Things you always wanted to know about Influencer Marketing
Have you ever wondered how influencer marketing works but couldn't find a reputable source to answer your questions? When the same questions kept coming up in different conversations, we decided to interview our Influencer Marketing Manager, Petja Oplotnik, who generously answered all of them.
Q: How can I recognize if the influencer is a good brand fit?
Petja: Firstly you need to check if you can incorporate the product into the influencer's lifestyle. It is crucial to recognize which influencers are relevant in a specific market, are "trustworthy," and have meaningful content on their profiles. Most importantly, the influencer needs to have a strong community.
For example, a skincare brand would most likely be searching for a profile of an influencer, who likes to take care of themselves, and is well educated about the products and ingredients they use for their skin.
Secondly, it is essential to check the statistics of the influencers following base. It will be a good fit if they fit with your target group.
* Make sure that the profile has yet to collaborate with competing brands because this might impact your results since the influencer is promoting two similar products.
Q: How many followers does the influencer need to have to sell?
Petja: More relevant than the number of followers is the community and content/topics discussed that the influencer provides and is present daily.
The content on the profile needs to be something interesting, different, and educational and bring the followers a sense of belonging. The profile needs to give added value to the follower.
What is also relevant is the influencer's profile statistics because it is crucial to check if their data matches the brand's target group (age range, female/male, location, etc.).
If your target group matches the influencer's profiles, then the chances of great results are higher.
Q: What sells better, larger or smaller profiles?
Petja: The results depend on each profile. With macro influencers, we can reach a wider audience and consequently have better sales results if they are a good brand fit.
Regarding results connected to the size of the profile and sales, I recommend setting a target ROI for collaborations in a specific market and checking the results according to ROI. In this case, some profiles can have excellent results compared to their initial investment.
Here we can also mention the growth of individual profiles with long-term collaborations, which build brand trust and can increase sales.
Q: What to write to an influencer, and how to reach them?
Petja: When writing to an influencer, try personalizing the note as much as possible. With the message, present your brand/story/product and let them know why you selected them to showcase your brand. Building a great relationship from the start can majorly impact further collaborations. Many brands work with influencers, so standing out of the crowd and building relationships are the key. With long-term collaborations, one can build a great brand story with the help of the right influencers.
Q: How do I know which influencers are the best ones abroad?
Petja: Having market insights is a crucial advantage, so knowing which influencers' profiles are currently relevant on the market and well-known is essential. We can achieve this by following the situation on the market, following the popular profiles, or having a local specialist who knows the situation well select the profiles with which the brand can collaborate.
Q: What if the influencer has fake followers?
Petja: The fake followers can be spotted through different platforms that analyze the influencer's profiles, including bought/fake followers. The platforms usually require a subscription fee; however, there are some free tools, but the precision of the data can differ: (https://influencermarketinghub.com/fake-follower-checker/)
There are a few red flags you can easily spot when searching for new profiles for collaborations.
The first red flag is the low ratio between the number of followers and the engagement under the posts.
You can always request the influencer to send your their recent profile statistics, where you can check the engagement and story reach, which can also be an indicator if you want to collaborate with the influencer or not.
Q: What can we send them as a brief for collaboration?
Petja: The brief for the collaboration should be informative and written clearly. In the beginning, you should present the products and the purpose of the campaign you wish to execute. The more information you provide the influencer with, the better; however, too much information can also lead to the end outcome of the campaign. Therefore I suggest the following:
💡Provide enough information about the product itself and the goal of the Collaboration.
💡Clearly and straight to the point, present the key information about the extent of the collaboration (story set, feed post, date and time of publication, discount code, UTM link usage, etc.).
💡Your examples can also be visually supported with photos and videos, giving them a better insight into the idea of collaboration.
*If you do not have a clear visual of the campaign, leave some room for the ideas from the influencer's side since they know their followers best and have the best view of how to present a product to fit their profiles.
Q: How do you measure the success of the collaboration with influencers? Is it by using discount codes?
