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How To Get Results You Want From Influencers
Advertisers sometimes have open-ended or vague specifications about what they want to see from influencers. Without clear direction, it’s hard to be sure you’ll get the results you want. Use this as a checklist to make sure you’re putting your efforts in the right places and that influencers know exactly what you expect.
In the Marketplace, you’re likely to receive a wide variety of bids on your products. Some bids come from less qualified influencers than others. Treat it like a job interview, because it is. (We talked about this in more detail in this post.) The ideal candidate will work with you, represent your brand in a positive manner, be communicative and transparent, and follow up with you on results.
Filter out the wrong influencers as early as possible. If you’re looking for dedicated travel influencers only, you can note in your opportunity that lifestyle bloggers or influencers who only occasionally post about travel need not apply. If you want a certain number of followers or unique visits, make sure to specify that as well.
Be specific about the content you want
You can create as many opportunities as you want. Take advantage of this! It’s in your best interest to clearly communicate what you want to see from influencers. Publish opportunities for an Instagram post, blog post, Twitter post, YouTube video, or whatever else you want. Someone who puts a lot of work into their blog but isn’t widely followed on social media may be great for a blog post, while someone with a huge social media presence can still be valuable to work with even if their website doesn’t get a lot of traffic. Opportunities targeted to a certain type of influencer cause them to notice it and think, “Hey, that’s me!” (At the same time, it will cause other influencers to think, “That’s not me!”, which saves them from putting efforts in the wrong places.)
In your opportunity, you can also provide prompts for influencers to build content around. Ask influencers to create a recipe using your product if you sell food. A health/fitness influencer could create a healthy recipe to share, or a parenting blogger could share how using your product saves time when cooking for her children. If you are a beauty brand, ask for a YouTube makeup tutorial or an Instagram post featuring your products. The possibilities are endless. The most important thing is that you have great content surrounding your product. The audience should feel inspired or entertained, not like they are targeted with an ad. Other people who won’t make commissions should find enough value in the content to repost or share. (A lot of this is the influencer’s responsibility, but it doesn’t hurt to start the ball rolling in the right direction.)
Provide feedback, even negative, where applicable
Influencers need feedback. Even negative feedback is constructive, if communicated appropriately. Instead of simply rejecting a bid (or worse, leaving it “pending” for months with no communication) tell them why. Not enough traffic on their site? Not focused on the right niche? Let them know! If you have positive feedback, please share that as well.
You can see that feedback is important to them. Constructive, honest communication helps shape the influencer community. It also reflects well on yourself as an advertiser when you give them the courtesy of a response.
Be willing to negotiate
Negotiating will also help you get what you want. If you respond to an influencer explaining their bid is too high for the amount of traffic they generate, suggest a lower bid you would be willing to work with. Some influencers have GREAT content, but haven’t been around long enough to build a huge following. You might find a gem — an influencer with a smaller audience but who is an amazing photographer, has a great writing style or other attributes you are looking for. In these cases, I especially recommend getting the rights to share their photos or content across your own social media platforms or website. You get amazing content to share, and linking back to their site or tagging them on social media can help boost traffic for them as well.
(Note: Do your research and check out previous content thoroughly before hiring. There are small influencers who create amazing content who haven’t “gone viral” yet, but there are also less-than-fantastic influencers who may not produce optimal content for your brand.)
Is there anything else you recommend or have found successful? Feel free to comment and share your insight.