SEO and Influencer Marketing?

What is influencer marketing and how do you get the most from it?

 approx 52 minute video

SEO and Influencer Marketing

Nettl Academy SEO Live Event! Session 11

This session is the eleventh in a new series of live events from Nettl. This week they’ll explore what influencer marketing is and how to get the best return from it.

What is Influencer Marketing all about?

Influencer marketing is a buzz word at the moment, with more and more influencers starting every day, how can they be used to help with your business.

We covered hot topics such as:

  • Using influencer marketing to improve SEO;
  • Building and managing relationships;
  • Expanding your reach and engagement with influencer’s audiences;
  • Working with influencers on a small budget or for free;
  • Measuring success

Plus the team were on hand to answer questions. Keep an eye out for more live sessions. If you have questions in the meantime contact your local team and we’ll be delighted to help.

Check out the next video in our SEO webinar series

Today we are going through influencer marketing as an SEO tactic. Influencer marketing is a big thing at the moment. You all probably follow influencers in some way. Beth is the expert on influencer marketing, she’s going to take you through it and you then might be able to use it for your business. It’s not just for the likes of those massive e-commerce companies paying Kim Kardashian millions of pounds to post something on instagram. It is accessible to everyone, if you know how to do it. 

My name is Beth. I’ve worked in PR and social media, which obviously includes influencer marketing, for around five years. I’ve run lots of different influencer marketing campaigns for huge national brands right down to small local independents. So I thought I’d be fairly well-placed to run through today’s session and hopefully answer any questions you may have. 

An overview of what we’re going to go through today: an introduction to what influencer marketing is, what makes an influencer, then looking at how we understand different types of  influencer – it’s not the same for every type of company, it’s scalable – you identify them and see how they differ and how they could work best for you, picking the perfect ambassador – we’ll give you some tips on how to make sure the influencer is the right fit for you, that’s the most important thing – then moving on to devising strategy with SEO in mind. We’ll go through four online goals and look at how influencer marketing can boost SEO within them and how collaborations could between the influencers and yourselves. Some social housekeeping to ensure your pages are in top shape before you land an influencer partnership – something that’s really important and maybe even your first step. A how to guide, a quick 101 on how to get you up and running today, if you decide this could be for me, with some key takeaways to remember. 

Introduction to influencer marketing

I’ve started this off with a quote and it is a quote from Mean Girls but I think it is really important to show the scale of influence and how it creates a domino effect. It says: “one time I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops. So I bought army pants and flip flops.” It just relates back to how everyone is guilty of benchmarking their success with others and looking at one person as their idol. Social media is just taking that to another level – what was traditionally known as keeping up with the Joneses has turned into keeping up with the Kardashians. 

I do like to mention Kim because I think she’s a really good example of how people can use social media to drive success. Everybody’s heard of whether they like it or not. Social media in general encourages us to look into other people’s lifestyles, whether it’s looking at what celebrities are doing or what your friends are doing or even your enemies. What started up as a photo sharing platform became ‘look at what I have’, it’s there to boast, it’s there to push out your life. Whether it’s something in your house, what you’re eating, what you’re doing, where you’re going, every single thing. 

It’s also a way for celebrities to inspire others and also allow the public to aspire to be them and so on. It all comes back to the idea that the expensive lifestyle that you’re buying into, everyone wants it but it’s unattainable. 

Influencer marketing is scalable. It’s different for everyone but the psychology is you’re following and engaging with an influencer so they’re your friend, you’re in the know and you’re up to date.  

So looking at that scale. The rise of the influencer has opened up so many new doors and streams of revenue for brands. Brands in all verticals have used micro and macro influencers to promote their offerings. They both offer huge SEO value. You might even hear the term ‘micro-influencer’ interchanged with nano, and ‘macro’ interchanged with maxi or super. It’s all very interchangeable but it essentially means small to large.

