By Sofia Kumpumäki
Is influencer marketing new to you? Are you planning on setting up your first ever campaign on Instagram? Chances are that you have a lot of questions and concerns, which is not strange at all and you’re definitely not alone.
As a leading service in the influencer marketing industry, we get questions regarding influencer marketing and paid collaborations all the time. In fact, that’s how we got the idea for this particular post. Below we’ll provide detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions that we get from beginners and companies that are just getting started with influencer marketing. Our goal is to help prepare you for your campaigns so that you can succeed at influencer marketing. Consider this your basic go-to guide for everything related to marketing on social media.
First Things First
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about influencer marketing, we need to clarify something. Even though one can run marketing campaigns with influencers on pretty much any social media platform, Instagram remains the most common and effective option. Therefore, our focus for this post will be marketing on Instagram. That being said, many of the strategies and the tips we share below can be applied to other platforms and many rules about sponsored posts and paid collaborations are the same across all platforms. What we want to emphasize is that even though we might be talking about Instagram, you can apply our following tips to all of your social media marketing unless we state otherwise. So without further ado, here are the answers to the most common questions.
How Do I Get In Contact With Influencers?
The biggest concern and often times the first question that people have when they first get started with influencer marketing is how to find influencers. At first, it might seem confusing and time-consuming – which it can be – but if you have experience hiring other staff, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Today there are two ways that a company can find and hire influencers. The first one is the most common although the most time and work-consuming option while the second option we’ll mention is easier and more efficient.
1. Do It Yourself - The Most Common Way
Traditionally, a company finds and hires one or several influencers by looking for them on the said platform, in this case, Instagram. Let’s say you are a company in the fashion industry and you have a new spring collection coming that you want to market using influencers. Your job is then to search on Instagram for influencers that you think could represent your brand. But that’s not all. You also have to decide what type of influencer you want; either a big influencer with a lot of followers and a matching price tag or a so-called micro influencer with fewer followers and a more affordable price.
Now, there are benefits to using both kinds of influencers but in most cases, using several micro influencers rather than one or two big influencers will give you the best results. You see, besides the number of followers, you will have to evaluate each influencers engagement, i.e. how many likes, comments, and interactions they get per post compared to the number of followers. In almost all cases, the engagement of micro-influencers is many times higher than the big ones, and therefore they provide more value than big influencers.
Check out our guide about micro influencers to learn more.
While looking for influencers, you also want to check who they’ve worked with before to see how well they've performed and to make sure that they aren’t too close to your competitors. After you’ve found a short list of influencers that you could work with you need to start contacting them about your project. Expect some influencers to say no and others to end up not being a good match. Many times you might have to locate even more influencers later on.
As you can imagine, hiring influencers this way takes a lot of work and time, which is why we suggest the second option. In fact, hiring one influencer is a lot of work and considering that a majority of brands hire 10 or more micro influencers for each campaign, the workload quickly becomes overwhelming.
Then we have coming to the step where you gonna contact the influencers and present your collaboration proposal and in this step it's easy to get stuck. How do you write in best way so the mail is not too long but interesting and include the most important information? It can be hard in the beginning but when you get the heat up and response it will go easy! This is the information that needs to be included;
- Who are you and what kind of product or service do you offer?
- Motivate why you want to collaborate with this influencer.
- What is the purpose with the collaboration, what do you want the influencer should push? Is it a special offer, launch of a new product or is the maintain goal branding?
- Which of the influencer's channel are you interested to do the collaboration on? Instagram, Youtube, blog etc.
- How long is the collaboration period and the extent? How many publications will be done, during which period where long term is to prefer and the most appreciated.
- What period to you want the publications go live? Is it a month or longer period. Foresight is always best because influencers is often booked on more collaboration and don't want to publish to many collaborations in short period of time.
- Will you have a discount code and a link? Do you wish that the influencer link to a landing page or just want to use a discount code to measure the conversion? Be clear in an early stage what you want.
- How much commission do you offer? Either you offer an amount or you ask what the influencer want in commission for the collaboration, important to be clear on the whole set up and want the purpose is.
2. Using an Influencer Network
Instead of doing all the time-consuming work of finding and hiring influencers on your own and running the risk of hiring an influencer that might not provide the results you’re looking for, you can get help from professionals.
Beatly is one of the top influencer networks in the business, and we offer a combination of an automated and data-driven system as well as a highly experienced team that can help you create the best influencer marketing strategy with top-performing influencers. All you need is a strategy and a goal of what you want to achieve - which our team can help you with. Not only will this save you hours if not days of work, but it will also maximize your opportunities and eliminate some of the most common mistakes that brands tend to make during their first campaign.
Moreover, we also handles contracts and payments and collects data from every campaign in order to streamline each future campaign even further.
What is a Paid Collaboration on Instagram and How Does it Work?
A paid collaboration on Instagram is exactly what it sounds like - a collaboration where a brand pays an influencer to promote and recommend their products and services. As a brand, you provide the influencer with your objective as well as guidelines to what it is you want them to promote and obviously the product that you want to promote. You will also have to agree on a price with the influencer, either per project or per post.
Now, because influencer marketing is a type of marketing, there are rules that apply to a paid collaboration that both you and the influencer have to follow, but we’ll talk more about that later. A few years ago, Instagram launched a new feature to help eliminate some of the issues facing brands and influencers. To get access to this feature the influencer needs to get a verified account. The paid collaboration feature ensures that all paid posts are done following the rules and makes sure that there is no risk for consumers to be confused about whether a post is sponsored or not.
Note: a paid collaboration with an influencer involves more than just Instagram posts. For example, blog posts, posts on Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook, and in some cases it could involve the influencer taking over your social media accounts for some time, promoting your products directly to your followers under their name.
There are many ways to do this, and as long as you follow the rules the sky’s the limit!
All You Need to Know About Sponsored Posts on Instagram
Sponsored posts on Instagram are similar to paid collaborations. When a brand pays an influencer to promote them, the post that the influencer puts up is a sponsored post. In short, it means that the influencer is being paid (sponsored) to post on Instagram.
Due to international advertising laws, it has to be very clear that a sponsored post is, in fact, paid for and it’s up to the influencer to mark the posts accordingly. Even though it’s up to the influencer to mark their sponsored posts, it’s your responsibility as a brand to ensure that the influencer actually does it.
Regulations Regarding Collaborations on Instagram
As mentioned a few times already, there are very strict regulations in place regarding influencer marketing on Instagram, and it’s important that you understand them so that you can follow them. Luckily, the rules are pretty simple to comprehend as well as similar to other forms of advertising and marketing. In short, any sponsored post or paid collaboration has to be clarified on Instagram or any other social media platform. Meaning the influencer has to explain to their followers that a brand is paying them to promote a certain product or service.
If the influencer not have access to Instagrams feature they need to write in the beginning of the caption In collaboration with X or Sponsored by X and it's the same for video on example Youtube where the influencers need to tell it in the video before the commercial will come.
Let’s Sum It Up
In order to succeed at influencer marketing, you need a plan, a good strategy, and an understanding of the industry and what’s required of you. Running a campaign on Instagram without a plan or without hiring the right influencers will most likely end in a fiasco which is why we advise you to prepare accordingly. Hopefully, our guide provided you with answers to your questions regarding influencer marketing and that you feel ready to launch your first campaign after reading it.
However, if you still have questions or feel like you need more help, we suggest you contact us at email@example.com. Our team is always ready to help and our many years of experience in the industry can ensure that your campaign will be a hit. We also have a blog with posts covering a range of relevant and educational topics, which you can find here.