Are Influencers all they are cracked up to be? What to look out for!

Are influencers worth your money? How much do they even cost? Influencers and Micro-Influencers are all the rage at the moment. Everyone and their dog wants to be an influencer. Its seems as though they get free stuff all the time! So we are going to look at the cost to businesses; and if it is actually worth using an influencer or micro-influencer to promote your business. 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over other forms of advertising. That is a pretty high number! And this is what has given rise to the influx of what us called the influencer!

What is an Influencer?

According to Influencer Marketing Hub

  • An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.
  • An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche

The bulk of social influencer marketing today occurs in social media, predominantly with micro influencers, and blogging.

Ok. So what does this mean for your business?

Business using an Influencer

Being an influencer myself – I’m probably going to shoot myself in the foot! HAHA! So usually what happens, is someone who has a highly engaged audience in a target niche promotes your product or brand – this can be through a $ fee or through sending them a product. They then promote your product to their audience and you essentially get a bump in followers or people interested in you. This roughly could or might convert to sales if that is what you are going for.

How does using an influencer translate to numbers? Is it worth spending the money?

Lets say for example you research an influencer (and we will cover ways on how to check influencer credibility below) and lets say they have 100 000 followers. They are in your niche. So lets say its swimwear. And they wear gorgeous swimsuits. You sell ONLY blue swimsuits. Ok. Perfect.

Usually when you reach a certain follower number, your engagement decreases. So the average engagement for 100 000 is around the 3.5%. So 3500 will potentially see the post. Of that number – lets say for arguments sake, 60% of those people like the color blue. That’s 2100 potential customers. Using the average conversion percentage of around 18% – it means that only 378 of those people MIGHT convert to sales or followers. So when you look at it, was it really worth paying $150 for an Instagram post, when you could have paid $15 to Instagram to reach the same amount of people?

So the first tip here: be very clear about what you want to achieve, through using an influencer. Make sure your marketing strategy is tip top and isn’t going to trip you up!

What should I look for when approaching an influencer?

Well first and foremost, do some due diligence, its your business after all.

  1. Research: The first place to go to check an influencers audience is IG Audit. It takes a sample of 200 followers and assesses them for legitimacy. Its a simple move but can really show you if an influencer has bought followers. Ideally you should see a percentage of over 75%. Anything lower than that tells you that there are potentially a large number of fake or bought followers. Another option is checking the influencer marketing hub audit which gives a really cool “report card” Take it a step further by downloading the full stats over at Hype Audit I’ve attached both my report cards to read because I think transparency is key and you know what? You could probably search them yourself.

2. Market Fit: Does the influencer match your brand? Does their aesthetic meet yours? These are things you need to look at before leaping in. How many followers do they have? Do they engage their audience and reply to comments?  What other ways make them a good influencer?

3. Approachability and Authenticity: When you approach the influencer make sure to ask if they have some examples on hand how they have increased sales or even shown an increase in following through supporting a product or brand. Can they show you some statistics? Do they have a basic Media Kit? Showing you statistics and Prices? Do they know their key demographic? Do they understand and can pinpoint your target audience?  If they are transparent they should be able to provide you the information you need? If not, chances are they aren’t really tracking their statistics or really keen to provide your business a benefit. I have found that those sorts of influencers are really just after the free stuff or money and after that, couldn’t really give a shit about your business.

4. Personal Fit: Do you have a personal connection with the influencer? Are they someone you can see carrying your brand well? Do they fit well into your demographic of the perfect customer? You really need to define your perfect customer before heading into this, because they might actually be far far from it. When you do start engaging with an influencer, make sure that you are clear with them your expectations!

What benefits can my business get from using an Influencer?

According to research completed by Traacker the 2 key impacts of influencer marketing strategies are:

  1. Improve brand advocacy
  2. Expand brand awareness

After that, there are other benefits which rank high, but not as highly and they include: Reach new audiences; Manage reputation, improve sales conversion.

Everything is good! How much do they cost?

Every influencer is different. It is definitely not a “one size fits all vibe” Ill be upfront about my prices because it is not my day job, and I know my prices are WELLLLLLLLL below market. I am all for trying stuff and reviewing it, as this is my side hustle and I love my day Job, Im not looking at becoming a full time influencer so, yup, count me as one of those that will do promos for free stuff if I know its actually going to be of benefit got you.

For an Instagram story for 24hours, its $35. I have a full media kit which I update monthly. So by the end of the month my stats are pretty out of whack. According to Influencer marketing hub; I should be paid around $150-$260 per post. So what do others charge? Well – how long is a piece of string? You will need to work out if the cost of an influencer is worth it, based on your particular marketing strategy.

According to sprout social

  • The overall average price was $271 per post.
  • The average price for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83 per post.
  • The average price for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763 per post.

According to Later

  • 66% report that they pay under $250 per post,
  • while 27% pay between $250 and $1000.

According to buffer

  • $10 per 1000 followers on instagram

According to Digital marketing

  • 2,000 to 10,000 Instagram followers: $75 to $250 per post

  • 10,000 to 50,000 Instagram followers: $250 to $500 per post

  • 50,000 to 100,000 Instagram followers: $500 to $1,000 per post

  • 100,000 to 500,000 Instagram followers: $1,000 to $3,000 per post

  • 500,000+ Instagram followers: $3,000+ per post

The prices can really vary significantly and can be based on a number of different things some of which are:

  • The number of followers and fans the influencer has
  • The amount of engagement their posts generate
  • The fit of the advertisement with their brand and following
  • The number of posts you want
  • The type of post (image, video, audio, etc.)
  • The amount of effort needed from the influencer (do you provide the image/video or do they?)
  • Where the ad will be promoted (will it just be on the influencer’s account? Are you cross-posting it? Are you using it in other efforts?)

Where to from here?

Ok so you have now looked at the pro’s the cons and the costs. Is this something you want to commit to? Is using an influencer worth your money? Well where the hell do you find influencers!?

There are a couple of options!

  1. You can join some Facebook groups, but again your quality of influencer might not be great.
  2. You can approach some inspirational influencers directly.
  3. There are social apps and service providers that can help you with this here are some examples:

Couple more things to avoid

If you are a well known brand, look out for people “wanting to review” your product. Quite often you will revieve emails, or messages on your social media along the lines of “hey, I love your widget – I would love to review it on my blog if you send me one bla bla bla”

Another things to watch out for are those that promise you huge follower engagement or “I Guarantee you will get 100 new follows!” it isn’t hard to buy followers to make yourself look like you are doing well on a campaign! That is pure lunacy. So avoid the false promises.

Finally. At the end of the day, its what fits the best for you and your brand, another way you can use influencers is by setting up an affiliate program or discount code where the people who use the code or link show they have come directly from a specific influencer. This means you only pay a small commission to the influencer per sale. This also takes the guess work out of their promotion and if its working!

Anyhooo hope this helped a little bit!

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