner, you can work with macro influencers, reach a large audience in a short time and increase your popularity all over the world.

If you’re new to influencer marketing and want to know how you can get the right influencers on your team, this guide is for you.

1. Work on a Collaboration

A lot of companies have started to use influencers to collaborate on merchandise, and it is great for sales and brand awareness. Even if you don’t have a physical product, you can make custom shirts in collaboration with the influencer. Use a print on demand service for this, and you don’t even have to worry about taking orders or fulfilling them. 

The custom shirts can have your unique design that explains what you do as a business and your branding to generate some buzz around your brand. 

If you sell clothing, custom shirts are definitely on brand, even if it is not a core product for you. The custom t-shirt market worldwide is expected to cross 10 billion dollars by 2025, according to Printify’s ecommerce statistics data. That suggests there is great demand for custom shirts and that there are high chances of a successful collaboration.

2. Work with niche Influencers

Work with niche influencers

While you might be tempted to work with influencers that have a following in the millions, it can be effective both in terms of cost and revenue generated if you work with influencers that have a small but engaged following. Their followers are more likely to make a purchase to support their favorite influencer vs. a popular influencer that has thousands of inactive followers.

A good idea is to look for niche influencers that are relevant to your brand that have just about 1000 to 5000 followers. Even though they have fewer followers, striking a partnership with micro-influencers is easier than it is striking a partnership with A-tier celebrities. Not to mention that it is cheaper.

3. Make your outreach creative

If you are looking to work with a popular influencer, your email or message is going to be one among many companies vying for their attention. In order to make sure your invitation stands out, you will have to be a little more creative. 

Find out when their birthday is or if an important day is coming up and send them a personalized gift basket. You may have to do a little bit of research to personalize the gift, but it may be worth it if you can acquire new customers at a lower cost.

4. Study the Influencer’s followers and the Platform

A good way to accomplish your goal of reaching out to the right influencer is to understand who is following the influencer. The followers should align with the product you’re trying to sell and what your brand stands for. 

The same goes for the platform. Instagram may be the number one platform for influencer marketing, but TikTok is catching up. You want to make sure that the followers and the platform align with your brand.

5. Be Transparent about Everything

If you wish to make a genuine connection, be transparent about what you do, what your expectations of influencers are, and how the engagement will work out. It’s advisable to have a contract in place to protect both parties. 

Influencers rely on their brand to make money, and working with someone who has policies that will clash with an influencer’s audience and the influencer can be quite detrimental.

6. Offer the right Incentives

Most influencers know what they are worth and have worked with other brands. If you are going to approach them, you should also offer the right incentive. A shoutout from your page or a press kit is probably not going to work. Make sure you have a substantial budget to send them a lucrative offer. If your budget doesn’t allow for it, set your sights on micro and nano influencers that are just starting out.

7. Build goals and KPIs together

The influencer you want to partner with knows their audience. They know what will sell and what will not. Trust them and come up with goals for the collaboration together. Instead of deciding what you want out of them, make it a mutual decision to set realistic goals. Even if the discussion takes a while, mutual goals should be one of your priorities.

8. Ensure that they understand your Brand

Ensure that they understand your brand

You cannot expect an influencer to sell your product or service if they do not understand your brand. In your outreach, try your best to include enough material that helps them understand what you do, who your ideal customer is, and what you’re hoping to get out of this engagement. 

Once they agree to collaborate, walk them through your product and explain why they should care about what you do to create an authentic campaign that speaks to the audience. 

In Summary

Do your research before you attempt to make contact, and make sure you establish a communication channel for future collaborations post the initial engagement. Also, keep in mind that finding reliable influencers is not that difficult, especially in a competitive niche.

Once you start a relationship with an influencer and notice that things are going well, do not abandon them after a single collaboration. No, continue developing this relationship so that you will have an influencer who is ready to help you promote the brand again. You do not wish to look for a new candidate every time because there are no guarantees to succeed and find the right influencer again.