The Business Behind Influencer Marketing

Let’s take a step away from the whom and focus on the step-by-step process of how a business works with an influencer.

The first step is reaching out to contact the influencer. Depending on the influencer’s popularity within the social sphere he or she might have a manager ready on standby to negotiate sponsored content. If that’s the case, settle down and make the call. Typically the meetings will be between the business, the influencer and their manager. It’s at this point that  you must be forward in what way you want to work with the influencer . Make sure that you have spent time researching the influencer and what they typically blog or post about. It’s not uncommon that influencers will turn down businesses because they feel that their brand image and the product that you want them to post about to do not align.

If the influencer is still up and coming (which for small businesses are the key influencers to target and work with) they will provide the best way to contact them on their chosen social media platform. Regardless of popularity you must be forward in what you expect from the influencer and what they expect from your brand in return.

Moving forward, you booked your influencer, you know what you expect from them and they expect from you, now let’s talk financials.

YouTube star Vivian V. posts a sponsored post for Kohls Madden reaching her 356K+ followers on Instagram
YouTube star Vivian V. posts a sponsored post for Kohls Madden reaching her 356K+ followers on Instagram

So how does working with influencers turn away from the idea of doing a favor and into an action of business?

According to Harpar’s Baazar and New York based fashion blogger WeWoreWhat it’s all about the numbers. “Right now, Bernstein’s rate card, through Next Models, sets her range for the cost of a single piece of sponsored content (i.e. one Instagram shot) ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.”

The piece goes on to discuss that the rate can be negotiated depending on the terms of the deal, for example of a brand wants a long term commitment or multiple Instagram posts a deal might be able to be cut. But it doesn’t stop there, according to the piece influencers with 1 million or more followers can charge anywhere between $20,000 – $100,000 for a single post on the visual social platform.

Danielle of WeWoreWhat promoting makeup brand Maybelline on Instagram
Danielle of WeWoreWhat promoting makeup brand Maybelline on Instagram

I know what you’re thinking, those prices are a steep amount to pay for a single post and if you’re a start-up or small businesses, paying those prices isn’t plausible. This is where non-financial influencer marketing comes into play. Often times, smaller and lesser (although still relevant and popular) known influencers will offer to post and promote a product simply in exchange for the product itself.

Consider this example; you’re a small business that focuses on selling organic drinks with locally grown ingredients. You would search for health conscious bloggers who have already posted several times about some of their favorite natural beverages. Assuming they do not have a manager, you can reach directly out to them offering a package of top product in exchange for a review on their blog or even a social media post.

Instagram star and model Shannon Barker posts a picture of a Pressed Juicery drink on her Instagram
Instagram star and model Shannon Barker posts a picture of a Pressed Juicery drink on her Instagram

 

If you are working with an influencer on a non-financial partnership you must ensure that your product aligns with their personal image. If the influencer risks the chance that his or her readers will question the validity of the review of the product, they will most likely choose not to promote your product, knowing that their followers might lose trust in them and because they have no financial stake in the deal.

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