Good examples of influencer marketing

The example on the left is from L’Oreal and their True Match foundation a few years ago. They were basically the first cosmetics company in the market, shockingly, to offer up to 40 shades to people of colour. So they were the first people in the cosmetics space to diversify their offering. They pushed out through a micro influencer campaign. The reason they did this is because they didn’t want a big celebrity behind the face of their campaigns. They didn’t want an endorsement. They wanted real people, real faces. The proof was there so for every £1 they spent on advertising they made £3 back. They had over 250,000 new customers. They became the market leader within six months after being way behind the trails for three years. 

It goes to show that it’s really scalable to any budget because, even though it’s a household name, the amount of money they spent on that advertising campaign was actually minimal. 

On the right, another Kardashian. This photo that she’s taken with these hair minerals, she’s probably never tried them, doesn’t want to try them, she has no other point in publishing this other than money. The thing with macro influencers is yes, it’s great you’ve got that big budget and a massive reach but how many conversions can you get? Where is that return on investment? Is it credible? It’s scalable to any budget if you find the right person. That is key. 

It sounds silly but there are collaborations out there that really just don’t make sense. Choose that influencer that will instantly spark sense to the user. If it’s not on brand, it may be completely off brand. It’s as silly as a bodybuilder promoting KFC. You’ve got to find someone who does make sense and build a relationship with them.

Bad examples of influencer marketing

Over the years there has been the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s not as fluffy as it seems with the big celebrities. It’s hard work. These are two examples of campaigns that have flopped over the years and I think they’re good ways to show the thought that’s got to go into it. The one on the left is from Sunny Co Clothing, around the time of the Baywatch remake, they offered free red swimsuits to people who commented and they were a small company that were looking to scale but the bad thing was that they didn’t have the stock and couldn’t fulfil that promise. There were over 3000 entrants into the competition and only about 30 swimsuits were sent out. So they did get that reach, the followers but then they disappeared. Through that, they’ve potentially annoyed people that now won’t come back in the future. You’ve got to be clever about it. 

The one on the right, another Kardashian. This is Scott Disick, he used to be married to one of the sisters and he did a collaboration with Boo Tea. You can see on the screen that his caption says ‘here you go at 4pm eastern standard time, write the below caption’. So he’s literally just copied and pasted it. It’s not credible, it’s not how people should be working with influencers. 

How to find the perfect ambassador

When you’re finding that perfect ambassador, it comes down to one point: you’ve got to expose your brand, entice your audience, and engage with your audience. How you want to do that is push social down your sales front. Everything comes back to sales. But to do that it’s got to make sense. This is just a little bit of a hit list on how to find that perfect ambassador. Firstly, have they tried and tested your product? I like to give an example of a soap company: are you going to send them out to random people or are you expecting them to post about it without even having tried it? It’s not credible. Get the product into their hands and get them to try it.

Are they known for opinions in that field? Again, if you’re a small soap producer, are you going to target a local blogger who talks about food? Probably not. The platform is credible but it’s not that relevant. You’re looking for skincare people, you’re looking for people of that target audience. 

Is the perfect ambassador genuine and down-to-earth? Yes, they’ve got to be. If the person you’re reaching out to doesn’t speak to their followers a lot or they seem a bit contrived, they’re probably not the right person for you. You want someone who always seems like an everyday person but has got that nice following behind them. You want them to have a loyal and engaged following. There’s no point posting things and not having people speak to them. You want to see that people have bought into their lifestyle. You want to see things like ‘oh my god, that looks amazing’ or ‘oh my gosh, you’ve mentioned that before’. You want people to engage with them.

Again, the perfect ambassador will want to work with you, not for you. You’ll notice they’ll recommend content, they’re really excited about collaborating just as much for you as they are for them. You want them to take pride in your work. You don’t want someone who’s very by the book, you want someone who’s like an extension of your business, almost like a friend of the business. That’s what we’re looking for in an ambassador. 

Influencer warning signs

On the flip side, there’s some warning signs. You might not get these with a lot of small influencers but it’s always worth being on the lookout if you’re going to be aligning your brand with theirs. If they’ve got bad press or they’re a notorious figure, depending on what brand you are but most of the time you don’t want to align yourself with that. 

Endorsements of opposites, like I said with the KFC and the bodybuilder, if you’re a small scale body builder you’re probably not going to want to target a food blogger who promotes Slimming World. You want to get someone in your niche, not the opposite of it. 

