Top 5 Tips: Influencer Marketing For Start Up’s
Though influencer marketing started out as an industry dominated by social celebrities it has quickly become one of the most popular forms of social media advertising.
It’s rapid growth however, has come at the expense of general efficiencies as companies ‘dip their toes’ with no clear strategy or standardised guidelines for campaigns. As a startup or small company where every penny needs to be justified, this kind of throwing mud at the wall is likely to result in your budget being cut and business stakeholders reluctant to trial new tactics. That’s why it’s particularly important to run campaigns with the same precision as any other form of paid advertising (think PPC or facebook ads).
With that in mind, here are my top 5 tips for start-ups, small businesses or the budget conscious to ensure they get maximum return on their influencer marketing campaigns:
Tip 1: Decide and agree upon your desired outcomes
This one is by far the most important as it will determine everything right from how many influencers you use, to whether or not your campaign has been a success. Are you trying to drive awareness or drive conversions – or maybe you want to work with influencers purely for content. Either way, you will need to establish (and agree with all interested parties) exactly what you’d like to see from your campaign before going any further.
Further reading: Framework to a successful influencer marketing strategy
Tip 2: Poorly targeted influencers are the biggest waste of budget
Just 29% of influencers are asked for their audience demographics prior to running a campaign with a brand. A UK influencer doesn’t necessarily mean the largest proportion of their followers are based in the UK. Likewise a male influencer won’t necessarily have majority male followers – the gents from Made in Chelsea will stand testament to this given that they have grown their popularity through the show which has mostly female viewers. With a database of over 50 thousand influencers, this is something we see time and time again – you cannot guess your influencers follower base.
That means you will need to ask your influencers for their demographics, or alternatively, get them to sign up to ZINE for a free media kit (as above) which will display demographics across all the channels they connect. They can then send you the link to their media kit, whether or not you use ZINE.
Tip 3: Bigger isn’t always better – engagement is much higher for smaller influencers
As a rule of thumb, as reach grows engagement will drop (relative to reach of course). Influencers with 1,000 – 10,000 followers have an average engagement of 4.42%, in contrast with influencer who have a million followers who have an average engagement of 1.9%. That means, spending your limited budget on the big ticket collaborations, is less likely to yield the desired results. Spreading that same budget and choosing a handful of influencers who sit within this micro-influencer band will carry your budget, engagement and awareness further.
Tip 4: Products / services can be used as payment – but not always!
Most influencers will need some kind of payment for their collaboration – but this doesn’t just mean money. We surveyed over 1000 influencers to get the answer to the tricky question of payment and can reveal that:
In essence, if you have a product, service or event, it’s well worth seeing if you influencer is happy to accept this as a from of payment. When influencers sign up to ZINE they let us know which collaboration types they accept. This saves our customers time contacting influencers who may not be open to that type of collaboration.
Tip 5: If influencers are going to form a major part of your strategy – invest in technology
As already discussed above – the biggest waste of budget in influencer marketing is using poorly targeted influencers. If you are running campaigns regularly, this can be difficult to manage without the use of influencer marketing technology like ZINE. When you log into the ZINE portal, you have access to over 50 thousand influencers, however where the platform comes into its own, is the easy to use search which will filter your results based on your influencer and / or audience demographic requirements.
That means you can create highly targeted influencer lists in minutes. The manual alternative, is having to reach out to each influencer individually to find out whether their audience will actually be relevant to your campaign.
Additionally with ZINE’s digital campaign management, you will save hours of back and forth, collating influencer list proposals and end of campaign reports – all of which can be done with a click of a button.
Our influencer marketing platform has solutions that range from off the shelf to white label customisations. If you’d like to see how ZINE can help you to optimise your campaigns and deliver better results, click the button below to arrange a demo.
(Research quoted from the 2018 Influencer marketing report from ZINE)