It wasn't that long ago that running ads on TV and buying ad space on websites was enough to help you expand your brand. Many people today now use apps that block the ads they usually see. Those shoppers rely on the products their favorite influencers highlight on Instagram, Youtube, and similar sites. When you launch a new brand, you need to find a way to get your brand into the hands of the top influencers. There are different ways you can get influencers to promote your products to their followers. Do Your Research Before you search for online influencers, do your research. You need to find influencers who target the same market that includes your customer base. What good is working with an influencer with followers in the 18-25 range when you make products for parents in their 30s? There are databases that allow you to learn more about the top influencers before you contact or work with them. You may want to check out brands that make similar products to get an idea of the influencers they work with and how successful those partnerships are. Make sure to fine-tune your market research. You need to create a customer profile type, that brings the ideal customer to life. What are their characteristics? What are their interests? By understanding who your target customers are the better, you can identify the influencers that they like to watch. Using social listening on your company's social media platforms, if you have been established for a little white, can also help you gather the information you need. Look at the profiles of those who actively engage and comment on your posts. Do they mention any influencers in a positive light on their timelines? Maybe those people would be worth going after. Must Read: Social Media Marketing for Growth of all type of Businesses Choosing an Influencer When choosing an influencer to work with, there are a few aspects you need to consider. If you have a big budget for digital marketing you can go after top influencers on popular platforms such as Tiktok or Youtube. However, if you are a developing startup brand with a small budget micro-influencers are your best option. Micro-influencers are influencers that have a considerably smaller following usually less than five hundred thousand subscribers. These people usually are trying to start up their following as well and may not have as many offers for sponsorships. Micro-influencers can also have a specific niche that they base their content on so make sure to align with someone whose content relates to your product. For example, if you are a brand that makes suitcases you may want to team up with a travel blogger. Once you identify an influencer, they usually display a business email you can contact them from. Create a strong subject line that will capture their attention with the word sponsorship and an emoji included. This will increase more chances of being seen in their inbox which they may already receive a lot of emails. Be very concrete about your offer; attaching guidelines will help them see what you would like them to do as a part of the sponsorship. How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to EXPLODE Your Business Use Hashtags When you post anything on the web to grab the attention of shoppers, always use hashtags. No matter which SM platform you use for promotions, you can add several hashtags. These hashtags can include the name of your brand and product along with tags that highlight what you can do with it and why people would buy it. Influencers often search for hashtags to find new products and brands. If they like the way your posts look and want to try your products, they'll reach out to you about potential deals. If you take on sponsorship with an influencer, having brand hashtags will help them properly cite their sponsorship, and give their followers a place to navigate to see more of your social media posts. Give Away Free Products There are many influencer marketing methods you can try such as giving away free products. Who doesn't love to get an item for free? You can hold contests where the top winners receive prizes such as free products and cash and others win promotional products from your brands like hats and shirts. Make sure that you also let influencers know that you'll give them free products in exchange for them posting about your brand and content online. This strategy can be best used for bloggers or micro-influencers. As influencers gain more of a following, they may want more than just a free product to shout out a brand. For a long-term relationship with an influencer, you will need to have a paid sponsorship contract with them. Pay Them The best way to get influencers to work for you is when you pay them. No one wants to do anything for free. Influencers view their online posting as their jobs. Even if you offer all of your products for free, the chances are good that they still want some form of payment to mention it on their platform. Those with more followers will charge higher rates. You might pay as little as $100 for an influencer to post about your product on social media. The cost will rise if you want them to promote your product or use it in one of their reels. Macro-influencers may be more firm about their price. They know they have a substantial following that companies will want to use, so they will require more money for the opportunity. However, micro-influencers may be more flexible when it comes to negotiating prices. Sponsorships for them may be infrequent or new so getting a brand interested in paying them for a thirty-second ad plug is appealing. Must Read: How can social media be a driving force to increase sales? Another way to recruit long-term influencer relationships is by establishing a brand ambassador program. A brand ambassador program will ensure a contract with the influencer for them to promote your product or service for a year or longer. To commit to an influencer for longer than a year would be considered an evergreen campaign. These brand ambassadors should be selected methodically since you will want to pick someone who represents the values of your brand. If an influencer is known for controversy, this could look like a bad public relations move for your brand. Offer Discounts In addition to paying influencers, you can also offer them discounts with a kickback. In essence, this is how affiliate marketing works. You provide each of your influencers with a unique referral link that they can post on Facebook and other sites. When their followers use that link to buy your products, you give them a percentage of what the shoppers spent. Some brands give influencers as much as 10% back. You can also offer a discount for shoppers who use that link. This encourages influencers to share their links and gets shoppers interested in buying now to save money. Some companies have a different model where the influencer does not get a kickback, but they get paid upfront a negotiated amount for the sponsorship plug. In this case, the discount is just a benefit to the audience who decides to purchase from your store. When working with any influencer you will want to set up a discount code and/or referral link. This will allow you as a company to track your various influencer marketing campaigns through Google Analytics. If a particular influencer is converting a lot of people to customers of your product, then they will be worth another sponsorship in the future. Must Read: SEO and digital marketing Advertise on Your Site You should also think about how to advertise your affiliate program on your site to reach influencers who may find you on their own. Not only do you need to share details about your program, but you should also include information on how they can contact you. Make sure that you tell them if you offer upfront payments or a commission in exchange for their posts. The ad should also include information on the type of influencers you want to work with and what you would like to see in their posts. You can also direct influencers to this page when you seek them out online. Setting up an affiliate marketing program will also require a publishing platform. There is a large variety to choose from like Share-A-Sale, Amazon Associates, Impact, and more. Compare their different rates, see which one is the best for your budget and if it offers the features that you want. After that, it will be one of the easiest marketing avenues for you to manage. Conclusion Influencers are an amazing marketing tool that you can use to boost your brand and make your products more appealing to potential customers. Influencers have a parasocial connection with their audience members which makes their endorsements of products trustworthy as if a friend has recommended the product to them. To get influencers to promote your products, find ways to contact them online and offer affiliate programs that help them earn money.