“I’M CONSIDERING HIRING INFLUENCERS TO HELP PROMOTE MY BUSINESS. HOW CAN I MAKE SURE TO GET THE MOST OUT OF OUR COLLABORATION?”
Meet Tzivia Cohen. She started her marketing agency, 14Minds, to give businesses the resources to market themselves. This column will provide useful advice and answers for entrepreneurs to help them navigate the complex process of growing their businesses.
irst, let’s define what an influencer actually is. An influencer is an individual who has built an attentive audience by publishing authentic content about a specific topic. Influencers can affect the purchase decisions of their audiences, making them an ideal partner to help brands promote their products or services; and this is known as influencer marketing. The bulk of influencer marketing today takes place on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Here are some important tips on working with influencers.
FIND THE RIGHT INFLUENCERS TO WORK WITH.
It’s important that the collaboration feels authentic and not overly promotional. Choose influencers who regularly engage with your target market and whose personal brand is a natural fit for the product, service, or cause you want to promote. In addition, only work with influencers who have a small sponsored-to-organic content ratio, which means they carefully curate the brands they work with and don’t spam their followers with ads. Once you’ve found someone who seems like the right fit, check the engagement rate on their posts to make sure they have a meaningful relationship with their audience.
TRUST THE INFLUENCER TO CREATE THE CONTENT.
Many businesses assume that influencers are simply a marketing channel for distributing their advertising. Influencers, however, are creators, not distributors! They’ve built a rapport with their followers by creating unique, authentic content. Instead of trying to push your creative view on them, share your specific business goal, so they can help you achieve it within the parameters of their own personal brand.
MANAGE EXPECTATIONS FROM THE OUTSET.
Clearly define the details of your collaboration before you start, preferably in writing. Some important questions to ask are: What is being provided by the business in exchange for the influencer’s services (e.g., a product or service, or a cash payment)? What is being provided by the influencer? Will they be posting on their own accounts, and if so, how many times? Can you repurpose influencer content, and if so, in what context? Having a plan in place before you start will not only eliminate unnecessary frustration, but will also ensure you get the maximum possible outcome.
Finally, decide how you will track whether the collaboration was successful once the agreed-upon terms have been executed. Engagement and reach are two important metrics to use for social media; for longer term collaborations, you can also measure sales. Having these metrics in mind throughout the entire process will help both you and the influencer stay focused.
THREE INFLUENCERS WEIGH IN ON THE QUESTION: “WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING BUSINESSES SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WORKING WITH AN INFLUENCER?”
“I think it’s really important to have connections and relationships with other influencers. No one can grow alone; it’s about partnerships and networking. Use the influencer’s networking skills to help grow your brand.”
NAOMI NACHMAN, THE AUSSIE GOURMET
“The single most important thing about working with an influencer is if they actually have an influence and can prove it. And that’s not judged based on how many followers they have or how many views they get, but about the engagement and action. Do people react and talk about what they post in a positive way and tell others?”
ELAN KORNBLUM, PUBLISHER AND PRESIDENT, GREAT KOSHER RESTAURANTS MEDIA GROUP
“That we do care [about your business]. We truly do. We want to help, support, and offer all of your services or products to everyone! However, sometimes it simply does not work out [as we had hoped]. Some things are out of our control, as we can only do the best we can on our part.”
BETTY GULKO, INFLUENCER AND DESIGNER
Tzivia Cohen is the founder and CEO of 14Minds, a marketing agency that specializes in growing businesses and non-profits with innovative, results-driven campaigns. Do you have questions for Tzivia? Send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to see them appear in our next column!
(Originally featured in 2.0 Issue 3)