If you’ve spent a hot minute on Instagram or TikTok, chances are you’ve seen a sponsored influencer post. #Ad #Spon #PaidPartnership
Instagram are leaders when it comes to social media collaborations and sponsored content. Mostly because the platform format is visual and speaks to inspiring content. This makes it the ultimate playground for brands to get their products out into the world and in front of new audience eyes via the strong reputations of influencers.
This also makes brand partnerships a hugely powerful part of the overall ecosystem for brand consideration and there are many incredible influencers out there with audiences who are prepared to put their trust [and their money!] behind influencer product recommendations.
But there’s more to working with influencers than just that, I promise. Sit tight and I’ll take you through my very top tips for making influencer partnerships work for you.
How to find a *good* Influencer that’s perfect for your brand?.
A good influencer will hold their audience’s trust quite simply because they’re honest and always [ALWAYS] conduct their collaborations with integrity. Their content is professional, posted in peak times and they’re not afraid to answer questions in the comments or via stories in regards to the recommendations they’ve made.
I recommend starting with a list of potential influencer accounts that you admire and have always hoped you might one day work with. From there, split them up into different account sizes to ensure that your strategy will have a well rounded array of influencers meeting the different audience demographics you are targeting. Aim for something like 1-2X big swinging accounts with 80k-150k followers, 3X 40k-80k sized accounts and 4X 10k-40k.
If you’re struggling to come up with some really great ideas, there’s a handy tool on Instagram that you can use to find like minded influencer accounts by clicking the the little ‘v’ button located next to the contact options at the top of all profiles. Instagram then provides a list of suggested accounts for you to check out that are similar to the account you’re currently looking at. Handy, huh?!
Where to go from there?
Now that you have a shortlist of potentials, it’s time to do your homework.
You can determine who will be a good fit by checking their account engagement rates on Social Blade. This ensures that their audience is strong and their content is actually getting good air time in follower’s feeds.
Social Blade gives extensive account data breakdowns on all the good stuff so I encourage you to have a little explore. Accounts are graded like a year 10 maths paper, which is both good and bad IMHO but if you’re looking for a reference point, most of the wonderful accounts i’ve worked with have been rated a ‘B’ or above.
Puhleeeease remember though, just like Shakira’s hips don’t lie, neither do real life engagements – so check their comments for yourself. You’ll soon know if your influencer is genuinely connected with their audience based on their responses.
Pssst. We’ve seen incredibly successful collaborations off the back of partnerships with nano and micro influencers, so influencers who have a following between 15k-50k. It’s a really sweet spot in our experience as they’ve had to really work hard for that following [especially circa the social media golden years where you need to werk *hard* for your followers], so those that have stuck with them truly, madly, deeply trust them with Savage Garden levels of commitment and act accordingly when they make a rec.
Doing the do. [AKA Influencer Outreach].
Okay, so how do I slide into DMs without the ick [I hear you ask with a nervous voice and shaking hands]?
That’s a great question and an important one!
Set yourself realistic expectations and prepare to hear a few nos. It’s totally normal and while yep, it’s super disappointing, there are plenty of other fish in the Instagram sea. Trust me! Influencers are often incredibly busy people, their DMs are HEAVING and sometimes they simply have too many collabs on the go already.
You want people who love your brand and are excited by it so as far as I’m concerned, if it’s not a ‘hell yes!’ from them, it’s a ‘hell no’ from me. And that’s a-ok.
All this? Well it’s kinda powerful if you strategically align it with a product launch, right?
I truly believe that the way a relationship begins on social media is incredibly important for the success of your overall collaboration, and as a result? I’m a firm believer that humanised content is a highway to success and this rule of thumb sings true for all influencer outreach too.
I can’t stress enough just how important it is to GENUINELY engage on the reg with the accounts you hope to collaborate with before reaching out. Comment on their posts. Ask genuine, kind questions. Take an interest in their stories and love on them just as much as you hope they’ll love your brand when it comes time for your one day collab!
This not only allows you to get to know your potential influencer a little better, it also allows them to get to know you and your business too – like your values and interests, and why you’re so passionate about what you offer – it’ll speak to their integrity, but to yours as a business owner.
When it comes to scripting, keep it conversational and concise. Acknowledge what you value about the influencer’s account and how they go about it. Acknowledge the content you’ve recently enjoyed that they shared that made them memorable to you and don’t forget to mention something from your interactions with them to show them you’re more than an AI bot rolling into their comments with a ‘ DM to collab’, cause nobody has time for that.
[Oh, and while we’re chatting about that. You can filter those comments out of your comment feeds in your Instagram settings. If you’d like to learn how, you can check out a Reel I created explaining how to activate that little nugget of gold here].
Manage your expectations [but make sure they’re clear!]
It’s really important to also be upfront about your posting expectations in the honeymoon phase to ensure your union gets off on the right foot. Negotiate gifting and/or rates, expectations around peak posting times, account tags and ensure you clarify the post placements [stories &/or feed] too. The influencer will appreciate your transparency and professionalism and you’ll have peace of mind as you proceed too.
Try to keep in mind that influencer content isn’t just about sales. These people are incredibly talented content creators that do just that for YOU. Hello free content that’s polished, hi brand awareness with my ideal target audience and welcome new followers – it’s so lovely to meet you! Best case scenario, you’ll see an increase in sales too #KaChing.
Most of all, have fun taking this next step for your brand because it’s a fun one full of opportunity, growth and new audiences. #LoveThatForYou
Are you ready to take the leap into influencer land for your business but would like a little extra help with your list of potential collaborators and scripting? We got‘chu! Check out our Influencer Shortlist + Email Scripting and we can weave some TDP magic for you with our very own recommendations.