Fake followers or spam bots. You can just google ‘engagement calculators’ or ‘follower calculator’ and it’ll show you if they’ve bought followers or comments. To the naked eye, sometimes you can’t see and it’s useful just to go on these sites and use the quick free tools to see if they are credible people, especially if you’re looking to start paying for people and giving them a piece of your services. 

Distasteful views or language. Again, if you’re a small family-run business, you’ve got to be thinking about how this person presents themselves on socials. For example, an influencer I’ve worked with before, I’ve had to look out for things like uploading when drunk or maybe some of the phrases they use use offensive language. You’ve got to look at what they push, they will be an extension of your brand. 

Affiliation with similar brands. Something you’ve got to look out for with the medium to larger sized influencers is they’ll be bought into deals. For example, if you’re a soap company and they’ve been bought into Dove, it might be that they actually cannot work with you because of contractual reasons. Similarly if they promote every other soap company out there, you want to stand out, go somewhere else. Go to someone else who will hero your brand. 

In general, you want them to live and breathe the same values. If you’re tying yourself to them, make it completely transparent and make sure that person is exactly like you are. 

Goals for influencer marketing

Now you’re armed with that knowledge. But what do you want from it? Brand exposure? New social followers? Backlinks to your site? Sales? Influencer marketing contributes to all of these things in different ways. It is easier, if you’re B to C, if you’ve got physical product offerings but there are ways to work around it. As long as you pick the right influencer, you can tap into all of these things. 

What we’re going to look at now is the different goals and how they boost SEO efforts. Just a little stat I want to include here: 90% of people get recommendations from other people rather than brand ads. It’s interesting to know because influencer marketing is almost more in line with word of mouth than it is advertising because these people think that influencers are their friends, their family, so they trust them a lot. Use them, use their platform, and use it for the right benefit. 

Goal one: increasing your online visibility

Let’s run through these goals individually and see how they can be supported at every touch point. Goal one: how can you increase online visibility. Influencer marketing is a great tactic to get your name out there. If their content is appealing, enticing, good quality and they work really hard to make sure their work is of good value and it’s not spammy. You can increase your own online visibility by using their platform to push your platform out there. That can be seen in various different ways, that could be backlinks to your site. If it’s someone local or someone more relevant and in your niche it’s much more useful as it comes back to the fact they convert and it’s more reliable. 

Work with them to increase your own online visibility as well as theirs. You go to the influencer and say your keyword research or that you’ve done the SEO academy at Nettl and say ‘did you know there are 500 searches a month for this term, it’s linked to my product offering, this is what I do, I think if we were able to work together I think your followers would be really interested in this’. It’s about making it really desirable, putting a package on a plate for them. Typically, they’re happy to help. Discuss how the keyword rankings benefit them as well as you. All they think about is their followers. 

Goal two: increasing quality traffic

Goal two: increasing quality traffic. The key point here is relevancy. If you go for smaller, niche followers that tick the boxes that makes sure the traffic is of really good quality. They’re more loyal, they’re more interested therefore they’re more likely to convert. So you’re better off having five smaller influencers rather than fifty big ones even if budget wasn’t an issue because you’re tapping into that relevant niche, you are speaking to people who are relevant. They’ll work with you to increase this traffic. They’ll be working on things like anchor texts in SEO, they’ll be looking at landing pages, inclusions of keywords. All these goals tie into one another but influencers do touch on each individual touch point. 

Goal three: increasing social following

Goal three: increasing social following. So this is a bit of an easier one, so things like competitions, driving people to your page. Using the influencer’s platform as a podium. At the end of the day, they know what their audiences like most. To be honest, if they didn’t like your offering, they wouldn’t be partnering with you, especially if you picked that credible person. So to increase social following, tap into different trends, different audiences, tell a story that encourages people. Use the influencer and get them to impart wisdom onto their audience because at the end of the day, if they are seen to endorse your product or your offering or your social media pages as soon as they collaborate with you and that’s driving their followers to you.  

