Sponsoring people in the public eye is not a new thing. For decades, businesses have sponsored movie stars, or even movies themselves, as well as minor celebrities for TV infomercials and more. Nowadays, with the spawn of social media and digital presence, everyday Joes have the ability to gain fans. Some small instagrammers have only 10,000 fans, but they are collaborating with small to large businesses looking for a way to meet their audience on their level. This is in direct contrast to the now archaic brand to consumer marketing of past decades.
Companies join forces with influencers by offering free products or payment. The arrangement is usually one of three things:
Now that we know what opportunities exist between influencers and brands, we can look a little more closely at the various platforms available:
Share professional videos or vlogs (video blogs) with followers via shareability
Share extremely short (often comedic) videos with followers
To help you get a feel for the possibilities of this practice, here are a few examples:
It’s important you find someone that embodies the essence of your brand and that also has a decent following and similar interests. To do this, you simply need to use whatever platform you’re on like it’s intended; if you’re on YouTube look for videos on a similar topic, if you’re on Instagram search for relevant hashtags. Search through the creators that come up, taking care to make notes about the quality of their content and pay attention to how many subscribers or followers the influencer has. Generally, anywhere upwards from 10,000 could benefit your company as long as your product or service is something their fans could genuinely be interested in. Just remember, with the amount of influencers out there – there is someone to suit every niche and every business!
The next step you need to take is to make contact. Send the influencer a message via email or through in-app messaging to see if they would have any interest in posting for you. Specify whether you plan to offer payment or free products (or both) and try to set up a more formal time to speak via Skype or over the phone. Make sure you have a budget in mind and ask them how much they would normally charge for what you’d like to achieve. Once you’ve made an agreement, if it’s an ongoing collaboration it’s good to set up a contract so all expectations are clearly laid out, for example do you want one post per month + a link in their bio, or do you want your logo on each one of their videos? These are all things you need to decide before you shake hands.
The final and optional step is to send over a press kit with your products or more information about your services. This is not only considered a courtesy but also ensures your brand is communicated in a way that is consistent with your brand image.
If this sounds like a lot of effort, there are also middle-man companies available that work to connect influencers and businesses without too much effort from either side:
The greatest benefit of influencer marketing is that you will be able to build a direct through-line to a new pool of customers. You’ll also make a stronger connection to your audience and build trustworthy relationships by affiliating your brand with someone who is already trusted by their fans. It can also be a relatively affordable way to find new customers.
So what are you waiting for? Do the ground work, find some amazing creators and influencers to partner with and start collaborating.