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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 31 August 2020
  • Jelani Markus

What You Need to Know about Influencer Partnerships

When it comes to building awareness for what your brand has to offer, there are many avenues to choose from. You could send out direct mailers, pay for ad space on websites or rely on customers’ word-of-mouth recommendations, or you can develop a partnership with a social media influencer. While the other options listed are fairly straightforward, it can take a bit more to really understand influencer marketing and its potential connection to your business. Continue reading for suggested tips to help you learn more.

What makes influencer marketing effective?

Influencers have the ability to deliver something few other marketing options can: authenticity. Earlier, we mentioned customer word of mouth. Well, influencers essentially take the idea of a potential customer learning about your service from a trusted friend and execute it on a grander scale.

More shares mean more eyes. People who follow social media influencers are likely to engage with and share the posts they enjoy. When a popular post is made about your service, it won’t take long to see the benefits.

person browsing social media

How much can an influencer partnership cost?

The cost of an influencer partnership can vary depending on a few factors such as number of posts created and the influencer’s follower count. Try researching online or reaching out to fellow small business owners who have worked with influencers to find specific information about the cost.

Many accounts with large followings ask for larger compensation per post made. Micro-influencers, who typically have a more modest follower count, tend to have more modest pricing. But in some cases, depending on the value of your product, influencers may be open to creating a post simply in exchange for free samples.

Who should influence for you?

Finding the perfect fit for an influencer partnership can require a lot of legwork on your part. You’ll need to learn a few things about potential influencers and what they could bring to the table for your business.

What size is their audience? As mentioned before, follower count is big part of influencer power. But you may be surprised to learn that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Nano-influencers (those with follower counts below 10K) and micro-influencers (those with follower counts between 10K and 100K) are more likely to have a larger engagement ratio than those with massive followings who are viewed by their audience as more “aspirational” and less like a friend making an earnest recommendation.

Engagement is a tangible metric you can use to compare influencers. To calculate an influencer’s engagement ratio, divide the average number of likes and comments they get on their post by their follower count, and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

Who are their followers? The audience size for your potential influencer could be exactly what you’re looking for, but if they typically post about rock climbing, and you sell custom glassware, there may be a disconnect. Pay attention to the kind of posts influencers make as well as who their most engaged followers are. When both tie in nicely with your brand and product, a partnership is a good idea.

How should you utilize your partnership?

An influencer post should be more than simply a pretty picture. You want to speak to your partner about what kind of results you want to see. To do that effectively, you want to understand what you are looking to accomplish with each post.

Awareness is the simplest goal. The influencer is responsible for highlighting your product, how it is used and going into detail about how they feel about using it. Be sure to read through your influencer’s posts to see how much detail they go into. You want more than, “I use X because it’s the best.”

Promotions require a bit more work, but you get a much better idea on how effective your marketing partnership really is. With this method, you can create a promotional code that is available only to followers of certain influencers. When they let their audience know how to take advantage of your great product by using a code connected to them, the resulting feeling of camaraderie along with the opportunity to get a deal can get them excited and ready to buy.

Long-term partnerships should be used when things are working well. If your product is a perfect fit for their audience, and you see sales increasing, why not keep things going for longer. Develop a posting schedule that works for you both. It is best not to devalue your post by inundating the audience with the same content. Spread things out for best results.

While it may look as simple as a well-lit pose with a product to the uninformed, influencer marketing takes much more work and planning to be effective. Keep the information shared here in mind as you navigate the everchanging world of influencer marketing for small business.

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