LET'S TALK ABOUT...

How to work with influencers to engage your customers with Zoe Crook

'Let's Talk About' is our series of videos offering practical digital skills advice to help you grow.

Zoe Crook is the Head of Influencer Marketing at FCB Inferno. Influencer marketing is for businesses finding an opportunity to tap into those more personal connections in a way that sometimes a brand might struggle.

In this video, Zoe is explaining how to get started with influencer marketing.  

My name's Zoe Crook and I'm the Head of Influencer Marketing at FCB Inferno. Influencer marketing can fit within any marketing plan these days. So let's talk about how it could work best for you.

Influencer marketing is about businesses finding a way to tap into those more personal connections in a way that sometimes a brand might struggle. It's really important to think about what and who an influencer is. A lot of people jump to conclusions when they're thinking about influencers. Some people think about reality TV stars, some people think automatically about fashion bloggers, standing with handbags outside of Chelsea homes. But really anyone could be an influencer. It could be a journalist, it could be an author. It could be a photographer. They can be brilliant copywriters, content producers. Have a great platform to sell products or to raise awareness of certain things. Or to encourage people to go down to visit a certain location. There are so many things in almost any aspect that you want to reach with a campaign, influencers can support with that.

There are so many statistics that support it and show how many people have purchased things off the back of seeing it from an influencer. So working with influencers is just a really efficient way to connect with your audience through people who are really embedded within that culture and truly understand it. They can put across your message to the target audience with a level of trust that can be hard to reach for a brand. Now let's talk about how we go about setting up the right platform for success. So where do we start with influencer marketing? Well, we need to start with a brief and with a strategy. What are the objectives for the campaign? What is it that you want the influencers to achieve? Then we'll look at what the practicalities are of it.

So looking at elements such as, what is the budget that you have available? What are the timings? What is it that you can provide them with? Whether it's an experience or gifting an item, all of those logistical elements. For example, if you want to use their content more broadly, where is it that you want their content to sit? And how would it need to be shot if you were to do that? And last but not least, you need to think about the general strategy and creative of the content. So what is it that you're going to ask the influencers to do? When you ask them to do that, how is it that you're going to make that stand out from the other content? All of those elements form part of your brief, and that's really the first stage that you look at before you get started.

Once you've got your brief, you need to start thinking about who it is that we actually want to work with. And this is a really fun part because you get to explore all of the different people that could really excite your audience. So to find the right person, there are three main routes that you could go down. One is just manual research. You can start by doing searches on Instagram. So on Instagram you can search by keywords now. You can also look at key individuals that might happen to follow your brand already. The second way is doing Google searches. Looking online and doing some research for existing list. Another way to find influencers is to use an online platform or service where they already have an existing, very, very wide database of talent. And you can search that talent down to your key campaign criteria and add these filters to help you come up with the perfect names for your campaign.

So on social media, although it's often really great, sometimes things aren't quite as they seem. So there are instances of individuals who have purchased followers, they start on a lower number and they increase their following significantly so that they can start working with brands and monetizing their social media platforms. So they may have a very low engagement or no engagement at all. Or it may be that they also have a really good engagement and that they're buying engagements as well, which unfortunately can happen too. You need to be really careful with the people that you're working with to make sure that not only is the individual legitimate, but also so are their audience. It's really, really important to make sure early on that their audience demographics align with who you're looking to reach. They'll simply send you a screenshot of the demographics and you can just double check. Does this align with the audience I'm looking to meet? Hopefully it does, and you can keep moving forward with them.

One other thing that it's really helpful to look through when you're searching through their content and you're reading their captions, and you're doing a background check. Just to make sure that there aren't any controversies in there. Anything that could put the brand into disrepute. Next up is the big question, how much are you going to pay the influencers? Their profiles are their work. Whether online or offline, no matter what channel is, they still have bills to pay like everyone else. And they need to be paid for the work that they're producing. One thing that's really important to remember with influencer marketing, regardless of their age, their gender, their race, their background, their sexuality, it's really, really important to make sure that you're paying everyone fairly.

Influencer fees, they do vary hugely so you need to consider factors such as, how large is the influencer that you're trying to work with? What style of content do they produce? For example, it may be that they have very advanced equipment and it requires a lot of editing. But a ballpark to bear in mind, for someone with zero to say 50,000 followers, you'd be looking at around £500 for a post. If you're looking at someone with 50,000 to say 250,000 followers, £500 to £1,500. But with over a quarter of a million followers, again the price is going to increase. So if you're not sure where to start, the best place is to really let the market do the work for you. Start reaching out to some of the people that you're interested in working with and see what their rate card prices are. Once you've got a few different quotes from different types of individuals, you'll start to see what will work best for you.

