One of the most common ways to work with an influencer is called a ‘shout out’. Here are the steps to select and arrange a shout out gig with your preferred social media influencers.
This is sometimes called a ‘photo promotion’ where the influencer tags your company name or brand in a photo illustrating your product in action.
Create an Influencer Shortlist
You’ll want to sit with an influencer, or a marketing/public relations professional and create a shortlist of suitable influencers. Look for people who suit your brand’s message and have a relatable target audience.
You can do some more research on your shortlist. For example, you can check they have an authentic list of followers and good engagement with a tool like Social Blade.
Alternatively, you can simply scroll through their social media feed and read some of the comments to check for authentic engagement:
Are they genuine and specific to the photo and the post?
Are their comments greater than four words and emojis?
Does the owner reply to the comments?
Look for Lifestyle Photography
The best photography style for social media and websites are usually lifestyle shots. This is where your product is shown in an appropriate setting. These photos are better than product shots which commonly appear on a plain background.
Lifestyle photos are more appropriate for viewing on a mobile phone and the composition tends to be more engaging to the eye. Product shots work better for online shop listings.
To spot a professionally taken photograph look out for sharp lines and curves, minimal use of filtering and shadows. Sometimes this just means that the influencer has a good quality smartphone or a camera with a flash.
Check their photos to ensure they are of a professional standard and therefore, will showcase your brand in a good light.
Confirm their Target Audience
You may like to confirm what the influencers’ target audience is like. Business Instagram accounts can show you the break down of their followers by demographic, location, age bracket and gender.
Don’t be afraid to email the influencer via their contact details, which can usually be found on their Instagram bio. If not, send them a direct message asking for their email address.
Avoid sending them a generic “hi” or “hello” – that will just be ignored and seen as spammy.
Confirm the Gifting Arrangement
After the influencer has replied, it’s time to negotiate a suitable gifting arrangement. You might be able to send them free product to sample and photograph. Alternatively, ask for a media kit.
In some instances, you may need to negotiate an additional payment depending on the audience size and the influencer’s time and skills. You can expect to pay extra for video editing, professional quality photography (to cover costs of a high-end mobile phone, DSLR and tripod), journalist style reviews and captions, search optimisation and photo editing in Photoshop.
Confirm the Preferred Posting
The influencer can post a photo featuring your company on their account including any specific hashtags and tagging your company.
It’s good etiquette for the influencer to then email you a hyperlink to the campaign images and to thank you for the opportunity.
You may like to follow up by reposting the image on your own social media accounts (leaving a few days or weeks from the original so as not to appear repetitive). Make sure you credit the influencer as high ranking is a two-way street.
Measure the Campaign’s Success
As with any marketing activity, it is important to measure and review your campaign’s success. You can do this by setting goals, and then measuring your website impression and traffic sources to see whether there was an increase from using your shortlisted influencers.
If the marketing was successful, then don’t be afraid to nurture and continue the relationship with an influencer on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Image Credit: Photo by Miriam Höschele on Unsplash