If you feel like influencer marketing is taking over your social feed, you’re right. In 2021, it’s predicted that 67 percent of American businesses will use influencer marketing, and for good reason. Influencers can reach a large audience without an intense and expensive traditional ad campaign.
But influencer marketing isn’t just about getting a social media star with hundreds of thousands of followers to use your product. It’s about connections. Finding the right influencers for your brand is more important than finding someone with a large follower count. As an actress, producer and creator of my own boutique marketing firm, I know a thing or two about the importance of promoting your brand.
If you’re thinking about tapping into influencer marketing, here’s how to get started:
Find and focus on your space
Identify your niche, however niche-y it might be. Maybe you’re worried about not finding a large enough audience. Don’t be. You have to attract the right audience – and that comes from leaning into your brand’s authenticity. By connecting with people who will most appreciate your product, you’re building a fanbase that will inevitably grow.
For example, if you’re a dog collar company, you’re going to want to connect with influencers producing pet content. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook relevance in favor of follower count. Finding your space is all about creating relatability and relationships. They don’t call it “social” media for nothing.
Engage others with a similar or overlapping audience
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone with a similar platform to see if you can find a way to work together. Don’t be shy. Partnering with those in your space is a great way to discover new groups and related niches. Instead of seeing others as competition, look at it as an opportunity to tap into a new audience. There’s space for everyone. A collaboration can benefit both of you – so don’t be afraid to reach out!
Embrace sharing and opening up
This is a big one. Do not be afraid to share your story. This not only creates authenticity, but it allows potential followers and partners to relate and come back for more.
Let me tell you a story. A few years back, I had this idea. I wanted to start a social media channel to host stories and videos focused on mental health. Real, honest conversations. As I discovered the importance of taking care of my own mental health, I figured others might relate. But then I got scared. I thought it was too personal. I was hesitant to share my own story, and I didn’t want to put myself out there. But guess what? Other people did. Now, there’s a slew of people producing content in the mental health space. Imagine if I had jumped on that idea when I had it years ago?
Being open and honest cultivates important conversations which won’t just earn you more followers – it can help attract the right partnership brands for you.
Go ahead and make the connection
Once you’ve identified quality, relevant social media accounts you’d like to partner with, go ahead and make that connection. If this intimidates you, think again. There are a few different ways you can go about this.
If you prefer to start small, all it takes is to send a quick, polite DM. Skip the spammy “DM to collab” comments that seem to be all over your friends’ photos. Explain in a brief message what you can provide for the person you’re reaching out to and how it can benefit both of you. Start a conversation and take it from there.
For the target influencers you’d most like to work with, consider taking a more professional approach and putting together a pitch via email. Keeping in mind that they likely receive up to hundreds of emails per day, put together a personal note that not only introduces yourself and your brand but explains how you’d like to work together and what the benefits are. If you don’t hear back right away, don’t be afraid to follow up.
Making marketing work for you
You don’t have to do this entirely on your own. There are platforms and services you can use to help connect you with the right influencers for your brand. Agencies work with influencers and creative performers to match them with brands that will work best with their platform. Bringing on a professional can offer value as you work to reach the largest audience possible.
About the author
Adaya Jaye is the CEO and founder of Creative Endeavors Artists. As a creative artist herself, she launched her company during the pandemic to support artists and brands as they adapt and thrive amidst continuing uncertainty. Today, CEA is expanding beyond its inner circle and actively developing long-term influencer, brand and audience connectivity through influencer development, partnerships with sustainable brands, ambassador relationships with emerging social platforms and full-service in-house productions. Learn more on Creative Endeavor Artists and follow Adaya Jaye on Instagram.
For more tips on unlocking the power of influencer marketing, read our interview with Amanda Russell.