I’m often asked what brands are looking for in an Influencer, so I’ve broken down the key factors to provide insight from a brands perspective.
A successful Influencer can help increase a brands visibility, make our brands more trustworthy and of course increase sales.
Influencer marketing is all about connecting with the people who already use and love your product, or at least those who model your ideal customer.
There are many reasons you may find yourself interested in becoming an Influencer, brand rep, brand enthusiast or brand ambassador. Here are the main reasons:
- Social media features/Notoriety
- Free or deeply discounted products
- Compensation/Additional Income
What Is an Influencer?
An Influencer is someone who has impact on a specific group of people. This could be anyone because in fact, everyone is influential on some level.
On the internet though, an Influencer is someone who has a targeted network of followers in some capacity and when they speak, tweet, blog, or update, others listen and take action! Influencers can have 1 million followers online, or they can have 100 followers.
As a brand, we look for the Influencers that fit our businesses best. A big brand like Urban Outfitters may be able to acquire a celebrity and even pay up to $500k for a mere Instagram post, but for a small shop like us it just not realistic.
In my humble opinion, it’s better to have an Influencer with 100 hyper targeted fans and followers that linger on every word they say, than someone with 10,000 followers who aren’t really engaged – who they probably paid for for social proof.
What Are These Brands Looking For?
Brands are looking for many different things beyond a high follower count on Instagram and it all depends on the brand. Here are a few general key factors:
Follower/Following Ratio – If you have 1000 followers but are following 3200 other accounts, it screams I’m a follower not an Influencer.
Engagement – If you post a photo and it doesn’t get likes or comments that equate to at least a tenth of the amount of people that follow you, we assume you either paid for those followers or you are not very active on social media. Neither of which a brand can benefit from.
Photo quality – If you are posting grainy, dark, blurry selfies or photos of your food or your dog then you’re not quite ready to be a brand ambassador.
How Do I Build Relationships With Brands?
Now that you have your brands place, the success lies in the relationships you build with them. You don’t want to force them or use them because they will become very uninterested fast. You want to empower them, communicate with them, and let them know that this is a relationship is mutually beneficial.
Because they’re doing something for you — in the form of money, product, or other incentives — you want to make sure you do something for them.
We have no problem giving away free products or even paying for people to blog and talk about you. It all depends on the value on the relationship.
Remember, this is a relationship, and with relationships come expectations.
Many brands already have Influencer programs in place or at least of attaining new Influencers. Seek out that information resources which may be found at the bottom of their websites, in their blogs or on their social media platforms.
How Do I Find My Brands?
The first brands to seek out are the ones you are already a die-hard fan of. Most brands will see you as an asset already. You can speak from experience which is always a plus.
If you are a die hard fan of Nike, but have about 1000 followers, obviously that isn’t going to work. So, the next place to look is at the small shops you adore.
There are thousands upon thousands of small shops promoting on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest like Parentees that you may or may not have already purchased from.
To go this route, you have to look at the type of customers or Influencers they are already promoting on their pages. You’ll want to fall in line with that.
For example, if their Instagram feed is very colorful more than likely they wont think your muted black and white vibe will suit them.
Or, if their photos look like they came straight out of an editorial magazine, your grainy selfies will never cut it. Sorry, not sorry.
So no matter how often you tag them in what you feel are awesome photos, they will never feature them because it doesn’t fit their brand.
The next place to look is online, but this is going to require some research.
There are tons of brand rep/enthusiast searches going on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and blogs right now. You just know how to find them and reach them.
You can start out by search hashtags like:
The first thing to think about is what your ideal Brand looks like. They should be the spitting image of you, because most likely their customers share those characteristics as well.
In an article by EastWestBank, Sai De Silva of Scout the City blog and major influencer of childrens clothing brands, she reveals that she started by contacting brands to ask for free items. She only started a blog after [her Instagram account] hit 10,000 followers, and didn’t start asking for compensation until six months after the blog launched. By that time, she already had plenty of loyal readers.
Bloggers are major keys to brands because they are super Influential and they have a longer shelf-life than a mere post on Instagram or Facebook.
Well, there you have it, a quick guide to getting started with becoming an Influencer. If you are interesting in becoming an official Parentees Influencer, apply now.
What’s your next move in become a highly influential person for brands on the internet?