Goal four: increasing reach and engagement

Goal four: increasing reach and engagement. This goal compliments the others, it goes hand-in-hand with them. If someone visits your social page or your blog and they like what they see, they will engage. Once you’re there, your reach is already maximised. If they share, that’s just a bonus. Coming back to the relevancy point, if someone’s super interested in skincare, maybe a soap company made this range of products, it’s likely that they’ll share it with their followers and friends because they’ve probably got friends and followers that like similar products. 

These influencers that you’re partnering with, they’ll have personal goals that they’ll want to reach and engage with. They’ll do things like post questions, do that too and you’ll instantly see an increase in your reach. 

In a nutshell: what is your business objective? What do you want from it? Figure out a strategy from there. Who is the perfect influencer? Touch base, negotiate a deal. How does the content  look? Do you continue working with them? Is it just a one-off thing? Pull those benefits in, keep tracking the success on something like Google Analytics, it depends what channel you’re using. It’s a fairly straightforward process once you get into the swing of it. 

Caveat for working with influencers

I’ve put a little caveat at the bottom, if you are collaborating with influencers – especially if you’re giving them a product or a service or even a fee for their work – make sure they are in touch with the latest ASA requirements. A lot of influencers have come under fire for not disclosing that their work is paid or gifted. It comes back to the credibility thing, you just want to make sure that they are ticking that box there. 

What would my posts look like?

So you might think, ‘right, how does this look? I might use influencer marketing, I have a bit of an understanding of what it does for me but what sort of posts could they be?’ The little venn diagram on the right is really useful: the influencer section is people who maybe haven’t heard about your brand but would be good examples of people to reach out to; the green brand advocates are people that already like your brand and are perhaps already shouting about your brand; the organic influencers in the middle are people with a following that are shouting about your brand. Ideally, you want to be moving as many people in that yellow category into the blue. Find people with a following and get them to endorse your brand. 

But what will the posts look like? If you have a physical product, send them it for a review. Can you do something a bit more creative with a bit more money behind it? If you’ve got a bit more money, could you send them a hamper or something a bit more creative to show that you’re following them well and you’re interested in them yourself? If it’s their birthday, could you send them something? This is really good if you’re a food brand. Who doesn’t love free food on their birthday? Anything personalised is always great. What they’re going to do is they’re going to review in the form of a blog post or they’re going to start posting about your brand on social media. These are all ways of how you reach out to them and they give you something back.

Another idea which could work well if you’re really into the local angle is to offer to pay for small influencer trips in the local area, perhaps including a trip to your establishment if you’re a small shop on the local high street, for example. 

Outreach is really good, it’s something I do almost everyday. Although a lot of people view it as almost cold calling, you are touching base with people who are probably in that yellow section on the diagram and it’s really good to put your brand in front of them. It’s really good to make random influencers aware of your offering, is there anything that takes their fancy? Is there anything they’re working on that you could work with them for? Some people view this as a bit salesy and aren’t that comfortable doing it, another easier way is to have a PR enquiries section on your website to drive people and show people you are PR friendly.

With the brand awareness pieces, if you are a small business, maybe you’ve got a sustainable or a charity offering, reach out to influencers in that space. More often than not, it’s something they’d like to align themselves with or maybe become an ambassador. These are really good selling points for influencers who are looking to grow their following as well as, at the end of the day, it looks really good for them.   

Affiliate programmes or hashtag ads. Affiliate programmes are more of a long term partnership looking at perhaps a kick back in profits per sale for them. Partnerships, in terms of hashtag ads, are more one off and you’re paying them to say something on behalf of your brand or to endorse your brand publicly. A lot of the content you’re scrolling through on your feed on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you’ll start noticing that is hashtag ad or hashtag affiliate. With the ASA requirements, they will be required to use those hashtags so keep an eye out now you’ve been made aware of them and try to think about them in the smaller scale and perhaps how you could use them for your business.

Tips for getting people to convert

Tips for you. You’ve driven an influencer to your page but really it’s got to be good in itself if you want somebody to convert. These are really basic tips but they are something that is often overlooked. 

