What to ask before you start influencer marketing

Influencers are the hottest topic in the digital marketing space and you’ve probably already considered if they’re the right fit for your business. If you’re looking to start working with influencers, keep reading to check out the questions you should ask when deciding if an influencer is a right fit for your brand! 

So, what makes an influencer?

There are different categories of influencers. We’re sure the one that comes to mind instantly is the Kim Kardashian type with millions of followers and a huge net profit, but that’s not the only type of influencer. 

Influencers can be categorised as below:

  • Mega-influencers with more than a million followers (think A-list celebrities)
  • Macro-influencers with 500K to 1 million followers
  • Mid-tier influencers with 50K to 500K followers
  • Micro-influencers with 10K to 50K followers
  • Nano-influencers with 1K to 10K followers

The type that you’re most likely to work with is a micro-influencer. Micro-influencers typically have between 10k and 50k followers and have an intimate connection with their followers as they tend to be more niche-focused. This means they’re generally more effective in terms of engagement and trust, with 82% of consumers saying they’re more likely to buy a product recommended by a micro-influencer.  

Influencer posts v UGC – know the difference! 

UGC refers to User Generated Content, which is content that people external to your business create and share with you, or tag you in. It’s unpaid and organic recommendations from people who genuinely enjoy your brand. UGC is spontaneous and you have no control over what is shared.

With influencer posts, while you’re hiring them for their creative expertise (as well as their reach) you do have a say over how the content turns out. You can provide briefs for influencers to fulfil and approve content before it is shared with their audiences. 

Both UGC and influencer posts are beneficial for your business, but they are not the same. UGC provides social proof and can showcase a different angle of your business that your own content may not. And Influencer posts can help your business grow and reach new audiences. 

What to ask before you start to work with an influencer

Before you decide to work with an influencer, there are a few key questions you need to ask:

Who is your audience?

If their target audience doesn’t fit yours, you won’t see any conversions. If your target audience consists of parents, a mummy-blogger is the way to go. Whereas if your target audience is young women, a fashion influencer in her 20s is who you should look to work with. Getting a report on who their audience is will help you decide if they’re the right fit for you to collaborate with!

What type of content will you create?

If you want someone to create 60 second TikTok videos you shouldn’t be reaching out to an Instagram influencer whose content consists of aesthetic still images. Finding someone whose existing content matches your expectations will ensure a better partnership. 

What does the content creation timeline look like?

In other words, how long is it going to take from sharing the product focus with the influencer to do the following?

  • Share content ideas for your approval/selection
  • Submit a product request – the quantity of product they need and their shipping address
  • Date of photoshoot
  • Sending proofs (photos, blog posts, etc.) for your review, if necessary
  • Content “go live” date
  • Date of delivery of assets – high-resolution photos, edited video footage, blog, etc.

We recommend starting with your “go live” date and working backward to help determine the related checkpoints in the process, then making sure this aligns with your influencer’s timeline – they might need more time than you have, or they could have the capacity to meet your ideal timeline.

 How frequently do you create sponsored content?

Oftentimes, you should be able to answer this after a quick scroll through their IG feed. If it’s clothing brand posts, meal kit posts, beauty product posts and giveaway posts on repeat that might be too much! 

While it’s nice to partner with influencers who have experience creating sponsored content, be cautious of those whose sponsored posts are four out of their five weekly posts, this discredits the authenticity of their content, and your post will just get buried by the rest. Also, make sure that the brands they create sponsored posts for align with yours! 

What are their fees?

Influencers typically start with sharing their media kit, which includes a bio and an overview of their reach. Some include pricing on this doc, others share a separate rate sheet with pricing and packaging options broken out. Others will just reply via email with their pricing for your specific task.  No matter what format, accepting that they’re running a business and are seeking to be compensated for their work is a good thing. Don’t forget that this is their job, this is how they earn their money, and free products don’t pay their bills. 

Once you have a full understanding of how influencers works, and what they can do for your brand, then you can make an informed decision on which influencer to partner with, if any!