As the founder of the Charleston Travel Marketing Professionals Meetup, Galileo hosted a Lunch and Learn that highlighted insights on the Tips, Tricks and Secrets You Need to Know about How to Work with Influencers with Liz Martin of Charleston Weekender. Liz discussed her experiences as a travel influencer and covered key factors in making successful brand-influencer partnerships. She also shared tips and tricks on determining which Charleston travel influencer is the right choice for your campaign, maximizing your brand growth and negotiating fair rates. Here are some of the takeaways, along with some insights on how to use a travel influencer and how to promote your brand effectively for increased growth.
Do Find the Right Influencer
Finding the right social media influencer or blogger to promote your brand might seem daunting. An influencer is someone with a large amount of influence or a substantial amount of followers on a social platform – whether it be a website blog, Instagram account, YouTube channel or a combination of outlets. One of the best ways to find an influencer that aligns with your visions is to start by searching for one on Instagram by using #Charlestonblogger or #(yourlocation)/blogger. Then, take some time to thoroughly review the posted content, design style, color schemes and the personality of each blogger to find the right match for your niche. It is very important to choose an influencer with a similar aesthetic and mindset rather than just focusing on the amount of followers exclusively.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Demographics
Be smart about targeting the right audience. If you are a small, local company trying to advertise in your home town, then choosing an influencer with 20k all-local followers is probably a better choice than choosing a blogger with 200k non-local followers. Don’t be afraid to ask the influencer for a screenshot of their follower demographics to help determine if their posts will provide you with the best bang for your buck.
Do Know Your Goals
In order to be prepared for working with an influencer, it is important that you gather and organize the goals for your campaign. What exactly are you are trying to get out of the partnership? Do you want to grow your followers, build web site traffic, increase sales numbers, promote brand awareness or simply obtain more content for your channels? Once your goals are identified, it is much easier to determine the type of targeted marketing plan that will maximize your results.
• For Growth: Opt for Instagram posts (or posts on another social platform). Please note that it is much more likely your influencer will help you gain more followers if you have your own well-designed social media accounts. If not, make sure to re-design your accounts and/or find a celebrity-level influencer.
• For Sales/Site Traffic: Use a discount code of at least 20% off or focus on posting Instagram stories with trackable links back to your website to help you quantify traffic (if your influencer has over 10k followers).
• For SEO: Add linkable blog posts on your influencer’s website to boost your search engine optimization.
Don’t Do a “One and Done” Post
The most successful campaigns involve developing partnerships with multiple influencers who are able to generate your posts at the same time. A one-time post from one influencer is not likely to have as much an impact as various posts by several influential bloggers at the same time. Repetition is also key here. A series of posts or multiple posts will help you keep your product fresh in the minds of your targeted audience and make your campaign more unforgettable.
Don’t Make Assumptions About Deliverables
Do your own due diligence and set clear expectations up front with your influencer. Be clear with exactly what you’re hoping to get and don’t assume anything. Influencers have operational costs also (photography, props and their time), and it is imperative that you know exactly what you are getting for your money to avoid disappointment. It is also important to know if your influencer is willing to share or negotiate their own photography and if they provide extra perks to help reduce your overall expenses.
Do Make a Fair Offer
Influencer partnerships should be mutually beneficial. Some influencers will take a trade instead of receiving monetary payment and your offer should be equivalent in value. If you expect to receive $100 worth of promotion, then your trade (product, meal, photography, event tickets) needs to be valued at $100 also. Don’t expect $200 of promotional services for a round of drinks at the bar. A tip to gauge the estimated cost of an influencer’s per post rate is divide the number of their followers by 100 (20,000 Instagram followers /100 = $200 per Instagram post). The Social Blue Book also provides a way to help determine fair rates.
By choosing the right influencer, determining your social media goals, setting clear expectations and negotiating a fair deal, you are much more likely to promote and grow your company recognition at a faster pace.