Response times on Facebook. If you’ve got a shop on Facebook and you’re running a page where you perhaps offer to inbox customer services, make sure your response times are okay. You’re not leaving it two days to get back to someone’s small inquiry, say if they’re asking what a phone number is via direct message. Even if it’s a little placeholder message saying ‘sorry, I’ve just picked this message up, I’ll speak to the team and get back to you’. You’ve got to get that response time built up because it’s going to be one of the first things appearing on your Facebook page. It will literally appear on your page with ‘response time two days’, ‘response time two hours’. It will move from green to red. The quicker you can get there, the better. It looks like you’re really engaged with your followers and you’re here to help. Then they’re more likely to drop you a message than drop lengthy emails if they just want a quick little answer. 

Strong branding. Again, it depends on what type of brand you’ve got but you should all have something that is instantly recognisable to you on social media. Whether it’s the tone of voice or  visually the colours or the styles, maybe you push out a certain type of illustration or whatever. Not many brands, especially when they’re smaller, have the budget to be able to take people on to create nice stuff on social media. There’s lots of guides online on how you can do it yourself, even use your own iPhones or Androids to take your content up a notch. Make sure it all looks like you. 

Quality of posts over quantity. Don’t feel like you have to put something out everyday. Actually, platforms like Facebook and Instagram penalise you for it. Post when your followers are active, post when it makes sense, when you’ve got something to say. Don’t post when you haven’t got anything to say. 

Community engagement. This is another way of saying show your followers some love. So if they comment on something, comment back, like it back, start a conversation. This is where they get down to the nitty-gritty of your brand and see what you are like in terms of your personality.

Relevant hashtags. Obviously hashtags, as you all know, maximise reach. People are tapping into these everyday globally, any you can include that are relevant to your topic, include them. Any similar accounts you can tag in photos on Twitter – you can tag 10 similar accounts –  for example, if you’re a small handmade home accessories, you’re going to want to be tagging in interior design accounts, anything you can that’s relevant to maximise your reach. 

Abreast of current trends. Ensure you’re all following the news, as daunting as it is lately. Anything that comes up in your niche or in your area, talk about it. Show you’re an expert in that field, show you’re up to date. Give people something to talk about and to come to your platform for. 

Realistic timing. This is an important one. For example, if you used to get up at 5am to go to the gym, please be mindful that most of your followers aren’t up then as well. You’re probably best off waiting till just after lunch to start posting and then get it in front of the right eyes. 

Step-by-step guide on getting started

You might be thinking, ‘how do I actually start this?’ I’ve got to be honest, influencer marketing probably won’t be as relevant or as easy for all businesses and niches. If you’ve got a physical product that you can gift or a physical location that people can visit or you’ve got an online website with e-commerce or a specific niche where influencers following can get you more followers. These are all the types of things you could greatly benefit from. There are ways to make it work with business to business but these are definitely the easy wins. If you fit into more than one category, I’d say give it a go. 

This is a little step-by-step guide. The first thing is that value exchange – what can you offer in return? Is it a product, is it a location? Look at how much you can afford to give away and how often. You really need to be looking at return on investment on this. You don’t want to be putting yourself too far out there if you can’t afford to be doing it.

Decide your objectives, what do you want from it? Do you think ‘actually there was a huge trend with my product last year but I didn’t get any shout back so I’d like to get more Instagram followers because I think I’d get more sales that way’. Then figure out where you go from there. 

Once people are already engaging with your company – these are the green people in that venn diagram – you’ll get social media comments, you’ll get positive reviews. These are the people that first and foremost you want to be shouting about. They’re already brand advocates so make sure you’re doing that community management, make them feel loved. If not and you’re partnering with influencers in the meantime, they can often feel put out. 

Search hashtags on Instagram. Again, if you’re a soap company search #skincaresunday. They are great ways of putting your content in front of relevant audiences. 

Look at your competitors’ instagram accounts. If you see a brand and you think, ‘I’d love to be like them’ or you really like the stuff that they push out or their sales are much better than ours, look at what they’re doing, what type of people are they following, what type of people are following them? Find people interested in that niche or area. Once you go from there there is a bit of a domino effect. Sometimes if I’m looking for bigger influencers, I might look at a certain influencer followed by a brand I like and then look into what influencers that influencer follows. It’s a bit of a chain effect, take your time on it. A good example would be if you’re a children’s clothing brand and you’re looking to target mums, you can talk about lots of different niches around that subject and find people that are really on your hit list. 

