5 Tips for Making Sure Your Influencer Marketing Is Worth the Money

Undoubtedly, influencer marketing is a very useful tool for businesses, big and small. It’s great for increasing your brand’s reach, gaining more leads, and boosting your sales.

But just like every other tool, if done incorrectly, influencer marketing can become a waste of money, or even hurt your business. If you plan on utilizing influencer marketing, here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of it.

Picking the Right Influencer

Social media influencer marketing is becoming a popular and competitive profession, and you need to make sure to pick the right one that matches your needs. It wouldn’t be wise to choose an influencer who has zero correlation to your product.

But that doesn’t mean they need to be a perfect match either. If you sell men’s grooming products, you could approach a variety of influencers, from men’s lifestyle and fashion influencers to others who focus on manly hobbies like woodworking or cars.

It’s not just the influencer you need to analyze, you also need to look at their following. Gather demographic data to make sure your audience is connected to your target market. An influencer might have gained a following doing something that matches your product, but that audience is not interested in your product.

Start Small, Measure Results, Go Bigger

The first time you dip into influencer marketing, you won’t really know what kind of results you’ll get. Before you go recruiting a big time influencer, somebody with a celebrity status, you need a good idea what you are getting into. Going for a large influencer right off the bat could lead to too much demand to keep up with, and create a big mess for your business.

Start with smaller influencers so you can get an idea of overall results from each campaign you do. Out of their total following, how many converted into leads or customers?

Be sure to track your campaigns, analyze your results, and try again. You should do your experimenting with what works best when working with smaller influencers, including what platforms to use, what type of content to make, and best times to post.

Then, once you have a good idea what kind of results to expect and which tactics work best, you approach a larger influencer. That way, you can be prepared for a massive increase in sales and get the most out of the much larger influencer.

Make Content Worthy of Going Viral

Social media influencers have a unique opportunity when posting. If they create something special enough, it’s possible that post will go viral.

Just because you’re paying for the post doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have the opportunity to go viral.

Work with the influencer to make something fun, entertaining, and unique, but still highlights your product. Even when working with a smaller influencer and a small budget, do your best to make a great looking video.

Focus on good editing, great lighting, and your influencer’s natural talents for making an awesome video.

Your best bet for going viral is producing a good video. If your influencer has experience with making videos, all the better. Video is great for engaging with their followers, is easily shareable across multiple platforms, and can keep people’s attention for more than a few seconds.

Follow Up on the Influencer’s Work

If you drop big money on an influencer and see a big return from it, don’t let that momentum run out. Have a plan to keep pushing to get the most out of your new business.

That might include further influencer posts, landing pages specifically designed to work with the influencer’s followers, and working on transforming one time purchasers into lifetime customers. Influencers are great at not just attracting new customers, but improving brand loyalty among those new customers.

If you do get a big influx of new customers, make sure to include them into any email lists or workflows you have for bringing back customers to your business.

Avoiding Negative Feelings with a #Ad

Because of the FTC, anytime a social media influencer gets paid to promote a product, they have to disclose that it’s an ad. Most do this by including a #ad at the end of the post or as a part of a video in order to disclose it.

Many followers have negative reactions to seeing paid posts, though. Some will call the influencer a sellout, while others will purposefully ignore the post, and, if enough of a big crowd dislikes the post, it can cause actual damage to your brand.

The best way to avoid these negative feelings is to make sure the post, video, or whatever format you go with, matches what the influencer normally does. The ideal situation is that the followers would never even know it was a sponsored post without the #ad tag. It needs to feel like the influencer actually recommends the product, not just doing it for money.

In order to do this, give the influencer a lot of the creative control in the post. Give suggestions, provide feedback, and communicate your goals, and then let the influencer do what they do best. They know their audience and what will work with them and, if they have a lot of experience with doing sponsored posts, how to best avoid those negative feelings.

When it comes to influencer marketing, there is no single best practice for making it successful. Just like every other type of marketing, it takes experimenting, gathering data, readjusting your strategy, and trying again. Keep at it, and you’ll be sure to find success.

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.