Do you wonder what it takes to woo influencers to partner with you? A healthy face value of course, but there must be an element of reciprocity in connecting with them. In this article, Vibhav shares some great ideas on how to get started with influencers.
Get in touch with the Outreachcrayon team, because by partnering with an expert influencer & blogger outreach agency, you can boost your visibility and build up on your brand image in record time.
Influencer marketing is expected to reach $2.85 billion in value by 2025, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 8.2 percent between 2019-2025.
Large corporations and small businesses alike are starting to realize the importance of working with influencers, both small and large, to drive sales and improve consumer sentiment.
But just how can you incentivize influencers to work with your brand? Influencers won’t give you a shout-out or promote your services for nothing — but that doesn’t mean influencer marketing is necessarily expensive.
Indeed, there are several incentives you can offer influencers other than giving them cash outright.
This article will explore five different ways to incentivize influencers to work with your brand.
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The most obvious way to incentivize influencers to work with you is to offer a financial incentive. You can give influencers a flat fee for a shoutout.
Obviously, you shouldn’t pay everyone the same amount — calculate different price ranges depending on the number of followers the influencer has, their engagement, etc. You should also pay different rates for an Instagram story vs an Instagram post.
Some influencers will have a set price they won’t negotiate on, but you have to settle on a budget that works for you and know your limitations.
You don’t always have to pay a flat fee. Some influencers will accept a commission-based incentive, in which you pay them based on how many clicks they send you or how many sales you get from their promotion.
A combination of a flat fee and a commission-based incentive is an option too.
Many influencers use the following formulate to calculate rates: Average price per IG post (CPE) = Recent Average Engagements x $.14. That’s for posts; see different rates for videos, stories, and more here.
Celebrities charge the most. Even less famous celebrities can cost a dime and a nickel; Meghan King Edmonds and Scheana Marie both charge $1,500 per post, according to this source.
While providing a financial reward is the most straightforward way to incentivize influencers, it’s not always the smartest, especially if you run a small business and can’t afford that just yet. That’s where the other methods come into play.
Nevertheless, if you work with micro-influencers who are more targeted to your niche, you can still get excellent results at a lower cost, even if they have fewer followers.
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One way to incentivize influencers monetarily without spending a lot of money out of pocket is by offering free samples, discounts, and the like. This is something that many influencers would be happy with, as they enjoy the free samples and services brands offer them.
Tie the free sample or service to a promoted post. For example, if you sell beauty products, you can send models free samples of your premium shampoo and conditioner pack in exchange for a post of them showing off the awesome hair they got as a result.
Depending on the type of business you run, you may be able to offer free services, such as a free massage or facial at your spa.
Food company Banza used this strategy to spread the word about their unique product — pasta made of chickpeas, healthier than normal pasta and high in protein. By emailing influencers and asking if they would like free samples, Banza betted that those influencers would inform their communities about their food item — and their bet paid off.
Discounts and promo codes work well too. A one-time discount may incentivize some influencers, depending on how much they save and how much they want your product, but you don’t have to stop there.
A steady stream of promo codes or a special lifetime influencer discount site wide can incentivize influencers to commit to your brand and work with you over the long term. They might showcase a different product once a week in their stories, for example.
You can even empower them to provide giveaways or discounts to their own followers for following your page and liking your posts. In return, you can offer them even greater discounts or free products.
On a more microscale, you can use giveaways to turn ordinary followers into an army of influencers who spread the word about your brand. While you can’t give everyone a discount, using giveaways can incentivize normal customers and brand fans to promote and share your posts and page.
Don’t underestimate the power of this type of micro-micro-influencer marketing.
Let’s say you have 10,000 followers (many of you will have more).
While your average follower might only have 300 followers of their own, multiply that by just 10,000, and you have a potential reach of 300,000 people. All that at almost no cost to you!
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Influencers love recognition and exposure. If you can help an influencer build their personal brand, increase their social media following, or even just boost their credibility, you can incentivize them to collaborate with you.
So, how can you do that? One way is to make them brand ambassadors.
That title might not seem like much, but if you keep it to a select few ambassadors, it can mean a lot. They can put that in their bios, and you can empower them to educate their communities about your brand or even provide discounts.
Of course, you’ll have to back that up with something tangible as well — you can promote their profiles on your own page or showcase them in your stories, for example.
Or, you can make them part of your special ambassador program, which gives them free access to samples, early access to new feature releases, and so on.
You can also interview them for your podcast or magazine or feature them on your YouTube channel. You can list them on your Brand Ambassadors page on your website or promote them in any other way — giving them recognition won’t cost you anything, but it’s what influencers live for.
Bang Energy is famous for appointing gorgeous models as their “Brand Influencers.” These influencers benefit from their association with the Bang brand.
Bang Energy even has a separate website just for brand influencer casting.
There are other ways you can help an influencer grow their account. You can give them a few free samples, so they can make their own giveaway — if their followers share their posts.
One possibility is to take this a step further and allow your top influencers to become part of a special advisory board that works with your team and helps them with both marketing and other ideas. You’d be surprised by how valuable their input can be.
If they are in your niche, they might have a pretty good grasp of what their audience is interested in, and they can suggest new features that will improve customer satisfaction or marketing ideas that will drive sales.
They get a lot out of this as well, as it allows them to become more than just an “Instagram influencer” and build their resume more substantially.
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Sometimes, it’s not about the physical incentives but rather the special access that being part of your inner circle provides. Think of what airlines do — they allow VIP customers to cut the line when checking in for flights and enjoy premium lounges with free food and drinks.
While you probably don’t own an airline, the idea is the same. You want to offer influencers the chance to access the top tier of membership, whatever that means in your niche.
For example, if you have an app, you can offer them special features that nobody else gets.
Even large companies like Apple do this. Apple sent a prototype of their yet-to-be-released iPhone 7 to YouTube channels with millions of subscribers, and their unboxing videos created a lot of hype leading up to the official release.
Another thing worth considering is offering them special content that will be of value to them. For example, you can offer one-on-one training and coaching, or premium lessons just for influencers, depending on the niche.
You can offer training on how they can grow their Instagram accounts or more niche-specific training and guidance.
Early access is great too. Whether it’s a physical product that won’t be released until a few months from now, a new version of your software tool that regular consumers won’t get yet, or some other early access, you can offer it to influencers.
That also gives them a chance to show their followers that they got early access, which can boost their credibility. At the same time, it gives you more exposure as well, so it’s a win-win.
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These two go hand in hand, but they can be mutually exclusive too. You can set up special events or experiences for influencers, such as a special in-person training course, a paid vacation or retreat at your hotel, a guided tour of your manufacturing facility and company, or any other experience you think they will enjoy.
This experience can be a great chance for them to network with other influencers as well as companies. If you partner with other businesses to set up these networking events, influencers can get a chance to meet with recruiters and marketing directors from other companies.
Casper, which sells mattresses online, invited canine influencers to a private event in Manhattan to appeal to dog lovers. Influencers enjoyed a steak dinner and other perks, along with recognition and increased exposure.
These events don’t necessarily have to be in person. They can be online too.
For example, you can set up online webinars and networking calls, so influencers can meet your team, business partners, and other influencers you are working with.
In-person events are often more attractive to influencers, as it gives them content for their social media profiles and allows them to create deeper, longer-lasting relationships.
However, it might not always be feasible, especially if you run a location-independent brand, and you might not have the budget at first to pay for their travel and accommodation expenses.
Just like any ethical business relationship, influencers marketing too, thrives on give and take precept.
And when that is followed, influencers stay and stay happy. Not to mention, your business chances grow manifold.