Influencer marketing focuses on using key people or influencers to drive a brand’s products or services. Instead of marketing directly to your demographic through ads, you are essentially hiring someone with influence to promote it for you.
The oldest example of influencer marketing would be targeting celebrities to endorse products or services. Celebrities have huge sway over their fans and can drive sales of a product much faster than typical marketing. But not every company can afford to pay a celebrity to praise their brand.
In recent years, however, with the rise of social media, more and more bloggers are becoming influencers due to their vast followings. And the good news for smaller companies? These social media mavens are much more affordable and usually have a more personal relationship with their followers-which means more influence! For instance, Selena Gomez may have over a million Instagram followers, but she likely isn’t responding to their comments or liking their posts. A blogger with 30k followers, on the other hand, is much more engaged with their audience, therefore coming across as relatable and trustworthy. Followers of these mid-level influencers feel more like a friend than a fan.
So how can you benefit from influencer marketing? We reached out to our favorite influencer to find out!
Meet Lisa Berg, a graphic designer in Arizona who runs an Etsy shop selling curated vintage pieces and her own line of enamel pins. She gained a solid following through her blog Lalafauxbois.com and grew even more popular on Twitter and Instagram. Today, @lalafauxbois has over 50k followers on Instagram, where she is a self-professed color lover. Just check out her teal hair!
Take one look at her feed and you’ll see why she’s so popular. It’s full of colorful compositions and bright, happy images that instantly make you smile. She has found the perfect balance of promoting her own products and promoting others with fun glimpses into her unique style, home, travels and cat.
We interviewed Lisa to get the inside scoop on Influencer Marketing.
How does the process typically work—are there some companies who approach you differently than others? Do you approach companies yourself or do they always come to you?
Generally people reach out through email with proposal to collaborate when they have a new ad campaign, or a new product release they're trying to promote. They usually give the influencer creative control, but sometimes might have a general idea of what they're looking for in your post. They also usually include what they're offering in return- whether it be product or payment, or ask for your rate.
What makes you say yes? What makes you say no?
If it's someone I already have a relationship with, like maybe we follow each other on Instagram, I will usually always say yes. I love working with other artists and small businesses in any way I can help promote them. I have also used influencers to help spread the word of my shop and it's a good relationship to build. If it's a large brand, I will say yes if I feel like I can style the product in a way that aligns with my aesthetic, and they agree to my rate for photo styling.
If I say no it's usually because it's a product that feels totally off base with me or my regular content. Or if it's a larger brand that expects you to work for free, even though they probably have an advertising budget.
Do you get paid in free products, money or both? You don’t have to talk specifics here, but just a general idea of what companies offer.
It's a mix. If I'm working with artists or small shops I will post in exchange for the product. I know they don't have an advertising budget, and I know first hand how important authentic promotion is to a small business.
If it's a larger company I charge a rate per post, plus the product for styling. When there is payment involved, the company usually sends a short contract which is really valuable for both parties to understand the expectations. It will outline discussed rate and amount of posts, timeline of post(s), any specific hashtags or messaging, and payment terms.
What advice would you give to a company looking to approach an Influencer?
One piece of advice would be to make your approach personal. If an email doesn't mention my name or seem to know anything about what I do, I assume it's a mass marketing email and generally don't even respond. I want to work with companies that have chosen me because they've seen what I do and feel like I'm a good fit for their campaign. Another nice touch is to ask what their rate is, or prepare what you would like to offer as compensation. This shows you value the time and creativity that goes into the concept, editing, and engagement on the posts.