How to Create Influencer Relationships and Collaborations to Grow your Community
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This week we're diving into the exciting world of influencer relationships and collaborations! Social media has changed the way brands can connect with their audiences, opening the floor to two-way conversations and community building.
The days of shouting your message from the hilltop are over. Now we're able to have conversations and develop long-lasting relationships by connecting directly with people! It's a welcome change from the one-sided communication of old-school advertising.
This week we have some articles on how influencers are taking over digital ad budgets and some more Google drama with Daily Mail! Check out the links below!
Branded Content, Influencer Marketing Make Up Biggest Slice of Digital Ad Budgets - Marketers are putting 20% of their digital ad budgets into branded content, and influencer marketing combined, meaning these complementary practices account for a larger portion of digital marketing budgets than any other category, including paid search, display, paid social and digital video.
Daily Mail Sues Google Over Search Rankings - The parent company of the Daily Mail, Mail Online, Metro, and several other UK publications has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the search giant manipulates search results on its site.
Social media is a powerful tool that allows users to reach hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people.
Instagram alone has over 1 billion active users globally.
From establishing an online presence to growing your brand awareness, social media can help generate traffic and drive your business.
Influencer relationships and collaborations can take this a step further by opening up the option to share audiences with others in your niche or industry.
Here is a quick breakdown of what we'll be talking about:
What is an Influencer?
People often see Influencers as some person behind a phone when they are independent media companies.
They've built themselves a social empire that gives them the power to affect purchasing decisions of others because of the authority they've gained.
They have a following in a distinct niche.
Two of the biggest influencers on the planet not only have a massive following but also get fantastic engagement on their posts, showing that their audiences are invested and active on their channels:
- Ryan's World is a children's YouTube channel featuring Ryan Kaji and his mother, father, and twin sisters. The channel usually releases a new video every day and has 46.16 billion total views and 29.1 million subscribers as of March 28, 2021.
- MrBeast - is an American YouTuber, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, with over 10 billion views and over 60 million subscribers. He has been credited with pioneering a genre of YouTube videos that center on expensive stunts.
Why Use Influencer Marketing & Collaborations
What are influencer relationships and collaborations?
Essentially, it uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.
Developing influencer relationships and collaborations builds brand credibility due to the trust and loyalty that influencers have established with their audiences.
Rather than creating an ad, influencers create fresh and credible content, such as testimonials, video content, and product reviews.
They generate sales by helping your company tap into your niche audiences with tailored content that will drive conversions, using word of mouth mixed with native advertising.
Just take a look at these fantastic statistics on social media.
Practical strategies for developing influencer relationships and collaborations can be incredibly lucrative and successful.
Case Study: The Sorry Girls
Let's look at what we've been talking about through an actual case study!
Let's say that we're a custom-design furniture company called Custom Fit Furniture.
We create customized creations for any furniture in a house.
We’re looking to reach out to an Influencer to create a partnership.
The Sorry Girls is a reputable social media brand & Influencer and is the perfect fit for a collab. Let’s reach out!
The Sorry Girls is a full-scale digital media brand focusing on DIY, sustainability, and interior design.
They have over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 10 years under their tool belt.
Their reach has inspired all different ages and demographics to pick up a drill and do it themselves.
Why Engagement is More Important Than Follower Count
Here's something that might surprise you: the size of your audience on social media doesn't matter if no one is paying attention.
You could have millions of followers, but only a handful of them are engaging with your content.
Many people assume numbers are the goal, when in fact, it's all about building community.
Anyone can like a post; there's more intent to share your post or leave a comment.
We're looking for an influencer with an engaged audience base; this is critical to your success when developing influencer relationships and collaborations.
As you can see from the images above, The Sorry Girls are getting some pretty fantastic engagement on their posts, so they'd be a great fit for what we're looking for.
Depending on your goals, you can monitor many kinds of engagement across social media – post engagement (Facebook), Content Interactions (Instagram), etc.
The specific type of engagement you're measuring will vary over time. But what won't change is how you get engagement on social media.
Ways you can generate engagement beyond your follower count:
- The quality of your followers.
- The reach of your audience.
- The content of your posts.
- The timing of your posts.
Generating Engagement Beyond your Follower Count
Let's break down those 4 points from above:
The quality of your followers.
- Consider who your followers are. Example: You're a DJ at a retirement home, and out of the hundreds of people, only 2 are dancing to your mixes; you're probably not reaching the right people.
- The more relevant and authentic your followers are, the better the engagement from them will be.
The reach of your audience.
- The reach of your audience is more important than how many people comprise that audience.
