Aug 2021

A Beginner Brand's Guide to Getting Started With Influencer Marketing

Up your ecommerce marketing services by partnering with influencers and spreading the word through social media

woman holding up shirt to camera being an influencer

Looking to grow your small business and up social media engagement? In that case, influencer marketing is the way to go. Social media makes up a large percentage of the total media we consume on a daily basis, so why not harness the power of social media influencers to get the word out about your company. 

Influencer marketing can sometimes be intimidating or difficult to understand, especially for growing businesses. Luckily, we are here to break down influencer marketing step by step so you too can utilize the most powerful ecommerce marketing services currently available. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through how to plan a campaign, finding the right influencers, and ultimately increasing your engagement and conversion. Let’s get started!

What is Influencer Marketing and How Will it Help Grow Your Brand?

Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful ecommerce marketing services available

marketing meeting graphs charts numbers professionals
Before you start contacting influencers, you need to start with a solid plan.

If you haven’t heard of influencer marketing, you have definitely seen some examples on your social media accounts. Any time an influencer, no matter their size, makes a branded post or announces a brand partnership they are participating in influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is a partnership between a brand and an influencer who is willing to market the brand. Your company’s goal can be anything from increasing brand awareness to directly increasing the number of conversions on your ecommerce site. Whatever your marketing goals, influencer marketing is a great way to quickly and authentically reach a large audience.  Influencer marketing has grown exponentially in the last few years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Before we start discussing how influencer marketing works, it is important to note that influencers are everywhere and have a wide range of followings. It doesn’t matter your industry or budget constraints for ecommerce marketing services, you can still work with influencers to grow your brand.

Set a Goal For Your Influencer Marketing Campaign and Determine Your Budget

Before you set out on your first campaign, it's time to start planning

man writing on whiteboard in new looking office
Setting goals helps you communicate your priorities to influencers.

When you’ve decided you want to try influencer marketing as a part of your strategy, you should start by setting a goal and creating a budget. For small businesses without a marketing department, this may seem overwhelming. However, if you are just starting out, it is best to keep it simple. Start by setting a specific goal that can be easily measured once your campaign has ended. For example, your marketing goal could be to increase online awareness, grow your follower count, and increase online conversions by 50 percent. These numbers will be different depending on the product or service you offer and it’s average cost. 

Once you have established your budget, it's time to start exploring the fascinating world of influencers.

Find Influencers That Align With Your Brand

No matter the size of your campaign or products, there are influencers who can help take your brand to a new level

woman holding coffee standing in front of desk in office
You’ve worked hard to build your brand, find influencers that are on the same page.

Social media is inundated with influencers and promotional materials. That means that truly anyone can become an influencer once they have amassed a dedicated and authentic audience. Many mistakenly believe that all influencers have millions of followers and are constantly being approached by brands for collaboration opportunities. However, many influencers fall into the “nano” or “micro” influencer category, which is a great place to start for a small business. Before we get too far into choosing the right kind of influencers, let's break down the different influencer tiers and how they work:

  • Nano - a Nano influencer will usually have up to 10K followers and a strong personal connection with their followers. For Nano Influencers, social media is likely not their full time job.
  • Micro - Micro influencers, much like nano influencers have a personal connection with their fan base and may have more of a niche style of content. If you fit into that niche, it could be the perfect partnership. Micro influencers have anywhere from 10K to 100K followers on their chosen platforms.
  • Macro - Macro influencers have a much larger reach than micro influencers, with macro influencers garnering up to 1M followers on their profiles. For these accounts, social media is likely their full time job. Because their reach is so much greater, the price to work with macro influencers is higher. 
  • Mega - Many smaller brands will not be able to work with mega influencers due to their cost. Mega influencers have upwards of 1M followers and it can get expensive working together. Even though brands just getting started with influencer marketing probably won’t want to work with mega influencers from the start, as your brand grows so do your campaigns!

Once you have determined the level of influencer you want to promote your small business, it's time to start your research.

Vet Potential Influencers for Content and Engagement

Learn how to find influencers that align with your brand mission

young woman taking a selfie with clothing haul in living room
Make sure that the content you want aligns with your influencer’s area of expertise.

