How To Hire Instagram Influencers
The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to effectively and efficiently use Instagram influencers to market your CBD brand and products.This is not an ebook about how to use Instagram.
How to Hire Instagram Influencers
The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to effectively and efficiently use Instagram influencers to market your cbd brand and products.This is not an ebook about how to use Instagram..
If you are not familiar with Instagram and how to set up and grow an IG page, check out this article and it will bring you up to speed. If you’re already familiar with IG, skip reading the article and continue with this ebook.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all good places to attempt to market your cbd brand but to be honest, none of them compare to Instagram
As I’m writing this, Instagram has 800 million active users and is an amazingly easy platform for businesses to use for reaching their target customers. Instagram users engage at a much higher rate than users of other social media platforms which makes it the ideal place for your brand to be seen and heard.
More than 60% of the most poplar Instagram posts feature at least 1 product. This confirms that Instagram users enjoy looking at, and respond well to pictures of products.
A few more interesting facts:
- The first ever photo was posted on Instagram by Kevin Systrom (@kevin) on Jul 16, 2010.
- Instagram was bought by Facebook on April 9, 2012 for $1 billion.
- Instagram introduced advertising for select brands in October 2013, but didn’t open up advertising for all until September 2015.
- There are now over 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram.
What’s an Influencer?
The only problem is Instagram is owned by Facebook. And Facebook does not allow cbd companies to advertise on any of its platforms including Instagram. So, how do you launch and run your cbd company if you can’t technically advertise on Instagram? It’s easy: influencers.
Influencers are Instagram users who have established credibility with their followers by being authentic, trustworthy, and consistent. Influencer posts usually have better-than-average engagement rates. Usually an Instagram influencer has a relatively high number of followers (over 20,000) and will use your brand hashtag when creating content for their page that represents your cbd brand.
Aligning your brand with the right influencer, or the right group of influencers, can be the difference between growing very quickly and slowly limping along.
What’s a Micro-Influencer?
A micro-influencer is typically defined as someone who has 2,000-20,000 followers on their page which is usually centered around a certain topic that the micro-influencer is very passionate about.
Micro-influencers have a smaller reach than a normal influencer but often times can be equally as effective at marketing your products (sometimes more) due to the relationships they have developed with their followers. Most of the time you can hire a micro-influencer at a fraction of the cost of an influencer with 100,000 followers.
Where to Start?
Goals and Metrics
Before you get started on Instagram, there is one detail you want to be sure of – what are you trying to accomplish? It is very important that you answer this question before you start reaching out to influencers. Your answer will help form your advertising plan.
Are you trying to raise brand awareness? Are you launching a new product? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website and convert them into sales?
Clearly defining your goal will give you a much better idea of how to launch and run your influencer campaign. It will also help to determine what performance metrics to be using to gauge success. If your goal is to raise brand awareness, you should be watching views and engagement. If you goal is to generate sales, you should be looking at the number of products sold.
Most marketers consider user engagement (comments) and views to be the most important metrics (other than sales, of course) when measuring influencer marketing performance.
According to Early Bird Strategy it’s important to have the ability to estimate the return on your efforts in order to be able to gauge effectiveness.
After you’ve figured out what your goals are for your influencer marketing campaign, you can start making a list of potential influencers you want to work with.
Who has the best reach? Who has the most influence over your target audience? Who consistently creates quality cbd related content? Most importantly, who can help you achieve your marketing campaign goals?
When searching for influencers to work with, here are a couple items to consider:
- Niche: Make sure that the influencers you reach out to are in the cbd /marijuana space. There’s a lot of overlap in the two. Operating in these niches is crucial to an influencer’s ability to effectively market your brand to their followers.
- Engagement Rate: Make sure that the influencers that you are working with have the ability to generate engagement with their posts. If not, there’s a chance they may have paid for fake followers. Determine the minimum amount of engagement you prefer to see with each sponsored post.
- Reach: Your overall goal should determine the reach of your ideal influencer. If you are trying to increase brand awareness, an influencer with a high number of follower might be ideal. If you are trying to increase engagement and get people talking about your cbd products then maybe a few micro-influencers would work better. If you only goal is to generate sales than go with a combination of both.
- Vibe: Be sure to have a clear idea of what kind of vibe your ideal influencer and their page has. Review style or a little more organic? Humorous or a little more serious? Make these decisions based on what you believe your target customer would like.
After using theses metrics to define your ideal influencer, start searching for people to work with. The easiest way to find good influencers is to search hashtags relevant to your niche. Click on the images of the most popular posts and then click through to the page for the person that posted the image. Once you find a few good influencers check out the list of people they follow. Influencers always seem to follow other influencers.
I prefer to use a spreadsheet similar to this to keep track of each influencer and our conversations. After you start talking with more than 6 or 7 different people it can get a little confusing trying to remember all the details.
What’s the Plan?
Once you have a solid list of 15-20 potential influencers to work with, it’s time to start contacting them. But, before you do, make sure you’ve already figured out how you want to collaborate with them. This saves you both time and keeps things clear.
I start by contacting the influencer I am interested in working with by direct message. I usually send a message that reads something like this:
“Hey there, Jim here from Jim’s CBD Company. Just reaching out to say hello. I’m interested in working together and would like to send you a sample of our products. Please hit me back when you have a minute to chat. Thanks”.
My initial dm is short, to the point, and lets them know I’m not asking them to give me a shoutout for free. I’m ready and willing to send out a sample ASAP. The reason I like sending out samples is typically an Instagram influencer will charge $20-$50 per post when advertising a brand’s product. I’ve found that by being nice and starting the conversation off by offering a sample, they usually let their guard down and reply pretty quickly. Most are willing to work together just for the freebies.
As soon as I know they have my samples, I reach out again to go over the details of our potential business relationship.
“I see you received the cbd samples. I hope you enjoy. As I mentioned before I’m interested in having you promote my products. Normally this is how I work with influencers.”
Next thing I do is send over a message with the details on how I’d like things to move forward. Some influencers are more serious than others. Some post once or twice and you don’t chat again. That’s not really the best way of doing things. I prefer to work together long-term over the course of weeks/months.
Some of the details I like to cover in my message are:
- Timeframe: Are you working with a deadline? Are you expecting them to post more than once? If so, when?
- Content: Are you providing the content or are you expecting them to produce it? If you are expecting the influencer to produce the content you should talk a bit about what you expect. What is ok and what’s not ok? Are you looking for a review or an organic mention?
- Compensation: Make sure you are 100% clear on how you will be paying for their help. Will you be paying per post? Are the sample products you sent understood to be payment? Will their payment be performance based? Make sure to hash out all of the details to avoid any confusion.
Once you have agreed on the details and are moving forward, make sure to like and comment on the posts they create for you. Engaging with their followers on their post is a great way to gain exposure for your brand and new followers for your IG page.
Running Instagram influencer marketing campaigns can be fun and effective when approached correctly. Use these tips to move forward and create your own campaign and influencer relationships. There’s a lot of work involved with running multiple campaigns with multiple influencers but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
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