- If you have a few followers who themselves are very influential, it helps connect you to a larger group than you could on your own.
The content of your posts.
- If you have enough followers, everything you post will generate some engagement.
- What are people responding to? Higher quality content – anything that adds value to a conversation – will perform better than low-quality content. The Sorry Girls do a series called How To Go Do, providing relevant content to their audience; that's what we're looking for.
The timing of your posts.
- When you post new content can have a big impact on how it's received.
- It depends on your audience – who and where are they?
Understanding the natural breaks of your audience is crucial - when will they be online? When are they most active? You want to analyze this data and post it during peak times.
Some many tools and platforms provide this data, such as Iconosquare, for Instagram. Check out their heat map graph below!
Tools you Can Use to Find Influencers
Trying to find an influencer that’s the right fit for our brand can be a big task!
We don’t want to be reaching out to the Kardashians.
We want to look within our niche or industry.
As a Custom-design Furniture company, we’re seeking an Influencer that is influential in DIY.
There are a ton of tools we can use to find influencers that would be a right fit for us, such as:
Now let's take a closer look at a few of these tools and what they can do for us.
HypeAuditor helps agencies, brands, and platforms improve the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns.
A full stack of solutions:
- Discover 11M+ influencers - Discover influencers with the audiences you need within an 11M+ database, with Demographic search and Audience Quality filters.
- Analyze Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok influencers - Over 35 in-depth metrics to analyze influencers, Audience Demographics, Fraud Detection, and Brand Affinity.
- Track ad campaign performance & account growth over time - Track Campaign Results, Account Growth Analysis and Build & Share Reports.
- Market Analysis of your competitors and Industry Trends - with Competitor analysis, Global market research, Trends & Ranking Analytics
- And they have the best mascot ever.
Influencer.co is a platform for both influencers and brands looking for influencers to collaborate with.
- Works off a freemium model.
- Set up an account for free.
- Social feed for influencers and brands to communicate.
- Campaign management and reports.
- The LinkedIn for influencer marketing.
Facebook Brand Collabs Manager makes it easy to find the right creative talent, get actionable insights on their most engaged followers, and partner on branded content we can promote with targeted ads.
- It's also completely free to join and use.
- Creators That Meet High Standards
- Precise Targeting of the Right Viewers
- Unified, Simplified Partnership Process
- Streamlined Permission Sharing
How To Nurture Relationships
Choose the top influencers that you would like to collaborate with, and be sure to nurture those relationships.
We’ve chosen The Sorry Girls.
Now we will:
- Follow all of their social channels.
- Engage with their content.
- Tag them in relevant content pieces.
- Send them DM’s to start a two-way conversation.
After some engagement, we can showcase a little about us and what we’re looking for; to feature our custom furniture.
We offer them financial compensation and creative control; this is vitally important.
Level of Influencer
Smaller Influencers are more open to DMs as they are looking to grow themselves as well.
Medium Influencers will most likely have a contact form or email as a means to get in touch. (This is where The Sorry Girls would fall under)
Prominent Influencers will typically have a management team that will handle inquiries.
Reaching Out on Instagram
Reaching out on Instagram is exceptionally beneficial, effective, and easy!
The Sorry Girls are quite active on this platform to be the most beneficial to us.
Once you’ve done your research and made a list of influencers that you would like to work with, you can begin to form your connections.
Simply visit the influencer’s profile, give them a quick follow, like and comment on their posts, then tap on the message button!
We’ll now want to introduce our custom furniture company to The Sorry Girls.
We’ve written the first message and hit send. Let’s get this collab started!
Reaching Out on Facebook
Facebook is an effective way to find potential influencers and build relationships.
Most of the time, the influencer will have a business page to send a message, view their contact info, and view their content.
Simply give their page a Follow and craft your introductory message by hitting the three dots, followed by the messenger icon.
Let’s work together! It’s that simple.
Measuring your KPIs
The #1 metric on all of social media are shares, with comments coming next. Likes, loves, reactions, whatever you call them, are the least important of the engagement metrics.
If people are saving your content and sharing it with others, you've done something right. People are loving what you're doing!
It's important to understand what it is you're trying to achieve.
What are your goals?
What are you looking for your followers to accomplish?
- Inbound leads
- Direct messages
- Form completions
- Business contact
- Product purchases
That's a Wrap
Working with influencers and collaborating with other brands is a great way to expand your community.
- Share like-minded audiences.
- Offer bundled collab deals.
- Engage with your local community.
- Develop long-term relationships.
And that's all, folks! Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or stories to share, drop a comment below or hit us up on the socials.
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