Influencer marketing could arguably be traced all the way back to the 1800’s when the Conklin pen company wisely and creatively asked Mark Twain to say some nice things about their products. Influencer marketing has come a long way since then, especially if you’re a Kardashian. But just going for the big name is not necessarily the best strategy, says Agorapulse’s Mike Allton. Sure, you want a big name with recognition, but if their followers are in your product’s demographic or the audience most likely to use your product or service, then it’s just a waste of time and money.
And speaking of money, another cool thing about influencer marketing is the multiple tiers it allows you to work with in terms of the relationship and compensation plan you have with influencers. If you do it right, it can prove to be a lucrative arrangement for both parties.
Influencer marketing is a popular topic in marketing circles today, but how does it work for real-world businesses like yours? Do you go after macro-influencers, micro-influencers, or nano-influencers? Do you pay for influencers, barter with them, or set up marketing partnerships?
Mike Allton, the Content Marketing Practitioner at Agorapulse, a social media management tool, shares how he works with influencers and provides expert advice on how you can get started, too.
Below is our recap of that conversation. For the full interview hit the play button in the player above.
4 Types of Influencers for Your Business
These influencers have millions of followers. Typically these are celebrities and they’re going to be incredibly expensive to work with, well beyond the reach of your typical small business. They’re going to bring huge brand recognition with them when they talk about your brand, but their audience is highly untargeted and may go way beyond your intended audience.
A classic example of that is Kim Kardashian. Kim Kardashian goes on Instagram and talks about Agorapulse. Okay, great. Now we’re going to become a household name. But the vast majority of Kim’s audience isn’t shopping for a social media management tool. So is it really worth my investment to bring somebody like that onboard? That’s a key question when you’re talking about mega influencers.
These influencers have roughly hundreds of thousands of followers. These are people who probably quite a bit more niche and they’re very professional.
They can be gamers, hotel influencers, travel influencers, and food bloggers to name a few potential categories. They’ve established a large audience in their niche and their audience is targeted. In addition, they have probably will have worked with other brands before so you don’t need to educate them in how this all works.
These influencers have tens of thousands of followers with very hyper-focused audiences at this point.
You might have people at this level that have never worked with another brand before. So as the brand wanting to use them for influencer marketing, you’re probably going to have to take more of a leadership role where you’re drawing up the agreements and the contracts. Micro-influencers will require more handholding and explanations.
- This is what we want you to do as an influencer
- This is what we’re going to pay you
- These are your expectations
Local or Nano-Influencers
These influencers, with between 100 and 1,000 followers, are where Mike Allton wants owners and marketers like you to hone in on.
People who might not even be on social media. Wait, you say! Non-social media influencers?!? If you’re a local business and you want to get in front of other local business owners, the president of your local Chamber of Commerce might be your most influential influencer.
Just like with those micro-influencers, the nano influencer probably has never even heard of influencer marketing, let alone actually worked with a brand, so they will not know or understand what it is. You will need to do a lot of handholding at this level but the relationship should prove to be very cost-effective. You might be able to negotiate a very reasonable fee to work with somebody, maybe to attend a meeting of a group and give a presentation about your brand or do something that’s kind of fun for them and interesting and different.
Influencer Fees & Contracts
The goal of paying influencers in your marketing strategy is to understand what your ROI will be with each product/service sold via affiliate links. At the higher levels of influencer marketing, they understand that they’re probably drawing up the contracts for you. They already know what they want to do and how they’re going to charge a brand to work with them as a business. With lower levels of influencers, you’ll need to lead the way and provide a contract or agreement for them to review and sign.
There’s money exchanging hands it’s imperative to have a contract in place that spells out what you’re going to do for the influencer, what you expect the influencer to do for you in exchange, and over what timeframe.
Other details that need to be spelled out in the contract include:
- Are you going to leave the promotion up to the influencer?
- Brand awareness on a specific channel?
Don’t leave it up to the influencer to promote you on whatever channel they feel like when you really want to reach an audience on Instagram. They might tweet about you, and then now you’re not getting what you want due to your audience not being on Twitter.
A Twist on Relationship Marketing
During this interview with Mike Allton, he had this to say about creating relationships and affiliates;
“The first thing I do is start to develop a relationship. And on social media, it’s frankly easier because I can follow them or connect with them depending on the channel. And I can start to engage with their content. I can learn about them, whatever they’re willing to share on social and start to develop that relationship that way. I can also begin to introduce them to Agorapulse and I can make offers like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if this can help you, but it’d be happy to gift you a complimentary account at Agorapulse.’ That’s how I lead into it.
And then one of the things, another difference that I make is that I don’t push them after that. I’m not immediately following up and saying, ‘Hey, okay, now that you’re in there, can we schedule a follow-up meeting next week or the week after the week after?’ No, no, no. I back off and I let them do what they want to do. And I’m doing this at scale, which is why it works. I’m not just doing one person a month. I’m approaching all kinds of people and developing all these relationships simultaneously. They’re all at different stages. It gets complex. I understand that there are tools to help you.”
Agorapulse is the #1 rated social media management tool that will help you and your team save time by managing all of your social channels and community inputs through a single dashboard.
This episode featured:
Mike Allton likes to mix it up when it comes to content marketing, whether it be social media, blogs, influencer marketing, SEO, you name it! Check him out on Twitter to see what he’s up to and take away a few tips and strategies along the way.
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 20+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing.
For More Agents of Change Podcast Episodes on Influencer Marketing: