Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Working with
Influencers 101

Ali Bonar is CEO and founder of Kween, a food company that makes Granola Butter: the first-ever spreadable granola. She’s seen both sides of the influencer marketing coin, as an “influencer” herself on her personal account @avokween, and also the brand side as founder of @kweenandco.

Influencer marketing is a strategy that businesses use to promote their products and services by partnering with popular social media users or bloggers. Curious about working with influencers, but not sure where to start? This article is for you.

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is anyone who has a following on social media and is capable of utilizing their “power of influence” to convert their followers into customers.

Why are they so effective?

Let’s face it — we’re sick and tired of being sold to. We’re constantly bombarded by ads: on TV, on social media, on the radio, and even on billboards as we’re commuting to work! In a world of blatant advertising, influencers are a breath of fresh air. They’re incredibly effective, because we don’t even realize we’re being sold to. Listening to influencers tout their favorite products feels like getting a recommendation from a friend — we trust them.

How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Business

Now, before you go sliding into everyone’s DMs… pump the brakes. Not every influencer is the right fit for your business. If your customer demographic is mostly women, you’re not going to want to send product to a swimsuit model influencer with a largely male audience — catch my drift? I’d recommend thinking about who your customer is, and which influencers they follow.

Best Practices

Treat influencer outreach like you’re dating:

1. Be a normal, kind human.
2. Don’t reach out to influencers with an ask first. (i.e. never say “I’ll send you some product IF you post about us for free”).
3. Build the relationship, then offer to send product and collaborate further.

A typical outreach message that I’ll send looks something like:

“Hey [insert influencer name here] !! Big fan of your page. I’m Ali, founder of @kweenandco. We make a product called Granola Butter — the first-ever spreadable granola. GF, nut-free, 3g sugar.

It tastes just like liquid teddy grahams 😉 I’d love to send you some! XO”

Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

How Much do Influencers Cost?

If you do it right, they shouldn’t cost anything except the cost of product. We haven’t spent a single dollar on influencer marketing, and have gotten influencers with millions of followers to post about us. How?

1. Following the tips I provided you above (outreach & relationship-building)
2. Believing in our product
3. Selecting influencers that will be interested in sharing our product

There will always be influencers that only work on paid campaigns. That’s fine! There’s lots of fish in the sea. Just know that the smaller the influencer, the more likely they are to share about you for free.

Measuring ROI

Measuring ROI can be tough, but there are things that can help!

1. Creating a code or tracked link for your influencer to share in their swipe ups & feed posts
2. Creating a landing page just for a certain influencer
3. Correlating a bump in sales to mentions by an influencer (we see a pretty immediate bump when someone posts about us).

In Conclusion

1. Influencers can be a high ROI marketing strategy — if done the right way 😉
2. Take time in selecting the influencers you work with
3. Treat it like you’re dating! Build the relationship, be kind, don’t ask for something right off the bat.
4. Measure and iterate.

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