Once you’ve got that list, relate it back to your ROI and what you can actually afford to work on. Create a list of different people you want to work with and on different scales. If you’re thinking ‘this person has only got 200 followers but I think they’re really relevant to my platform so I could afford to give them two pieces of this soap and send it to them in a package’. ‘This person has 2000 followers and they actually said they’re going to write a blogpost as well and include all these awesome keywords that I want to rank higher for so I’ll send them a £20 Amazon voucher for their time’. You can scale it up. I’ve been involved in campaigns where people literally get thousands of pounds so it’s scalable and go from there. 

If you are speaking to the right people, you’ll often find that you won’t really get people asking for much money. Often they’re more than happy with a gift with these smaller influencers and then obviously that’s helpful for you because then you haven’t got to fork out too much.

Go onto one of those online calculators, have they got good engagement? Check if they’ve got comments and likes that are credible and are relevant to the image. If you’ve got ones that are just emojis or are a bit irrelevant, this is probably because they are bought. Just have a little look, it doesn’t take too long. 

Then you’ve got to just take the plunge. Reach out through direct message or email, say to them ‘this is what I’m working on, are you working on anything similar? I’d love to work with you, I think your followers would really enjoy my product. Here’s a discount code of your name and if you enter that into my Shopify account and your followers will get 10% off’. They like to give stuff back to their followers as well so things like that are really useful if you can afford to do that. These little incentives are really useful. 

Discuss what they’re worth but make sure they understand your brief. If there’s something you particularly want to shout about, make sure they’re aware of it. Make sure they disclose it as hashtag ad, you don’t want yourself getting into trouble. Make sure they’ve got everything they need and once they do and they get that content live, you need to be tracking the performance to be looking at your return on investment because you might see, actually, yes it was okay but maybe influencer marketing didn’t quite get it or it wasn’t necessarily worth my time. Or maybe that worked well and if I do it bigger next time that could work even better. Track your following on Instagram. Track your website visitors. Any people that you do give a promo code to track the usage of that on your e-commerce site. 

Key takeaways for influencer marketing

Key takeaways. First one: if you’ve got nothing to lose, just try it. Always ensure your branding, your social media and your web are perfect. As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate already so don’t bite off too much. Don’t throw something new into the mix if you’re not completely happy with what’s already there. Perfect that and then influencer marketing is definitely a good next step for people. Think about what they can do for you. If the value isn’t that much, maybe move on to someone else who can guarantee something a bit more. Relevancy over reach, get nice people working with you and build that relationship. Always negotiate. If they’re asking for a lot of money, kindly step away and move onto something else. Especially if you’re a small business, you’re going to want something that has more longevity to it. Gifting little products here and there will give you a good return on your investment. Take advantage of their experience, a lot of them have worked in PR or media or journalism so ask them for their suggestions. Even if they’re university students, they’ve been in the industry through work placements, et cetera, they understand the social sphere really well, their content production skills are amazing. Just ask for their suggestions. Be quite transparent with them and you’ll often find that works best. Finally, make them feel loved. They’ve come under fire in recent years, they’re not treated as well, they’re not given much credit so make them feel loved and build that relationship. 

It’s a lot of information at once but hopefully it’s given you a good indication of how to get influencer marketing up and running and how it can boost your SEO. 


How would influencer marketing work with B2B?

I see how this would benefit B2C but how would this work with B2B? Or if you are providing a service, how do influencers provide value? It will benefit certain types of businesses more than others but there’s ways for it to work for B2Bs. Presuming you’re all on LinkedIn, you will have thought leaders in your field that have a good following that will almost act as that influencer for you. They will work with you just like a small-scale Kim Kardashian. They’ll work with you on creating that content on LinkedIn, especially if they’ve got followers in your niche. As long as it’s relevant, run with it and I’m sure you’ll see the results. 

How do you find influencers?

