When it comes to influencer marketing, every brand has a different goal, experiences and expectations. And Lillie Sun and Kendall Dickieson have worked with influencers in a variety of situations. From local targeting, to discovering influencers for your brand, collaboration and revenue sharing, they’ve seen it all.
We wanted to understand more about influencer marketing and how brands can get started on the path to success with their influencer strategy, so we spoke with Kendall and Lillie during a live Commerce Club event on Clubhouse.
Event Title: Influencer marketing
Featured guests from the show (give them a follow!):
- Kendall Dickieson, Founder at Flexible Creative
- Lillie Sun, DTC And Growth at Three Ships
With Kendall and Lillie’s combined experiences, we learned so much about influencer marketing, red flags, how to define your goals and more. Here are Kendall and Lillie’s 24 tips on building a successful influencer marketing strategy:
Separate influencer marketing from social strategy
- While not every brand has the bandwidth or budget to do it, if you’re able to separate your social strategy from your influencer strategy, you absolutely should.
- If you have one person managing social media, community development, influencer marketing and outreach, you’re only able to spend 25% of your time on each of those things. That means you aren’t getting a full execution.
- When you aren’t able to put more time and effort behind influencers, you will find that outreaching to influencers, setting up partnerships and preparing launches gets pushed to the side or completely dropped.
- If social strategy and influencer strategy feed into each other, it can get messy because you won’t have the amount of time needed to do either with the amount of attention they require.
- Micro and nano creators become part of your community. They provide user-generated content to feed into your community, show what your products look like and provide a relatable connection to consumers. They deserve attention in order to properly foster this part of your community.
The purpose behind targeting local groups for influencer marketing
- Three Ships just launched their products in over 500 Target stores in the U.S. As a Canadian company, they realized that consumers in the U.S. don’t know the brand as well. They started targeting influencers and ambassadors in different states to drive awareness of the brand and their products in Target.
- Three Ships uses their U.S. influencers mostly to drive consumers to go to Target to purchase the products. While this is a form of local influencer targeting, Lillie did admit it’s difficult to measure the ROI because they can’t track how many people are converting in the physical store.
Collaborating with other brands: more than a giveaway
- When collaborating with influencers and other brands, many businesses choose to do a giveaway. According to Kendall and Lillie, there are other ways you can collaborate without doing a giveaway.
- When you understand both brands and the influencers involved, think about what knowledge everyone can bring to create something that relates to both audiences. For example, you could collaborate on content for a blog, do an Instagram live together or create something for both brand’s IGTV.
- A giveaway could be a part of the collaboration, but it doesn’t need to be the focal point.
How to find the right influencers for your business
- There are a few main types of influencers: macro, micro and nano.
- Micro and nano influencers are used for more conversion-based marketing because they have tighter and smaller audiences that are more focused. Macro influencers are used for overall brand awareness and reach.
- When choosing the type of influencer you should work with, it depends on your prime strategy and your goals.
- Just because you see someone with a large following next to their name doesn’t necessarily mean they will bring money to your business.
- For example, at one point Canopy was tagged in a post by one of the Kardashians. Even though the Kardashians have a huge following, it only led to about 50 followers.
- When it comes to sourcing influencers, you need to be able to segment them based on overall reach and conversions. If your goal is to slowly scale your affiliate program, using a micro influencer would make more sense.
- Influencers also depend on the platform you’re working with. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube influencer marketing are different and should be treated as such.
- For Lillie at Three Ships, she spoke with an influencer who had millions of followers on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. At first, she was considering making the ask to partner up, but after researching the influencer’s videos and audience, she realized that it wouldn’t be the best fit.
- Tl;dr — just because someone has a large following doesn’t mean they will drive you toward your goal.
- The influencers you work with should relate with what your brand does, what you stand for and their audiences should be interested in your products too.
Revenue sharing and affiliate programs
- Should you do an affiliate program with revenue sharing? It depends on what stage of the business you’re in and what your goals are at the moment.
- Affiliate programs can come off as salesy if they aren’t done correctly or at the right moment. If you get to a stage in your business where customers are responding in a way that tells you they would engage with an affiliate program, then it might be time to consider it.
- If you feel like you have to push really hard for people to sign up as affiliates, then it might not be the right time. If it feels like people are naturally asking to become affiliates, then you’ll have better luck promoting and utilizing an affiliate program.
- An example of a brand running an affiliate program well is Mejuri. For their affiliates, Mejuri creates a custom landing page that the affiliates can drive their followers to. This makes the program feel more personalized to each affiliate, which helps keep them motivated to drive their friends, family and followers to that page.
About Commerce Club:
Commerce Club was co-founded by Matt Schlicht and Ben Parr. Both Matt and Ben are also the co-founders of Octane AI, a company that gives Shopify brands the ability to offer conversational commerce to customers on their sites; an experience replicating an in-store consultation and leading to curated product recommendations.
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