There are three ways a brand can contact the best influencers: Working with an agency, having an in-house influencer marketing team, or just simply contacting the influencer directly. Working with an agency makes sense for different groups of companies.
Smaller brands (and the word small are very broadly defined), every brand which annual marketing spend of less than 1 billion USD. I’m talking here about all marketing activities combined. There are some brands out there that have such an incredible marketing force, that working with agencies would not make sense, like Nike or Red Bull spending a couple of Billion USD per year on marketing – why would need an agency?
An agency is an expert, an external provider for topics you don’t have the expertise in-house.
This means it makes sense if you only occasionally use the best influencers if you don’t have all the time a complete overview of your key markets – in which you want to hire influencers – or lastly if you want to expand in a new region.
In short: If you don’t know the best influencers’ landscape 100%, an agency will be very helpful for you – because they know everything and they have done hundreds of campaigns already.
An in-house marketing team for influencers makes sense when the company works very frequently with the best influencers.
When using the best influencers it’s important that you are aware of any sort of hypes or scandals in the influencer community. Usually, it’s best to use the knowledge of influencer agencies because they deal with influencers all the time.
But if your company invests the whole year in influencer marketing, like Nike or Red Bull for example, then you can be confident, that you know most of the influencer news – therefore an in-house team makes much more sense than an agency.
The in-house team costs you more of course, but it can pay off if you work constantly with the best influencers, another upside of in-house teams is as well that you have all the competencies in your own company without any external stakeholders.
Communication between a brand and the best influencers can be hard
In most cases the brand doesn’t talk with the influencer directly, usually, that happens through an agency. In case you are still talking to an influencer directly, put yourself in his shoes. Usually, content creators are much younger than marketing managers, and they have different priorities. It’s important that the brand’s communication is very concise, influencers don’t like to read much.
Please also be aware that an answer can take hours, worst case even days – that’s quite normal for the best influencers, also because content production is their main job. Closing partnerships is secondary.
To avoid any sort of misunderstanding I would make a time plan in which every deliverable is stated clearly and in order. Please, also plan to review the content – so best case the influencer should send you the placement 1-2 days ahead of the posting. That way the communication should work between brand and influencer. It gets more complicated the more influencers are involved of course.
At Bold Creators Club, we do cold outreach only in new markets, if we would want to expand to Canada for example. From Mexico to Argentina we usually either know the best influencers directly, because they have an exclusive contract with us, or we get an introduction from influencers we know to the new content creators we want to talk to.
But let’s take the Canada example, a region in which we don’t have many contacts. Then we would pick the most interesting influencers for us and find out what we like best from them. Next to that, we offer the influencer a clear value proposition from our side. All new messages are sent through email, of course.
After the influencer answers, we’re trying to get on a phone call to get to know each other, there we also talk about a potential partnership. The only real way to reach out to influencers is by email in my opinion. This is how the best influencers see you as a professional.
Some influencers – also our influencers – have a phone number in their bio, which is usually the one of the agency. No influencer would ever put out their own phone number. If they do, then they’re really inexperienced, just for reasons of the influencer’s security publishing their own phone number would be a very bad idea.
Social media direct messages can work if the influencer is very small, then they might see it. But then your Instagram profile should be top-notch because it’s the first the best influencers see. A blue tick or some thousand followers on your profile certainly don’t hurt, too!
Please don’t ever comment on an influencer’s picture with a potential offer. That looks always like a scam and the influencer will not drop you a direct message after that.
As an agency with some of the best influencers in brazil, we receive a lot of emails wanting to work with some of Bold Creators Club’s talented influencers. First of all, a brand reaches out to us, through Linkedin, the Website, or through email. Then we ask a couple of questions that help us to classify the project. After that is clear, we jump on a call with the client to get to know each other, based on the information we exchange in that talk the client sends us additional assets and we pitch the project to our influencers.
Given that they are interested in the project, we draft a quick pdf in which the client gets an overview of all the best influencers, their KPIs, and prices. Based on that the client can select the most suitable influencers for the brand and we negotiate together with the client the contract details. After the influencer has recorded the placement it’s sent to the client for their approval, before it gets posted.
This is the basis for the update call we have with the client before taking care of further placements.
Usually, today companies don’t give away free products without any further compensation. There are some exceptions from that rule, for example, if the value of the product is high enough to reimburse for the benefit the influencer can bring. This can be cars for example or technology gadgets, et cetera.
But 5 years ago you could also get an influencer to promote your t-shirts by sending him your t-shirt. If you’re super lucky this could happen today as well, but really doesn’t happen often for big influencers. Free giveaways only work with micro-influencers.
You could try that method with small influencers, they might do it, even though your product costs less than 100 USD for example. But please do all your calculations before deciding to move with micro-influencers. The overhead costs are incredible for micro-influencer management and often these micro-influencers don’t bring the same effect as macro-influencers.
The community of a micro-influencer consists basically of friends and family, and while it’s true that they might trust the micro-influencer in general – that doesn’t need to be the case for promoting products. Not to mention that the promotion is often poorly executed because the micro-influencers are not experienced in products placements.
If you want to have an influencer as a brand ambassador you need to have 100% trust in the influencer. Because the influencer will then stand for your brand.
One tactic is to work with the influencer on various projects, to make sure the influencer has the power and the capability to do such an important job. We did that with Sthefane Matos and Americanas for example. She did lots of campaigns first and then had her fashion line at Americanas before she became an official ambassador.
The second tactic is to top tier level. The German fashion brand About You had their IPO this year and wanted to expand internationally, so they got themselves, Kendall Jenner. If you have an ambassador of the Kendall Jenner or Mr Beast Level, then your is cool.
Bold Creators Club can give you more eCommerce tips on how to retain new customers with influencer marketing
Dealing with social media influencers is not always easy. Actually, most of the time, companies and influencers can’t communicate clearly, as there is a lack of a cultural, linguistic, and social bridge that connects both.
When it comes to Latin influencers, this communication barrier is even bigger. Not only because a lot of people in countries like Brazil or Colombia don’t English, but also because these countries are highly multicultural, with cities with completely different styles, slang, social and cultural movements within the country.
In the case of Brazil, this aspect is so strong that there are even completely different cultures within the same city, in big metropolises like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
It is really hard to keep up with the constant changes in the pop culture and in the internet world, so contacting an agency whose job is to always be updated about what the influencers are doing, how is the stability in the country, and more important information for your company, is the best strategy.