The world of marketing is changing. Brands are no longer talking about themselves, instead they are harnessing the power of social media by getting their consumers and popular social media figures to do the talking for them, also known as Influencer Marketing. This is a relatively new promotional activity but is growing rapidly due to the fact it really works.

An influencer is described as an individual who has the power to affect societal buying decisions, because of their knowledge, credibility, position, authority and/ or relationship with their audience. They are creators and story tellers who use social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to broadcast products and services to a targeted, highly engaged audience.

Influencer marketing works because 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. According to Harvard Business School’s Study of Purchasing Habits and Buying Decisions, the relationship between the buyer and them buying the product is based on 84% emotion and 16% logic. A credible influencer can persuade the end consumer into thinking they also need the product. Early adopters of an influencer marketing strategy are reaping the benefits, encouraging more brands jump on the influencer bandwagon.

Finding your perfect influencers to partner with is half the challenge. Create a list of 10- 20 hashtags relating to your product and market, use these tags to search on social media as an effective way of finding influencers, especially ones linked to your industry that you might not have heard of. Have a look at their profiles, see who they follow and interact with. Chances are their friends and colleagues are probably working in similar industries and might offer more ways to collaborate.

Do your research, make sure the product you are offering is something they might need or want, to avoid wasting your time or theirs. You can do this by finding out if they’ve done sponsorships before and what companies they have worked with previously. Align their tastes with your brand, and make sure that the person you’re hoping to collaborate with fits in with your brand guidelines. You also don’t want your brand to be associated with an influencer with a bad reputation, this could affect your sales and create bad press, so thorough research is essential.

Choose who you interact with carefully, don’t always go for the people with the most followers the most followed Instagram and social media users are being bombarded by companies and products constantly. This will make is harder for you to communicate with them and do business. Aiming for people with anything from 15,000 + is a great place to start.

Engaging with influencers isn’t easy, often good influencers are overwhelmed by proposals by businesses. You may find it difficult to contact them via email or phone, instead try reaching out via their social media channels – after all that’s why you want to work with them! It is important for you to engage with their content by liking their posts and sharing their content, and follow them on their social media channels. Sending samples of your product is a great way to start conversation, they are able to try the product out for themselves and decide whether to share it with their audience.

Looking for innovative ways to collaborate and work together is key, aside from them showing your product to their engaged following, one of the best ways to convert the influencer’s promotional posts into sales is to give them a personalised discount code. This is something they can give to their viewers, usually ranging from 5% – 25% off. This can be an ongoing promotion, or if you’re looking for quick sales putting a time limit on the discount can push people to buy quickly.

Think about your marketing goals and how you can leverage an influencer marketing strategy to boost your brand and your business. Some of our amazing clients like Huel and Gousto are leading the way for influencer marketing and are seeing a real impact to their business as a result.

Samurai works with marketing and branding teams to bring brands to life with high impact custom branded products. Get in touch via phone on +44 (0)208 751 2222 or email to discuss your next exciting project.