Influencer and affiliate marketing can be incredible marketing tactics to help grow your business. Influencers share about your product via sponsored posts, links, videos etc. to their hard earned audience increasing your brand awareness and driving traffic and ideally sales to your store.
So what exactly is influencer and affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of having an influencer earn a commission from promoting your products.
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where the focus is placed on individuals who have built recognizable, highly engaged and trusted brands. They share creative content to promote your product.
You can take advantage of both types of marketing when you’re first starting out. It’s true that influencer marketing can get expensive if you target celebrities or influencers with a massive following. The good news is that if you find influencers in your niche who are just starting out, you can connect with them and not have to pay a small fortune for their influence.
We have included four steps to help you find the right influencer to help you with your marketing.
1. Dedicate Time to Research the Right People
There is so much that you can learn from other brands. Discover what works for them, get inspiration from the variety of content they post, and study the types of content that get the most engagement.
Instagram tends to shut down external apps that measure analytics. So manual is oftentimes the best-bet for your research. Another good reference point is the Instagram for Business blog. They regularly post case studies and announce new features and tools. It’s a great place to read content specific to how brands can get the most out of Instagram.
Here are some of the top websites that help you find the right influencers for your business:
HeyInfluencers.com (created by one of our instructors, @gretta)
2. Set a Clear Brief
Your campaign will be more successful if you allow the influencer the creative freedom to produce content that they know their audience will love, while providing a brief with the clear goals as a reference. Trust them to create an authentic and engaging campaign for you.
A mood board is a great supplement to a formal brief. You can create a shareable mood board on Pinterest. It will give influencers an idea of the general aesthetic you’re aiming to present.
3. Agree On a Collaboration Structure
Once you’ve found the influencers you want to work with you’ll need to reach out to them and agree on a collaboration structure. There are typically five key aspects you’ll want to negotiate around:
Timeframe – Be upfront about the deadline and highlight that it’s imperative they meet it.
Output – Be clear with what you want them to produce. For example, two pieces of content, one to be published on the influencer’s account with a mention of your brand, and one that you’ll use at your discretion.
Content Usage – Let them know what content usage rights you want. The influencer will always retain the ownership as the creator, but brands typically ask for a two-year full content usage right.
Payment – Almost all of the best influencers will require a fee for their services. Occasionally, they may be willing to negotiate or take a free product/service/experience as part of that fee; however, you should expect to make some payment to them. When you’re negotiating a price, keep in mind that you’re paying for multiple services: content creation, usage rights, and access to their audience.
Sponsored Hashtag – Regulations on sponsored content are varied around the world and changing all the time. I suggest erring on the side of caution and always using #ad. We’ve found it makes absolutely no difference to the performance or response to the post.
4. Maximize the Content Value
Get additional value out of sponsored Instagram content by repurposing it for other channels. Here are a three ways you can maximize content value:
A. Publish It on a Product Page
An option to publish content on your product page is to get the app TagTray from the Shopify App Store to publish the influencer content on our product pages. Not only does this make product pages look great, it adds positive social proof, and encourages real customers to share content about your product as well. Though if you’re business is just starting out, it may be easiest to simply monitor your tags yourself.
B. Publish It as Facebook Ads
When it comes time to creating and launching Facebook ads, it’s important to keep your ads refreshed with new content. By using influencer content, you can refresh your ads on a regular basis.
C. Publish It on Social Media
You can also share content created by influencers on your other social media accounts. Always make sure sure you have permission to use other people’s images.
If you are more interested in focusing on affiliate marketing to start, here’s how to know if it’s right for you:
The truth is affiliate marketing isn’t for every business. In some cases, it just doesn’t make sense if you have small profit margins. Most affiliate programs need to pay out a chunk of each sale in order for it to be worth the affiliate or ambassador’s time – and money, depending on how they promote your campaign. One of the best ways to find out if an affiliate program is best for your business is by checking to see if other businesses in your market are using this method. If it’s working for them, then chances are it can work for you too.
If you do choose to focus on affiliate marketing, here are some helpful apps to get started:
Overall influencer marketing and affiliate marketing can be helpful tools that add fuel to the fire of your marketing efforts. Remember that the only way to know if it’s right for you is to be willing to test it with your business.