Why would you work with influencers?

The first thing to consider when working with an influencer is the value that they can add to your brand, and brand image. Influencers have the ability to replace a creative agency; videos, photography, social media awareness and presence, that can be an expensive part of marketing, especially for smaller businesses.

Shared values are incredibly important when working with influencers as they can become the face of your brand. They need to have similar goals for the future, both long and short term, and share the same passion when it comes to work.

Some questions to consider when thinking about working with influencers:

  • Do they have a large reach within your target audience?
  • Are they particularly skilled within your area of expertise?
  • Could they provide a unique way to use your product that will inspire others?
  • Is there a story that links to your brand message?

What is brand collaboration?

Brand collaboration allows the influencer more creative autonomy. The head of the brand, or marketing department, will send a brief over to the influencer and allow them to interpret that in their own way, be creative, and connect with their audience in their own way.

This is often incredibly successful, especially where previous points have been considered as the influencer not only shares the passion of the brand but also has exclusive access to a pre-engaged audience.

Research undertaken by Gartner shows that younger generations don’t trust traditional forms of marketing and thus influencer marketing could be the future of retail.

Other considerations

Influencers will often work across multiple social media platforms so make sure that your brand collaborations include a variety of content ideas that are suitable for each platform. Don’t just use influencers for their reach and sales, use them as focus groups for new product development.

Collaborating with an influencer who works with another brand that has an overlapping target audience with your own business may be mutually beneficial. For example, skincare and haircare brands may be represented by a single influencer.

How do I find an influencer?

Finding the right person to represent your brand can be a challenge for many businesses, particularly those who are cautious about handing over so much responsibility. Here is a short checklist to get you started on the right track. 

  • Start by looking at a brand that has similar values to your own. Who is engaging with that brand regularly? What is their social media reach?
  • Do your competitors work with influencers? What does their content look like?
  • Realise that finding the right influencer may take a while but that it is an investment that is worth the wait
  • Research, research, research!
  • Engage with people regularly online, via their social media platforms. Good rapport and quick replies will give you an indication of what treatment your customers may receive in the future!
  • Make sure you see the data on their audience engagement before you sign any contracts; how were their followers acquired? Are they real people or just bots? Do they have any influencer experience? Treat it as an online CV check.

How do I work with an influencer?

Influencers can post a variety of content on their social media platforms ranging from posts and podcasts to diaries and day-in-the-life vlogs. The varied nature of this engagement makes working with influencers a strong way to grow a brand organically.

The best types of content will include live video, Instagram Reels, behind the scenes exclusive content. Primarily audiences need to feel connected to the influencer as this is what builds trust and will ultimately lead to them trusting your brand.

Being vulnerable and open about their life experience is important, everyone loves a story and no one wants to hear just the highlight reel.  

TikTok specific tips 

As the fastest growing social media platform, understanding how to get the most out of TikTok influencers is one of the best ways to engage with your customers.

  • A good brief is crucial. Make sure that your influencer knows what the goal is. What does a good outcome look like in terms of numbers?
  • Target the audience at the right time of the day and of the year; this could be exam season, Christmas, or the end of the workday.
  • Be creative but stay aware of the trends. It’s a fine line that is constantly shifting.
  • Use the live feature- show that your influencer is a real person. The TikTok Lives also come as close to face-to-face engagement as possible.
  • There is the opportunity for real-time engagement, this can include anything from building customer rapport, to replying to feedback.

I love my influencer, but campaigns aren’t working!

The first thing to remember is that campaigns don’t always work. The best thing that you can do is try again and learn from any mistake you can find.

Were you clear and transparent enough about the brief and objectives? Making SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals can clarify an otherwise murky goal.

Remember that influencer marketing is not a silver bullet, and it should be considered alongside other marketing channels or campaigns.

The uptake for influencer marketing is also not necessarily immediate, particularly if this is your first rodeo at influencer marketing, or their first time being an influencer. Customers take time to adjust to paid promotion and trust that the person selling your product really believes it is good rather than just being paid to say that. This doesn’t mean that it won’t really take off in a few months.

Be open and build the relationship with your influencer(s). This is a long-term investment, and you should treat it as such; they are real people, not just media buyers.


Abby Millar

Content specialist with experience in food & drink