It’s one thing having great products that you believe in – but it’s so much easier to sell them when you have an influencer who believes in them too.
Not only do they believe in them, but they also share them with their followers.
Influencer marketing is all about working alongside influencers to raise awareness of your product. Because influencers have such, um, influence, their audience will be more inclined to take a closer look at your product. Studies have even shown that working with an influencer can boost your sales by 11X more than any other form of digital marketing.
It’s essentially like running an ad. The difference is that this is one ad that’s definitely trusted by a specific audience. If you’re wondering how influencer marketing can benefit you, let’s take a look at how to use it to help sell your products.
Work with the Right Influencer
It all starts with finding an influencer who is right for your brand.
This is the first step and it’s a bit harder than it may seem. There are many things to assess, including the size of their following, how engaged their following is, how much their voice/branding is aligned with yours, and their demographics.
This last point is key because you don’t want to work with an influencer whose message and style are not relevant to your brand. For example, if your products are aimed more at women than men, but the influencer has a huge male following, they’re not going to be the right fit.
Their voice is important. If your brand is family oriented but the influencer is edgier, this won’t work.
It’s also a good idea to look at which other brands they’re promoting. If you have a luxury product but they typically promote cheaper products, again this isn’t the influencer for you.
Take a look at how engaged their following is, too. An influencer might have 50,000 followers but if only a handful are liking and commenting on their posts, their following isn’t engaged enough.
Another thing to check on is how often an influencer posts sponsored content. While you want to work with an influencer who’s willing to post sponsored content, what you don’t want is an influencer who posts it constantly.
Why? Because they will look inauthentic to their audience. If their audience hasn’t yet been turned off, they will be soon.
Contact the Influencer
Once you’ve identified the influencer(s) you want to work with, the next step is to approach them.
It’s important at this stage to remember that key to influencer marketing is relationship building. Influencers – especially macro ones – get hit up all the time, so you need to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
To this end, it’s a good idea to do your homework. Take the time to familiarize yourself with their content and their audience. The more you know about them and what they do, the more you can make your initial email/DM more personalized and standout.
Introduce yourself, explain who you are and what you like about their content. Perhaps you could highlight a particular piece of content that really caught your eye. Then, elaborate on why you want to work with them and how you think the two of you will work well together.
If they’re interested, they’ll reply. At this point, you need to go into more detail. For example, what will their compensation be? Cash? Or just a free product? Moreover, what is your product/content going to do for their brand and audience?
Explain when you want your campaign to run, too. Do you want to be featured in one single post? Or do you want to be featured in four over the course of a month?
What are the usage rights of the content? The influencer is using it on their social media channels for now, but do you get to use it after the campaign is over on your website?
Create a Campaign
The campaigns that perform well amidst all the noise on social media are the ones that stand out.
To get your campaign noticed, you need to think outside the box.
Instead of asking an influencer to post a picture of your product to their Instagram, be a bit more creative. Consider inviting the influencer down to your office for the day for a “behind-the-scenes” shoot.
Or perhaps you could work on a line of products that they co-design with you.
Or, maybe you could work on a Q&A with your influencer. Make it fun! Remember that the influencer is looking for content to share with their following here. The more fun, visual and engaging it is, so much the better.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you listen to your influencer’s inputs. They know their audience better than you, which means they know exactly what content works best. They also know how to frame things just right. So ask them a few questions that will help you create a better campaign. Ask them what types of content their followers love to see, and what type of sponsored content has performed the best in the past.
Make Sure Your Brand Is Professional
An influencer has to align with your core values – but you also need to be the right fit for the influencer.
For example, if you have an unprofessional website, zero branding and absolutely no credibility, why would an influencer work with you? It’s not worth the risk to their reputation, no matter how much money you’re willing to pay them.
Before you start reaching out to influencers, make sure that your own house is in order first. This means a professional website and a solid brand.
Paying attention to trends will help your appeal, too. For example, you could modernize your store by adding a POS card reader to show that you offer a seamless shopping experience, as well as perhaps a chatbot for improved customer support.
Essentially, you want to show the influencer that you’re serious about this, and that they’ll be raising awareness of a genuine product from a genuine brand that their audience will like/love. You need to look polished and professional.
This is how to use influencer marketing to help sell your products. It doesn’t matter how ace your products are, without a little help from others you might struggle to get yourself seen. Find the right influencers (don’t waste your time on the wrong ones), make the right approach with an email that demonstrates knowledge of them and what they do, and work with them to create a compelling campaign that stands out.
About the Author
Michelle Deery writes and edits copy for Heroic Search, a link building agency based in Tulsa. Her work has been seen in publications such as Entrepreneur. She offers businesses solutions to their marketing challenges.