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6 Proven Tactics Your Brand Should Know Before Working with Influencers

What is the difference between influence marketing and influencer marketing?

Influence marketing is a marketing strategy where your brand leverages the influence of thought

leaders, industry leaders, and innovators. To differentiate between influence and influencer, think

of Elon Musk and his strategy to transform Twitter into a private company. His actions polarized

individuals on both sides, those who want fewer restrictions on the social media platform and

those who believe that social media platforms, like Twitter, have a responsibility to limit the

spread of nonfactual information. 

Regardless to which side you find yourself on, millions of people took action as a result of

Musk’s influence. Some, like myself, immediately purchased shares of the publicly-traded

company. While others deactivated their Twitter accounts (or at least threatened to do so) to

demonstrate their opposition. 

At its core marketing is a form of communicating information about an entity’s products, product

features, brand positioning (the group for whom the product is solving a problem), and the

product's delivery or distribution methods. A common misconception is that marketing is

equivalent to promotion when in fact promotion is a subset of marketing. 

An influencer is a person who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of

his/her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. Influencers are trusted

by their followers and seen as experts in their area. Generally speaking, an influencer lends

(whether explicitly or implied) their reputation to help a brand promote its products. In July

2021, online publication, Referral Rock, wrote a comprehensive article on the benefits of using

influencer marketing.

In this post, I wanted to share my philosophy on why influencer marketing should be seen as a critical component of an entity branding strategy.  

“The biggest advantage of using influencer marketing is that it solves the trust factor. Individuals

make purchase decisions more rapidly when someone they know, and trust recommends the

product or service. For newly established brands, getting people to trust your business can be an

expensive and challenging obstacle. Working with influencers who can share their own

experiences, explain the process and educate the consumer helps make the purchasing process

much less time-consuming and leads to a higher conversion rate. I have had experiences where

the influencer marketing was working too well so I had to increase staffing just to handle the

level of demand from the exposure.” (Source:


Why you need an influencer marketing strategy.

There are many reasons why your brand needs to have an influencer marketing strategy. The first

is because it allows you to be proactive, not reactive. If you know who your target audience is,

who influences them the most, what channels they like to hang out on, and how much money

you can afford to spend on this kind of marketing then you will be much more successful with

your campaigns.

Creating a strategy also helps you keep track of your goals. It ensures that everyone on the team

knows exactly what they're supposed to do and what their priorities should be so they can focus

their efforts in one direction instead of wasting time trying to figure out where their next step

should go from here.

The key to success when it comes to executing any plan for influencer marketing is finding just

one or two people with whom you've built a genuine relationship over time - maybe even before

launching this campaign - whose content resonates strongly enough amongst its followers that

sharing it would make sense for both sides (which means having some sort of incentive might


If you need assistance better understanding your target audiences’ needs, behaviors, and which

influencers they are most receptive to, you can check out my personal blog post on my site entitled "Creating a Customer"

Persona: Get to Know Your Target Audience” (link here - Creating a Customer Persona: Get to Know Your Target Audience - )

How do you find the right influencers for your brand?

You might know influencers as those personal style icons who walk the runway at fashion

shows, star in social media campaigns or create viral content like the cat riding a bicycle you saw

on your Facebook feed last week. But if you're going to be able to start influencing people in this

way, you first need to decide how and where to find them.

For influencer marketing to work, you need two things:

1) Your targeted audience (i.e.,

customers interested in your products), and 2) People capable of communicating with them (i.e.,

influential individuals). You can't just expect anyone with an internet connection—or even just a

smartphone—to suddenly become your marketer overnight by posting on your company blog

and using hashtags pulled out of thin air! The key is finding these people through smaller

channels: through friends, local business owners/promoters, and collaborative blogging networks

such as Cincy Cocoa Bloggers.  

What are your competitors doing with influencer marketing?

Start by researching what your competitors are doing, so you can get an idea of the kind of

content they're sharing, how it's performing, and the tactics that are working for them. This will

give you a sense of what to expect from influencer marketing and help you figure out a strategy

that fits your needs.

If a competitor is running an ongoing campaign with influencers on YouTube or Instagram, this

will be easy to find. You may even see their posts in your feed if you're following brands in your

industry or space. If there aren't any obvious campaigns (or if you want to take things up a

notch), use analytics tools like Google Analytics to check out the top-performing pieces of

content in your space over time—this will show you which campaigns have been most


How much should you pay for an influencer campaign?

  • Pay based upon your budget: First, identify how much money you're able to spend on

influencers. For example, if your budget is $500, then an influencer with 100K followers

that charges $250 per post isn't going to be a sensible choice.

  • Pay in cash or free products or services: If you do have a limited budget, there are other

ways to pay besides cash. One option is giving the influencer free products and/or

services from your business in exchange for promoting your brand.

  • Test the waters: You can also ask an influencer to promote your brand in just one post

first as a test campaign before agreeing to more posts as part of a larger campaign.

  • Use a mix of different influencers at different price points: Another way to save money is

by using multiple influencers with smaller followings instead of using just one popular


How do you measure success in an influencer campaign?

Because influencer marketing is still a new frontier, it's important to do some benchmarking to

determine how well your campaign is performing. Here are some metrics that are useful to


  • Total number of clicks on the influencer's posts

  • Number of times the influencer's posts have been shared (i.e., clicked "liked")

  • Number of followers each post has gained

  • How and when the post was posted (morning, afternoon, etc.) and what time of day it gets the

most engagement (for example #hashtag for selfies)

Having a clear picture of what you want before starting a campaign will help avoid pitfalls.

It’s important to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish before starting a campaign,

be sure to effectively communicate your expectations to the influencer, and have a written

agreement that expresses your branding guidelines (e.g. no profanity or consumption of alcoholic

beverages in the content created on behalf of your brand).

Be sure your agreement specifies the type of content you are paying for: 

  • In-feed versus stories

  • Short format video versus still photos

  • Number of posts versus quality of posts

  • A mention in a blog article versus a featured article

You should also have clearly defined start and stop dates for the campaign as well as stipulations

that prohibit the removal of promotional content for a set number of days after the expiration of

the campaign (not applicable for the content featured in the influencer’s stories as those expire

within 24 hours).  

Like any other relationship, you should have direct, open lines of communication. It is

recommended that you schedule regular touchpoints with the influencer and make sure that the

influencer knows how to get in touch with you should one of their followers have questions they

are not prepared to answer. 

The most important aspect of any contract is how one goes about terminating the contract. You

can elect to either allow a contract to expire or stipulate how one goes about extending the length

of engagement. Either way, you must set parameters in which each party may dissolve the

contractual relationship and how such dissolution impacts the exchange of money or product

intended for compensation as indicated within the terms of the contractual agreement.   

Leveraging a relationship with an influencer can be a great way to expose your brand to

individuals in your target audience. You must understand that reaching your goals will take time,

deliberate action, and collaborative effort. Do not get discouraged.

Hope you will take all of this information in and use it to your benefit! Feel free to reach out to me and connect on

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