Petja: The collaboration with influencers is a marathon, not a sprint - with their help, you can build a fantastic story with brand building. Therefore it's challenging to focus only on one measurement scale. Depending on the type of campaign and collaboration, we can set the following KPIs:
💡For sales collaborations - discount codes and results regarding ROI or CPO.
💡For branding collaborations - personalized UTM link clicks/number of followers/story reach.
💡For content collaborations - measuring the content performance on paid socials ROAS and CTR.
It would be best if you always chose the measures mentioned above based on the idea of the campaign.
Q: How much should we pay to the influencer for the collaboration? Are there any profiles that do collaborations for free?
Petja: Barter collaborations or collaborations in exchange for a free product are nowadays sporadic because content creators put a lot of work into their content, and most profiles work professionally as influencers.
The prices differentiate based on the size of the profile. There is no single framework/pricelist for all.
With one collaboration, usually, you can have several "outcomes," for example, a story set collaborations, whitelisting, and content rights. With this, you can receive content to use on other channels. Collaborations only via story are usually cheaper than feed post collaborations.
Q: What to do if the influencer doesn't reply?
Petja: The first contact you have with the influencers is through the reach-out message, which needs to stand out. Suppose the influencer does not respond to your email. In that case, I recommend sending a reminder for the reply because the email can sometimes get lost or forgotten about, with the number of other emails they receive. Following this, you can also contact the influencers via Instagram. Make sure to personalize the message and have clear communication.
Q: How to manage the collaboration from the legal perspective? Do the influencers issue invoices (I sent the influencer a gift but am still waiting to receive a reply)?
Petja: For the influencers, you can prepare the contracts. Usually, the influencer has their own company, so they are eligible to issue the invoices. The deal can also be agreed on via email. To avoid sending the product without the influencer delivering their part of the deal, check the previous collaborations of the profile and what kind of content the influencer delivered. If the collaboration is paid, the chances you will receive everything agreed on are higher.
Q: Can I ask the influencer to send me the creatives for approval before publishing?
Petja: Yes, of course, communicate this at the beginning of the collaboration. Usually, you can ask the influencer to send you the content 2-3 days before publishing, so there is still time for corrections in case of any changes.
If the content is sent in advance for approval, it gives you more time to prepare the creatives for paid posts if you also receive the content and the usage rights from the collaboration.
Q: How can I ensure that the influencer posts on the date we select - for example, the launch date?
Petja: The date must be communicated with the influencer at the beginning of the collaboration to ensure it's reserved just for your post/launch. Clearly communicate what kind of collaboration you expect in advance (Story set, story set + feed post, feed post).
Q: Can I use the influencer content on ads?
Petja: It depends on the agreement with the influencer for individual collaboration. Usually, the agreement via email is enough, but I recommend getting the official written email confirmation that you can use the content on all brand channels. You can also arrange the agreement via contract if the influencer requests that.
Q: Is influencer marketing dead?
Petja: Influencer marketing is one of the channels that has been around for quite some time and has helped companies with brand building and trust building. The influencer is the person whose followers - your potential customers/ target groups trust and who knows how to present the product interestingly. With the influencers' help, you can receive brand awareness and trust, an instant review, and a user experience. The influencer can become the "face of the brand" and add to the brand's credibility.
Through influencer marketing, you can also support other channels with content creation and whitelisting.*
Some profiles might even surprise you with their content creation skills. Since content is important for all channels, this is a competitive advantage.
Influencer marketing is also a way to build relationships with "your business partners - influencers," who can, in case of a good brand fit, become your brand ambassadors and build the brand together with you. They can show the products several times, show that the product has become an important part of their everyday life and that they believe in it.
What is crucial is to select suitable profiles of influencers because a limited number of profiles provide quality content and are on the rise in popularity. Sometimes timing is essential, and if you grow with the influencer's profile, this can lead to great collaboration results.
I recommend looking at influencer marketing as building relationships with the influencer and the community, which supports the profile and can soon turn into a brand's community.
As I said already, influencer marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore results can be seen after some time.