When considering influencer fees, it's really important that you value their worth. There's all of the planning, there's the editing, there's the shooting, that's the production, there's the copywriting, that's all of the communications with the brand. It takes a lot of time to make sure that what they create is really, really right for you and builds a really natural partnership.

The next thing is to establish contact with them. So you want to make sure that you keep the email really concise, no more than about three paragraphs. Make sure that you include all of the key dates for the activity and make sure you also include a fee where possible. Otherwise, it's going to be the first question that you're going to get afterwards.

And finally try to give them an idea of the deliverables that you're expecting, what posts that you're looking for, when you need them by as well. And where you're looking for them to go live. Influencers can be inundated with messages every day, so you need to make sure that your message to them is clear, concise, and it stands out from the crowd as well.

So there are some elements that you need to make sure that you protect yourself from when you begin a working relationship with an influencer, as it is just any other formal professional relationship. This is where contracts come in really handy because you can protect yourself from things such as the influencers working with a competitor of yours directly after your collaboration. So it's really important to have a contract from the outset to make sure that you're not subject to these risks.

Influencers love to have an element of creative freedom within your brief. So although there are specific key messages that you want to make sure that you get across, which are very important to share with them, it's also really good to remember that they're really excellent at what they do.

Before they start shooting you can request that they send you a treatment and this can be a breakdown of what they'd like to shoot for the content to meet your brief. Just so you can make sure that it aligns with your expectations to avoid them shooting content that you're not happy with. Content approval is actually standard practice with influencer marketing. The influencers that you're working with should be very, very used to this.

So now you've got some great content to meet your brief, it's time for the influencer to begin posting. So if you're trying to get people to visit a particular website, it's really good to create bit.ly links. Bit.ly links are shortened URLs and they've really easy to include in influencer's bios or in their social media posts. And you can actually track and see how many people have used that particular link. Once the influencer content has gone live, don't forget to ask them to send screenshots of the key data from their posts.

In a nutshell, influencer marketing is about working with amazingly creative and inspiring individuals and building meaningful relationships with the influencers and your target audience. As a small business, it can be really, really beneficial to tap into that level of expertise and knowledge.

'Let's Talk About' is our series of videos offering practical digital skills advice to help you grow.

Zoe Crook is the Head of Influencer Marketing at FCB Inferno. Influencer marketing is for businesses finding an opportunity to tap into those more personal connections in a way that sometimes a brand might struggle.

In this video, Zoe is explaining how to get started with influencer marketing.  

My name's Zoe Crook and I'm the Head of Influencer Marketing at FCB Inferno. Influencer marketing can fit within any marketing plan these days. So let's talk about how it could work best for you.

Influencer marketing is about businesses finding a way to tap into those more personal connections in a way that sometimes a brand might struggle. It's really important to think about what and who an influencer is. A lot of people jump to conclusions when they're thinking about influencers. Some people think about reality TV stars, some people think automatically about fashion bloggers, standing with handbags outside of Chelsea homes. But really anyone could be an influencer. It could be a journalist, it could be an author. It could be a photographer. They can be brilliant copywriters, content producers. Have a great platform to sell products or to raise awareness of certain things. Or to encourage people to go down to visit a certain location. There are so many things in almost any aspect that you want to reach with a campaign, influencers can support with that.

There are so many statistics that support it and show how many people have purchased things off the back of seeing it from an influencer. So working with influencers is just a really efficient way to connect with your audience through people who are really embedded within that culture and truly understand it. They can put across your message to the target audience with a level of trust that can be hard to reach for a brand. Now let's talk about how we go about setting up the right platform for success. So where do we start with influencer marketing? Well, we need to start with a brief and with a strategy. What are the objectives for the campaign? What is it that you want the influencers to achieve? Then we'll look at what the practicalities are of it.

So looking at elements such as, what is the budget that you have available? What are the timings? What is it that you can provide them with? Whether it's an experience or gifting an item, all of those logistical elements. For example, if you want to use their content more broadly, where is it that you want their content to sit? And how would it need to be shot if you were to do that? And last but not least, you need to think about the general strategy and creative of the content. So what is it that you're going to ask the influencers to do? When you ask them to do that, how is it that you're going to make that stand out from the other content? All of those elements form part of your brief, and that's really the first stage that you look at before you get started.

Once you've got your brief, you need to start thinking about who it is that we actually want to work with. And this is a really fun part because you get to explore all of the different people that could really excite your audience. So to find the right person, there are three main routes that you could go down. One is just manual research. You can start by doing searches on Instagram. So on Instagram you can search by keywords now. You can also look at key individuals that might happen to follow your brand already. The second way is doing Google searches. Looking online and doing some research for existing list. Another way to find influencers is to use an online platform or service where they already have an existing, very, very wide database of talent. And you can search that talent down to your key campaign criteria and add these filters to help you come up with the perfect names for your campaign.

