By Avery Schrader, CEO of Modash. Whether you are running a fast-growing startup, a B2B company or a neighbourhood café – sooner or later you will discover that influencer marketing is a must.
Ever heard of Samsung? I thought so. But you know what makes them stick in my head more than anything else?
A guy in New York with an electric skateboard and a love for filmmaking.
Enter the world of influencer marketing.
That guy‘s name? Casey Neistat. A YouTube filmmaker who dreamt of making one video every single day. And so he did – now followed by millions of people eagerly awaiting his next bit of New York City wisdom. People connect with Casey because he is not a billboard or a Facebook ad – he is a friend. Always there to inspire and motivate them.
I grew up following Casey. Long before he was the legend he is today, he was someone I aspired to be like. Someone who was creative and whacky and out of the box. I needed that. Someone else’s life to experience. Some motivation that it’s possible to live life a little differently and act a little crazy in order to do what you love.
People like me connect with him and Samsung knows the power of friends. Working with Casey means his millions of followers have one of their closest friends recommending their product.
Most importantly – he means it.
Enter the most genuine, trust-building form of marketing to ever exist:
Influencer Marketing. Having social media creators act as ambassadors for your brand.
When Samsung’s CMO spoke about their relationship with Casey Niestat he said: “You really need to organically build a true partnership between the brand and the other brand—the creator—to actually create the story that’s authentic, truthful and grows organically over time.”
Now, you might not yet be running a hundred billion dollar company like Samsung. But to be the best, learn from the best. No matter your size, here’s how you can use influencer marketing to create buzz for your biz. Take this model, and scale it up and down to match your needs.
Move with purpose
Set a clear goal and understand the intention behind it. That means having a measurable metric you understand the purpose of.
Do you need them to create 5 pieces of reusable content a month? Do you need them to promote the launch of your new pumpkin spice latte to 5000 people?
Not only will you have more direction, you’ll have learned for your next campaign, and can improve over time. For Samsung, working with Casey is perfect for their target audience – the creator culture. By showcasing the photo and video capability of their phones using someone known for bringing creative filmography to Youtube, they pull at the heartstrings of his admirers. People who want to be like Casey, who want to be a part of the culture, will be powerfully drawn to Samsung when they buy their next mobile.
Note of Caution: You won’t always hit your goal. That’s fine. It just means it is a perfect time to reflect and figure out how to do better next time.
Pro-tip: Make sure you’re playing to your influencers strengths. If they happen to be a great photographer, use the opportunity to get amazing reusable content from them.
Understand your target audience
Where are they online? Who are they following? This is where it gets tricky. Don’t jump on the first selfie you see that gets 10,000 likes. Be particular – confirm that the person you reach out to is who you want representing your brand. It doesn’t have to be a Kardashian or Ronaldo. Your local foodie with 2000 followers might be a better fit to promote your cafe, and much less expensive.
Reach out with a fair offer
For best results, be as human as possible. Now, if you’re reading CoFounder, you’re most likely a reasonable person. Even so, sometimes it is easy to get stuck in the traditional business mode during outreach. Don’t do it. Toss the jargon and get into friend mode. Don‘t forget you’re talking to a creator who is likely skeptical about working with you. Use sensitivity, to deliver intelligent communication. Like your mom used to tell you: Be kind.
If you’re a smaller brand, working with someone under 10K followers might allow you to trade products. Anecdotally, statistically and logically, the best option is to form long-term sponsorships. Let this person be an ambassador for your brand. Think of them as an ally in the long battle against irrelevancy.
Let them work
Collaborate with your creator to make sure they understand the message you want to send. Then, leave them alone! If you chose them, it means you trust their creative instincts. If you’re nervous, you can ask them to send you the content before its posted, just to confirm that it matches what you want. Always keep in mind they know their platform much better than you do; after all, that is why you want to work with them.
Real-life example: For their Oscar featured commercial, Samsung even let Casey write the script!
Revisit, revise, communicate
What is working for you, what isn’t? Be sure to communicate with your new found storyteller. Let them know if you want them to manage your account for a month and see how it goes. Tell them you’d like more shots of the outside of your shop. Ask them to promote your new blog post. Test things out and see where the most value is. Get crazy, try something weird. It might just catch someone’s attention.
Influencer marketing will, without a doubt, help you hit your growth goals if done correctly. Entire brands have been built off influencer marketing. If you’re a lightweight, start off on Instagram. Start small, practice, be good to people and you will be absolutely astounded how powerful the results can be. It might just become your go-to tool for growth.