As consumer trust of brands continues to plummet, shoppers look toward recommendations from friends, family and peers—leading more companies to invest in influencer marketing on social media.

More than just a marketing buzzword, the digital age has allowed businesses of all sizes to partner with trusted online leaders (or “influencers”) to drive a brand message to a dedicated audience—opening the door for smaller brands and budgets.

From fashionistas to hypebeasts to techies, there’s an influencer niche for pretty much every market. Yes, even “kidfluencers” exist.

Brands looking to partner with kidfluencers (influencers under the age of 13) must be extremely cautious. Sometimes known as “spawn con”, there are a lot of ethical debates concerning companies who partner with kids and their behind-the-scenes parents for social media marketing.

Currently, there aren’t any definitive laws protecting insta-famous children and their ad earnings like the Coogan Law does for child actors.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to start a kids’ streetwear line and want to work with kidfluencers, we recommend reading this article by Adweek for tips on how to ethically engage partnerships.

If you’re not ready to work with the complexities of child influencers, there are plenty of older influencers out there to help spread your brand’s message! Read on for how to build a brand partnership with influencers.

Influencer Marketing: An Effective Strategy For Brands

According to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report for 2019, 92 percent of respondents reported influencer marketing as an effective form of advertising.

Not to mention, that same report found businesses who use influencer marketing have seen outstanding returns at a respectable rate of $18 in earned media value for every dollar they spent. And, even average firms experienced an earned media value of $5.20 per dollar spent. With numbers like those, it’s no wonder the industry is on track to reach $5 to $10 billion in global ad spend by 2020.
Businesses who use #influencer marketing have seen outstanding returns at a respectable rate of $18 in earned media value for every dollar they spent. Click To Tweet

Now, you’re probably wondering how influencer marketing can help your brand. Some of the main ways influencers drive value for companies includes:

  • Increasing Brand Awareness: Partnering with the right influencers allows your brand to reach their large pool of followers, increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers.
  • Driving Engagement: Partnering with influencers can help drive engagement on your brand’s social accounts and website.
  • Boosting Sales: As mentioned previously, consumers value recommendations from peers and people they trust. If an influencer recommends your clothing, consumers are more likely to buy your products than if you, as the brand, recommend them.

Ready to jump-start your influencer marketing strategy? There are some best practices you should follow before reaching out for potential partnerships.

Best Practices for Influencer Outreach

1. Do your research

Not every influencer is going to be right for your brand and vice versa. Make sure to do your research and create a list of about 20 possible influencers who you think would make a good mutual fit. Take into account things like: age, location, style, gender, interests and hobbies. After, compare it to your current or preferred target audience.

Pro Tip: If you’re working with a smaller budget, make sure to look for micro-influencers (between 5,000 and 25,000 followers). They’re a great solution with a proven ability to gain quality engagement.

2. One size does not fit all

Nothing’s worse than a “Hi, Jane Doe” email that’s clearly templated to a bunch of influencers. Pay attention to what’s being posted on their social and use that in your email so that it’s more personalized.

Pro Tip: A direct message on social media asking to move to email is appropriate if an email is not listed in the bio or on their blog.

3. Make sure expectations are clear

It’s important to make sure all expectations are discussed before a post is published. Review any image or copy guidelines, payment terms, publication timelines, etc. Having a contract is highly recommended, and you’ll want to make sure you and the influencer are following FTC guidelines.

Have you noticed any cool brand and influencer collaborations lately? Let us know in the comments!

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