Influencer marketing is the new kid on the block, and we’re here for it! We love this specific type of social media marketing for its ability to connect brands with new customers and, in the case of our work, community-based organizations with untapped donors and supporters.
Influencers or “creators” have dedicated social media followings and are viewed as experts within their niche. They produce, edit and publish content with the goal of cultivating an online community of dedicated followers who regularly seek out their advice, recommendations or ideas.
Influencers don’t need to have millions of followers to be influential. Even small or “micro” influencers are a way for organizations to connect directly to a loyal audience. And for nonprofits, the opportunities to tap into these communities are growing every day. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering engaging with a social media influencer.
Do your research
Just because an influencer has a huge following doesn’t mean they are the right spokesperson for your organization. It’s essential to find someone who is authentically aligned with your mission or who creates content related to your cause area. The great thing about social media is that there is a niche for everything and everyone. Log on to Instagram or TikTok and spend some time exploring who is out there! This will give you a sense of what you do and don’t like, and what opportunities feel right for getting your message across.
Build the relationship
Once you’ve identified a few influencers with partnership potential, it’s time to reach out and introduce yourself. Let them know who you are, how you found them and what you’re trying to accomplish. At this point, you’re trying to determine if they are a good fit and if they are willing to work with you. Be sure to include links out to your website, campaign landing page or social profiles so they can do some research on you, too.
You’ve got to pay to play
Organizations should always prepare to provide payment in exchange for a promotional social post, video or shoutout. While influencer marketing is constantly evolving, we’ve found that you can typically expect to pay around $1,000 per post when working with influencers who have under 100K followers. For influencers with over 1 million followers, that payment grows to $5,000-10,000. Experiencing a bit of sticker shock? Don’t fret. There are influencers out there who are very willing to provide discounts to organizations and causes they are passionate about.
@bonjourbecky this video is for CO teens who love nature #nationalparks #granolagirl #camping #hiking #coloradocheck ♬ Originalton – Lasse Böckmann
Authenticity and trust are required
The most successful influencers are the ones who stay true to themselves and produce the types of content their audiences are there to see. When you’re working with an influencer, don’t try and force them to “stick to the script” of a commercial. Instead, seek out creators who are already in alignment with your organization’s mission and allow them the creative freedom to share your key messages in a way that will resonate with their audience. Remember, they are the experts here!
Keep the feedback loop open
In the influencer-brand relationship, the brand is an influencer’s client. Their goal is to deliver the best product for their client. So, while granting creative freedom is important, it is also very reasonable to request reviews, adjustments and edits before a post is published. To ensure the first draft meets your expectations, have an in-depth conversation at the beginning of your engagement with that influencer to clearly communicate your goals and timeline.
Have an attitude of gratitude
As anyone who manages their organization’s social media platforms knows, creating content takes time and energy – and a lot of it. Yes, they are getting paid for their work, but a thank you can go a long way. When influencers have a good experience with a brand or organization, they are more likely to keep the door open to future partnerships and may even turn into supporters themselves!
If stepping up your social media game and working with an influencer is something you’d like to explore in 2023, we can help you determine the best approach to integrating this strategy into your overall communications efforts.