Influencer marketing is a major source of traffic, in addition to Google ads and Facebook ads. Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, etc., are the leading platforms that work for the “converting influencer power effect." In this article, we will take Instagram as an example to show how influencer marketing works, how to find suitable Instagram influencers and how to avoid the upfront costs.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Basically, it's an influencer who mentioned your products or a service or a website in their post or story or bio. Their followers will purchase the products out of trust in the authority of the influencer. And we will pay the influencer with one flat monetary compensation or commission-based payments. Here is the step by step approach. First, you will need to find the right Instagram influencers for your products, then contact these influencers to present your store and make a deal with them. The next step is to mail the test sample for them to try it out, so the influencers could take some pictures or shoot a video to prepare for promoting your products. Then, of course, they will promote your products on their page. If you already paid the one upfront commission fee, now the procedure is all finished. If the deal you made was commission-based payments, then you will pay the influencers upon your sales. Comes next questions how to find the right Instagram influencers and how to avoid upfront cost for influencer marketing?
How to Find The Right Instagram Influencers?
Before starting to search influencers like a headless chicken, we need to know what group of influencers we are targeting? We are targeting a micro-influencer who's fan base is around 5k to 10k. Micro-influencer usually has between 1k to 100k followers, focus on a specific niche or area. And they have a stronger relationship with followers compare with Mega or Macro influencers. The reasons why we choose these micro-influencers are they have a strong adhesion with followers and they barely make a profit from this game. Some of them don't even have a chance to get in the game, but they still passionate about what they are doing. So when you offer them a ticket to enter the game, they will grab this opportunity and try their best to market your products.
We are narrow down our search range to 5k to 10k micro-influencers. We could use the old fashion way-spend tons of time swipe on Instagram and looking for the one you think are suitable for your products, then DM them. Or we could use some apps to help us narrow down the specific influencers, like Snapfluence, Hyprbrands. All these apps are similar, it's a search engine for finding Instagram influencers by narrowing down by hashtag or a term of their bio, location, what brand they are interested in, what brand their followers interested in, or maybe their follower's number, their age, gender. Then you can contact them to discuss further cooperation.
How to Avoid Upfront Cost for Influencers Marketing?-Commissions
In general, flat monetary compensation and commission-based payments are two commission models. You could pay one flat monetary compensation before influencers post your products in their bio or post. For macro-influencers, you will need to pay a 500$-1000$ upfront fee for each one, which is a lot and no one will guarantee how much sales they will bring in. At this time, the advantages of choosing micro-influencers are highlighted. They only charge 1/10 or even 1/20 of the typical influencers. Now the upfront expenditure has become less unacceptable.
Offering commission-based payments will be the key to avoid an upfront fee. Influencers will receive the payments upon how many sales they brought. Here are three ways to track how many sales influencers got. The first method is offering them a personal promotion code. Because these micro-influencers didn't really profit from their bio as they showed, they are more likely to accept commission-based payments. You can offer them a personal promote code, and then influencers will promote your products on their bio or post a post with their unique promote code. Anyone use this code to make a purchase will be considered their fans. Take me as an example-Zoey20off. Anyone who used this code to make a purchase will be regarded as my fans. If we set the commission rate is 30% and the profit is 10$ per item, my fans made 100 sales per day. That means I should receive 300$ for the day.
Another way to track how the influencers perform is to offer them a custom link. Basic is you create your affiliate program, and influencers can use the custom link to bring sales. And you can evaluate their fans' purchasing capacity through your affiliate program. There are lots of Shopify apps that can help you to create an affiliate program.
Of course, the last way to track how many sales influencers got is to run influencer shout out one by one at a time, so you won't mess up with who is bring your more sales and who is bring you fewer sales. Normally, we set a 30%-50% of profit as the commission rate. If your products are high-value products, you could lower some percentage of the commission rate as a saving for the exchange or return expense. But if your products are small profits and quick turnover, you may want to increase the commission rate to drive the sales. One more important thing is if you know this influencer will bring a lot of sales, just pay the upfront fee, you don't want other people to bit your cake.
Finding influencers in other platforms like Snapchat, Youtube, TikTok, etc., are pretty much the same as long as you find the right influencers' data analysis app to simplify searching influencers part. Just start your dropshipping business and don't want to pay the high upfront advertising costs by Goggle ad or Facebook ad? Try influencer marketing, it will surprise you.