How can you work with influencers in your marketing campaign? If you’re trying to get the word out about your brand, want to build up a stronger customer base, or are simply hoping for an increase in sales, you can’t go wrong with influencer marketing. Research from Twitter shows that 40 percent of the social platform’s users have made a purchase based on a tweet from an influencer.

Before starting an influencer marketing campaign, figure out how to work with influencers. That means finding the right influencers, figuring out the methods to use with them, and putting together a campaign that will ultimately benefit your brand and the influencers themselves.

Why Work With Influencers?

One of the biggest reasons why it’s worth it for your brand to figure out how to work with influencers is that it pays off in the long run. Twitter’s research found that purchase intent increases nearly three times when an influencer tweets about a product. Nearly half of all Twitter users rely on the recommendations made by influencers on the platform.

Working with influencers can also allow your brand to pivot into a market or reach a previously untapped audience. Lets say you’re looking for millennial moms. You haven’t yet carved out a niche for your brand with that demographic. A great idea would be to find an influencer such as a 20- or 30-something mommy blogger. This specified blogger can pave the way to connect with that audience.

Ways Your Brand Can Work With Influencers

How can your brand go about working with influencers? There are a few options, ranging from gifting products to influencers and asking them to post about the products to sponsoring blog posts on an influencer’s website. A few examples include:

Sponsoring a trip (or event) for influencers.

Invite influencers on an all-expenses-paid trip or host an in-person event for them. For example, the cosmetics brand Tarte takes a handful of beauty influencers on a luxury vacation, to places such as Bora Bora or Hawaii. Influencers use the hashtag #trippinwithtarte to share their experiences with their followers.

Sponsoring a giveaway or contest.

This one is pretty simple: Offer an influencer a product to give away to their readers or followers. The influencer can ask people to comment on the post, like it, or ask for email subscribers in exchange for entering the giveaway.

Giving out products in exchange for a review.

Your brand can send influencers products to try out. Ask them to write (or create a video of) an honest review of the products. Then, they can post it on social media or their blogs.

Sponsored posts.

A sponsored post usually appears on an influencer’s blog and looks and feels like the other posts on the blog. But your brand compensates the writer of the post. They focus on your brand in some way. For example, a cooking influencer might use a brand’s ingredients in a post sponsored by a food brand.

No matter how your brand decides to work with influencers, it’s important to remember that every post you sponsor or that features a product you gave to influencers or otherwise compensated them for needs to have some sort of disclosure, per the FTC’s guidelines.

How to Choose Influencers

Now that you’ve got some ideas about how to work with influencers, the next thing to do is think about the type of influencers you want to work with. Then you can go about finding the right influencers.

This is easier said than done. In fact, finding the right influencer is often the biggest challenge brands face.

Where to Look for Influencers

There are a lot of moving parts involved when it comes to finding the right influencers. You need to find people who have genuine influence. What this means is that their followers are actively engaging with them and responding to their posts. Having a million followers means nothing if you don’t inspire them to take action. It’s worse if most of those followers come from bogus accounts.

It’s also important to find influencers who are connected to your niche or industry. It doesn’t make sense for a car company to work with a fashion blogger, or for a sportswear company to partner with an influencer who primarily bakes cakes.

Finally, you need to know where to look for influencers. A Google search might bring up a list of potential influencers, as might searching for specific hashtags on Twitter or Instagram. But then what?

Influencer Search Software

There are more streamlined and effective ways to find influencers. You can use an influencer marketplace. This tool lets you view influencer’s profiles, examine their engagement rates and follower counts, and directly contact them.

Influencer Agencies

Another option is to work with an influencer agency. An agent can connect with you with the most relevant influencers. Often the influencers who work with agents are more high-end and come with higher price tags compared to the people you might find on a marketplace. Additionally, the agent usually expects a 10 percent cut of any amount the influencer earns, which can drive prices up even more.

Get Started Working With Influencers: Step by Step

If you’re ready to jump in and get started working with influencers, here’s what you can do:

Choose a way to work with influencers

Will you send products and ask for a review? Do you want to sponsor “get to know you” events that influencers can attend and post about?

Make a list of influencer “requirements.

What do you want from your influencers? You can include a minimum follower count and engagement rate, specific platforms used, topics posted about, and so on. Keep in mind that you might need to be somewhat flexible with these requirements, as you might not find a person who meets all of them.

Look for influencers

Using an influencer marketplace is going to be your best and easiest bet for finding influencers in your niche who are looking for partnerships. If you try to use Google or other search engines, it’ll be too difficult and time consuming.

Connect with influencers

Get in touch with influencers who seem like a good fit for your brand. Introduce yourself. Explain your project. Ask what type of partnership interests them. And ask what their rates are. Expect a bit of back-and-forth when it comes to negotiating rates with influencers.

Come to an agreement and get started

Creating an agreement with your influencers that clearly lays out the scope of the project, the due dates, the materials expected from them, and the rate of pay (and when they’ll be paid). Make sure everyone is on the same page so that there are no surprises or disappointments down the line.

Simply put, you can’t have influencer marketing without influencers. Think about who and how to work with influencers will get your brand started on the path towards influencer marketing success.

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