Intro To Influencer Marketing: Okanagan Small Business Social Media

okanagan-influencer-marketing

First of All, What Is Influencer Marketing

Influencers are the newest and arguably best way to advertise your business and products in 2022. 

Influencers are usually regular people that have created a side hustle, and in some cases, a career, out of advertising brands and products online and ‘influencing’ their community into purchasing the services and products they’re recommending. An engaged audience creates these communities the influencer has built through a trustworthy personal brand on social media and often blogs. 

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, with different niches and different audiences, and can be celebrities or people you may meet in your day-to-day life. The services they can offer include (but aren’t limited to) story unboxings of products, feed posts, blog posts, Reel and TikTok video creation, product photos, and more. 

Why Use Influencer Marketing?

For a while, Facebook and Instagram ads were ‘the’ way to advertise your product online. They are easy, quick, and under your complete control, making them an enticing route to take. BUT, we are sorry to say these ads may be convenient, but they are no longer the best way to get your name out there. Many ads are closed (or even reported!) immediately by social media users, often due to their impersonal and frankly annoying nature. To most, automated ads are the 90’s TV commercials of 2022, and most users are not drinking the Kool-Aid.

Enter influencer marketing. Instead of faceless, auto-generated ads, influencers are real people with real opinions and real pull amongst their audiences. 

Think about it: are you more likely to buy a jar of pickled asparagus that,

A) flashed across your screen in-between IG stories in a photo before disappearing into the abyss

Or

B) you saw one of your favorite online personalities use in a charcuterie spread at their family game night, with video footage of everyone raving about the unique flavor and texture

You would be far more interested in the asparagus after seeing the second ad style, and so would a hell of a lot of others (including your target market). 

And that, in a nutshell, is why influencer marketing is in its heyday.

General Costs Of Hiring An Influencer

Costs of hiring an influencer vary wildly depending on follower count (although this sometimes doesn’t matter), engagement rate, experience, and more. For example, an influencer with 1k followers may charge $20 for an in-feed post, whereas an influencer with 35k followers may charge upwards of a few hundred to 1,000 dollars a post. The best way to price out an influencer? Ask to see their media kit! Most influencers already have an online resume with their online stats and a price list of services they offer. Many also accept the gifted product in exchange for a shoutout if you cannot budget to pay for the full promotion. It all depends on the influencer and what they are comfortable with.

Large Follower Influencers Vs. Micro-Influencers

It depends, and that’s why it’s important to do your research. Let’s say you find two influencers in the niche you’re after, and you can’t decide who to go with. So you do some investigating and find that the influencer with 1k followers has an engagement rate of 5-7%, and the influencer with 35k followers has an engagement rate of 1%. After running both IG handles through a fake follower checker (many available online with a quick Google search), the influencer with 1k followers has 90%, real followers. In contrast, the one with 35k followers has 75% inactive followers (or ‘bots’). Or, to flip it, the influencer with 1k followers has paid for all bot followers, and the one with 35k followers has built an extremely active community of real people.

It isn’t easy to gauge at first sight who will be the best match for you, so this is why it’s important to do some sleuthing in your quest to find the right person to rep your brand. More on this at the end of this article!

How To Find Influencers For Your Small Business

Every influencer would be a great match for your small business in a perfect world. However, there is a lot to consider when sourcing an influencer that will actually translate to sales with your small biz. We recommend spending some time exploring Instagram by typing in keywords that relate to your business and looking at local hashtags you relate to. For example, say you make a bottled hot sauce, and you want to find a credible food blogger to share it – try typing in #kelownafoodblogger or #okanaganfoodie and see who’s photos catch your eye. Another great way to find a vetted influencer is through other local companies you trust and admire. Send out a few DM’s asking for recommendations on who to hire and see what comes back.

Reaching Out To Influencers

Okay, you’ve found someone that seems like a great fit for your products, and you’re excited to see if they’re interested in an offer. Before you cold DM them out of nowhere, do these 4 things:

1. Take a few minutes to read some of their posts, visit their website, and get to know their voice. That way, you can feel confident in your messages when you talk to them. Trust us, before they respond to you, a good influencer will visit your page, learn your name, and learn a little about your company. This is the best way to start things off on the right foot.

2. Check which way they want to be contacted is listed anywhere. Many influencers will indicate in their bio how they would like to be reached, and if they do, contact them that way. If they do not, a DM or email will suffice.

3. Double, then TRIPLE check how to spell their name. Team OKGN Co.’s member Jamie can attest to this after receiving many impersonal messages addressed to ‘Jaime’, ‘Jayme’, and ‘Jaimie’. Spelling someone’s name correctly (especially when it’s in their handle!) goes a long way in establishing a good first impression online. 

This is also important when contacting someone whose handle may not be their name at all – many influencers’ Instagram handles are named after their children, pets, or in memory of a beloved relative. Forex; ‘@rosemaryshomesweethome’ might be Anna’s tribute to her late grandmother, and ‘@chloetylermarie’ might be Elizabeth’s nod to her three children. Yes, it can be not very clear, but taking a few minutes to find out the real first name of who you’re reaching out to scores major points will make them feel respected as a content creator.

4. The most important one of all? Follow them to show your interest in their content. If you don’t give them a quick courtesy follow before telling them you love their page and asking them to rep your product, your interest may come across as ingenuine. The last thing you want to do is put the influencer off before they have a chance to consider your great offer. The goal is to create a great working relationship with someone you truly want to support and for them to support you back!

We sincerely hope this post helped you better understand the world of influencer marketing. Are you still unsure of how to begin? Reach out to us! OKGN Co. has a combined 15 years of digital marketing experience and a unique team with different viewpoints and skills (including two current influencers with steady partnerships). We are more than happy to point you in the right direction towards influencers we think could be a good fit for your company and help you get the ball rolling.

– Team OKGN Co.