So on social media, although it's often really great, sometimes things aren't quite as they seem. So there are instances of individuals who have purchased followers, they start on a lower number and they increase their following significantly so that they can start working with brands and monetizing their social media platforms. So they may have a very low engagement or no engagement at all. Or it may be that they also have a really good engagement and that they're buying engagements as well, which unfortunately can happen too. You need to be really careful with the people that you're working with to make sure that not only is the individual legitimate, but also so are their audience. It's really, really important to make sure early on that their audience demographics align with who you're looking to reach. They'll simply send you a screenshot of the demographics and you can just double check. Does this align with the audience I'm looking to meet? Hopefully it does, and you can keep moving forward with them.

One other thing that it's really helpful to look through when you're searching through their content and you're reading their captions, and you're doing a background check. Just to make sure that there aren't any controversies in there. Anything that could put the brand into disrepute. Next up is the big question, how much are you going to pay the influencers? Their profiles are their work. Whether online or offline, no matter what channel is, they still have bills to pay like everyone else. And they need to be paid for the work that they're producing. One thing that's really important to remember with influencer marketing, regardless of their age, their gender, their race, their background, their sexuality, it's really, really important to make sure that you're paying everyone fairly.

Influencer fees, they do vary hugely so you need to consider factors such as, how large is the influencer that you're trying to work with? What style of content do they produce? For example, it may be that they have very advanced equipment and it requires a lot of editing. But a ballpark to bear in mind, for someone with zero to say 50,000 followers, you'd be looking at around £500 for a post. If you're looking at someone with 50,000 to say 250,000 followers, £500 to £1,500. But with over a quarter of a million followers, again the price is going to increase. So if you're not sure where to start, the best place is to really let the market do the work for you. Start reaching out to some of the people that you're interested in working with and see what their rate card prices are. Once you've got a few different quotes from different types of individuals, you'll start to see what will work best for you.

When considering influencer fees, it's really important that you value their worth. There's all of the planning, there's the editing, there's the shooting, that's the production, there's the copywriting, that's all of the communications with the brand. It takes a lot of time to make sure that what they create is really, really right for you and builds a really natural partnership.

The next thing is to establish contact with them. So you want to make sure that you keep the email really concise, no more than about three paragraphs. Make sure that you include all of the key dates for the activity and make sure you also include a fee where possible. Otherwise, it's going to be the first question that you're going to get afterwards.

And finally try to give them an idea of the deliverables that you're expecting, what posts that you're looking for, when you need them by as well. And where you're looking for them to go live. Influencers can be inundated with messages every day, so you need to make sure that your message to them is clear, concise, and it stands out from the crowd as well.

So there are some elements that you need to make sure that you protect yourself from when you begin a working relationship with an influencer, as it is just any other formal professional relationship. This is where contracts come in really handy because you can protect yourself from things such as the influencers working with a competitor of yours directly after your collaboration. So it's really important to have a contract from the outset to make sure that you're not subject to these risks.

Influencers love to have an element of creative freedom within your brief. So although there are specific key messages that you want to make sure that you get across, which are very important to share with them, it's also really good to remember that they're really excellent at what they do.

Before they start shooting you can request that they send you a treatment and this can be a breakdown of what they'd like to shoot for the content to meet your brief. Just so you can make sure that it aligns with your expectations to avoid them shooting content that you're not happy with. Content approval is actually standard practice with influencer marketing. The influencers that you're working with should be very, very used to this.

So now you've got some great content to meet your brief, it's time for the influencer to begin posting. So if you're trying to get people to visit a particular website, it's really good to create bit.ly links. Bit.ly links are shortened URLs and they've really easy to include in influencer's bios or in their social media posts. And you can actually track and see how many people have used that particular link. Once the influencer content has gone live, don't forget to ask them to send screenshots of the key data from their posts.

In a nutshell, influencer marketing is about working with amazingly creative and inspiring individuals and building meaningful relationships with the influencers and your target audience. As a small business, it can be really, really beneficial to tap into that level of expertise and knowledge.

About the author

About the author

Zoe has worked at a combination of start-ups and global agencies and has a wealth of experience across clients as diverse as BMW, Amazon, Dove and Chupa Chups. As Head of Influencer Marketing at FCB Inferno, Zoe services clients’ ever-growing influencer needs whilst developing the FCB Influence offering. 

Working with influencers is just a really efficient way to connect with your audience through people who are really embedded within that culture and truly understand it.

Zoe Crook

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