You’re pumped up about running CHEAP influencer ads on Instagram and making the most of your marketing campaigns…
but… maybe not sure what should happen after you create your list of influencers you’d like to work with?
Well, that’s exactly what we’ll discuss today and by the time you’ll reach the last paragraph in this new article in our series dedicated to promoting eCommerce stores through influencers you’ll have the info and the templates to rock influencer marketing like a pro.
Reach out to them the way they want
Many influencers will have Business Accounts, so you’ll be able to simply tap a button and be able to email them. Others will simply list their email address in their bio, so you can copy it and email them like you’d email anyone else.
There are also influencers who will list their manager or even models/influencer agency in their profile. If that’s the case, you’re possibly dealing with someone too expensive for your first campaigns with influencers (you need to start small and test your way up to bigger budgets).
Another thing you might see listed in their bios as a way to contact them can be an instant messaging app username. It can be Kik, or Telegram, or WeChat, or WhatsApp – whatever is popular in their region.
Having said that, the majority of them will be fine with just receiving a Direct Message, and when you discover a potential influencer who doesn’t say anything about their preferred contact method, you can just DM them, you might have stumbled across someone who never thought they could be of interest to marketers.
The overall rule is that you should respect their indications, even if it’s a bit inconvenient for you. If they went through the trouble of adding their preferred contact method to their bios it means they have a good reason for it.
The one thing you should never do is contact them using an email you found in the footer of a message they posted 10 years ago in a forum after you’ve stalked them for half a day. Don’t message them on Facebook when they clearly say they’d rather receive a DM on Instagram. Just stick to Instagram Direct Messages or their prefered contact channel.
I know how to contact them. Now what?
Before jumping to type in your message for them, you need to take the time to think about what you want to get out of this influencer marketing campaign:
– do you want brand awareness?
– do you want traffic?
– do you want sales?
– do you want to position your brand?
– do you want to hire new staff? do you want more followers on your own Instagram account?
Unfortunately, you can’t solve all those issues with just one influencer or one influencer campaign.
We’ve talked about consistency before. You need to have a consistent message across all of the ads on Instagram that your influencers will post for your campaign and you’re the only person to decide what that key message will be and therefore what is the goal you want to achieve.
After that’s clear to you, you need to know what you’ll ask them for and the 2 main things you want an influencer to agree to for your deal are these:
– Include the link to your website or your promotion in their bio, in the only part of Instagram that’s actually a working hyperlink.
– Agree to be paid through a Paypal invoice.
Here’s why you need these two things:
If they include the link to your promotion in the caption of the post (the ad) they’re publishing for your, nobody will be able to click it. People can’t even copy/paste the link from the caption and let’s be honest, nobody will ever memorise the URL of a promotion or website (even if it’s a short URL), open their favourite mobile browser and type in the address. That’s just never going to happen. So, if your influencer does that, you’ll not get the traffic to your website or promotion page. That is why you need them to add that link in their bio in the box for their website, and you don’t want to let yourself be tricked with a link on their Linkr.ee URL. That will add yet another step people have to do and that will also decrease the traffic you get.
Now, let’s talk money. You’re not friends, you’re not family, it’s a business transaction and that should be reflected in the way money exchange (virtual) hands. You want them to send you an actual PayPal invoice. That way, if they won’t respect their part of the bargain, you can get your money back. Also, it helps you keep track of what you paid and to whom. You can even write off the expense as it’s advertising services for your business.
There’s another thing that I have to stress out, even though I’ve talked about this before in this series. Check their engagement rate, make sure they don’t have any fake followers. The simple formula for calculating their engagement rate is this:
post likes (one post at a time) x 100 / total number of followers
For example, let’s take @thegr8khalid and one of his posts.
273,728 likes x 100 / 2,312,027 = 11,84
His engagement rate is 11,84%, almost 12%, which is huge. You never want to work with influencers who have an engagement rate smaller than 3-4%.
If they have fake followers, that engagement rate will be lower, and when you’ll go through their followers you’ll see weird user account names like @g3t5kextrafollowe.rs or @zacawadaga9590 or @excited_fr33.g3n3r4t0r.
Always ask the influencer if they’re willing to run a test ad for you. Just for 4 to 6 hours and for a discounted price. Some of them will want to do it because it will also give the insights that will help them better price their ads.
The most popular influencer deal types
The most popular and the one you will probably start with is the featured post (which can be a single photo, a video, or photos carousel, or even a story). These can be temporary or permanent and they’re absolutely ideal for testing out what an influencer can do for your eCommerce store. Influencers like them too because there’s little risk for them because they get paid no matter what happens after your ads on Instagram are published.
Some companies and some influencers reach deals where the ad (the featured post) is also combined with a few Instagram stories, like in the case of Genevieve Padalecki (@nowandgen).
Another type of deal you can offer influencers is a sponsorship (which can also take the form of an ambassadorship). This is a long term relationship with the influencer and you should get into something like this only if you’ve run featured posts ads on their account and the result were great. The advantages for you are that you spend less in the long run, you get more content, and you get an influx of new traffic as the ambassador grows their account. This is a great deal for the influencer, especially if they’re an up-and-coming one who is interested in putting a lot of content out there. This type of a influencer will be thrilled to wear something you send them or test out products for you.
The third and the most riskier for the influencers is the affiliate promotion. You can run these types of campaigns directly through Shopify thanks to the many affiliate marketing apps available (Refersion, LeadDyno, Affiliaty).
In an affiliate promotion you offer influencers different discount codes, so you can credit any sale to a specific influencer. When the campaign ends, you have to give influencers the percentage of the orders value you established from the beginning.
You’d have to be an established name for influencers to be willing to take this type of risk and you should also have some strong data to backup your campaign – proof that people are buying the products you’re selling and that other influencers made good money.
What to say when reaching out
When contacting the influencers, you should keep the messages really short and to the point, and not make it difficult for them to get back to you with their answer.
Here are two templates you can use when reaching out for the first time to Instagram influencers:
To Personal Account Influencers:
I love your account and I keep thinking it would be amazing to have ___your business/product__ featured on it since we have a very similar audience. I think it would fit quite nicely. What is your rate for a featured post?
Thank you for your time, ___your name____
To General Account Influencers:
I love your content and what you’re doing with your account. It would be great if I could run an ad for __your business/product__ through it if that also fits nicely into your content strategy. What is your rate for a featured post?
Thank you for your time, ___your name____
After they answer, and keep in mind that not all of them will, that’s why you should reach out to 5-10 influencers/day, include the following things in your follow-up message:
– what do they know works best on their account?
– is there a content format that works better for ads?
– what would be the best time to post?
– can they run a test ad for you for 4-6 hours and a lower price than a 24H ad?
– will they change the website in their bio with yours?
– do they want a product sample before promoting your shop?
– would they be willing to offer multiple-posts at a discounted price if the first post performs well?
As promised, now you should know how to reach out to Instagram influencers and get some good ads on Instagram happening – as well as staying away from the bad deals.
Please give me 2 minutes of your time to let me know in a comment if you have your list of influencers ready for starting to get some rates in. How much are you willing to spend on your first influencer marketing campaign?