Now your influencer marketing campaign is really coming together! The next step is sometimes the most difficult — finding the right influencers. If this is your first time using influencers to accelerate your brand, we have a few tips to make sure your marketing strategy will be effective.

Many people do not know where to start looking for potential influencer partners apart from Instagram, TikTok and other platforms. Luckily, there are several services available that allow you to search, validate and and even send messages directly to influencers that most closely match your brand identity. 

Start Contacting Influencers For Your Campaign

Don’t be intimidated, many influencers are just as excited to work with you as you are to grow your small business

sitting at table with coffee looking a instagram DMs typing on a phone
Don’t be afraid to reach out! Influencers are ready for opportunities.

Once you’ve selected your influencers, it is time to reach out and see who is the best fit for your next campaign. There is a subtle art to reaching out to influencers, and we are here to teach you how to appropriately contact potential social media ambassadors. When you are writing your message whether via email or direct message, it is important to remember these tips:

  • Make it personal - influencers want to know that you are familiar with who they are and their specific brand of online content
  • Give a compliment -  let them know you enjoy their work and make it specific
  • Be direct - directness is always a good strategy when you get down to the details of your marketing strategy
  • Make it about them, not you - include some information about your company, but keep the focus on the influencer
  • Try a voice note - voice notes can add a personal touch when reaching out via direct message
  • Don’t get too caught up in follower count - remember quality content over quantity of followers

When it comes to validating your influencers, the first step is to analyze their content. Is their content high quality? Will the partnership make sense? Can I trust this person to seriously promote my small business? Once you have answered these questions and reached out to a few influencers, it is time to ask for their metrics. Influencers are ready and willing to share their specific metric and engagement with brands, especially if there is payment involved, so don't be afraid to ask. After all, you need to make sure that your promotions are reaching the right audience.

Negotiate The Terms of Your Campaign With Influencers

Once you have reached out, it's time to iron out the details of your agreement

two young women shaking hands in studio in front of ring light and microphones
When negotiating with influencers, remember to keep it casual yet direct.

Now that you have settled on an influencer — or several, to jump start your campaign — it's time to go over the details of your agreement. First, you should decide the type of content you want to be posted. Is this an instagram post? A story? A blog? Or even a TikTok? It is up to you to decide which platform and which medium works best for your goals. Once you and your chosen influencer have decided on the kind of post, it is time to discuss compensation. If your budget is limited, you will probably start by exchanging products for digital content creation. However, if you have set aside a budget, you can pay larger influencers to make dedicated posts. Remember, the more followers they have, the more compensation is expected.

It's Time to Start Your Very First Influencer Marketing Campaign

You’ve done it! Now it’s time to launch your very first sponsored posts

influencer marketing example watches affiliate code
Trust your influencer to produce their best content. Image courtesy of Shane Barker.

Once you have ironed out the details regarding content and payment for your influencer partners, it's time to launch your campaign. It could be as simple as one Instagram post going live, or it could be promoted posts, or even several influencer posts going up at once. Whatever the situation for your small business, once your posts go live, it's time to start seeing the benefits of your influencer marketing campaign. A great way to keep track of your engagement is by using affiliate links, otherwise known as UTM codes to see how much site traffic is directed from the influencers. Later, you can use this data to find out how your campaign is performing.

Perform a Review to Determine if You Have Reached Your Intended Goals

Once your campaign has ended, it's time to see how effectively your influencers marketed your small business

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Really find out how much engagement and conversions you’ve gained from your campaign.

Now that your campaign is over, you should determine if you reached your goals from the very first step in this article. As previously mentioned, you can use UTM codes to track exactly how much engagement came directly from your influencers. If you fall short of your initial goals, you can always try a different strategy for your next campaign. Regardless, it is important to learn from any mistakes and use your knowledge to build even better campaigns in the future. 

No matter how big or small your business, Responsival has the tools you need to run a successful influencer marketing campaign. Beyond influencer marketing, Responsival provides ecommerce marketing services and development for our diverse set of clients. Let’s work together, schedule a discovery call with our sales team today!