Are there lists of influencers, how do you find them? Yeah, there are some influencer marketing agencies and they’re huge, they deal with people who want thousands of pounds for each post. It depends on what scale you’re looking for but searching hashtags and finding out people that post that kind of content will help you find influencers within that field. Literally just go on Instagram – that’s a free tool so that’s really good. There are some talent agencies if you’re looking to take it up a step. They will post their talent and show you what type of influencer they are. If your business is also in a specific area – so if you’re in Cheltenham, for example – you could google search ‘influencers in whatever area you’re in’ and there might be some blog articles on different influencers in the area. Or you could google ‘influencers in fashion’, for example, and there’ll be different ones that will come up. It’s a bit of detective work really. I’m from Cardiff and I used to work on a lot of campaigns in the local area and I’d always search ‘hashtag Cardiff blogger’ and there’d be loads of people who are into these conversations. Try lots of different terms and more often than not you’ll find people that fit the bill. 

Engagement calculators

You mentioned a calculator, where can I get that and how best to use it? So you can just google things like ‘engagement rate calculator’, it’ll be one of the first things to appear on Google. Essentially what it does is you just type in the username of the person who you almost want to vet and what it’ll do is it’ll show their engagement rate. It shows credibility. The average is 2% which sounds really low but actually that’s really good. Anything below that, you want to start rethinking. There’s lots of how to guides but the calculators are really easy to use and it’ll do all the work for you.

Expectations for return on investments

From your experience, what would be your expectation of return on investment? That’s a really hard one, that depends on what you offer. I’ve never worked on a campaign that hasn’t brought back what the investment was and more. It really does depend on what you’re able to offer. It probably comes into the research you do first. If you don’t do much research and you just contact someone because you think they look okay and it comes back to the influencer not being relevant to your business. If you’ve chosen the wrong person, the return on investment isn’t going to be very good. What I would recommend is testing it. Say you sent out one product to a customer and it cost you £50 to send and gift that, then you are somehow able to track with a code that you give people that you got ten people in return for that £50 product then you can work out your cost versus what you got back and then you can work out your return on investment. 

Ultimately, there’s not one specific return on investment figure but if you start testing you can then work out what your return on investment should be or what would be a good return on investment. You can then always compare it to other marketing channels. If you do anything paid at the moment and you spend £300 on something and you only get ten sales but you end up spending £50 on this by giving a product to someone and make ten sales then you can see that maybe the return on investment of influencer marketing is good for you. It might not be good for some businesses so you should compare it to your other channels to see if it’s potentially not working. Especially if you’re looking to medium to large scale influencers, a lot of them will come to you with case studies of when they’ve worked with other brands and they will show you the return on investment for when they’ve worked with other brands. If you do have the money to fork out, they will put that on the plate for you as well. 

Are some platforms better than others?

I’ve been approached by an influencer who’s got thousands of followers on TikTok but hardly any on Instagram. Are some platforms better than others? It depends on what you want to do and where your audience is. If you think of the age and demographics of your target audience, are they more likely to sit on TikTok or Instagram? If it’s TikTok, definitely go from there as long as their engagement rate is good. But if it’s Instagram, you probably want to find someone else who’s got  a higher Instagram following. It might be the case that they started off in TikTok and then started an Instagram so it might be worth finding that out. If they were TikTok famous. Where ever your followers are and your target audience sit, go from there. You want to be in the places that they’re looking for you in. Also make sure you can track the success of it. Don’t gift someone or pay someone with no way of tracking the success. If it’s easier to track something on Instagram than TikTok for you then you might want to try a different platform. 

For example, if you’re not on TikTok and you think if I do it on Instagram, that’s actually driving people to your instagram page so it’s almost killing two birds with one stone. Maybe it’s driving people to your site by swiping up on Instagram stories. Whereas if you’re not on TikTok you’ve almost lost a possible other conversion from that as well. 

Best ways to find an influencer

What is the best way to find an influencer? I’d definitely start through Instagram or Twitter. Sometimes even searching the hashtag ‘blogger request’ and if you search through that, you’ll find loads of creators looking for different types of products to review. An example tweet would probably be: ‘#bloggerrequest I’m looking for a skincare product to review in my upcoming blog, please contact me’ then they’ll put their email and that’s a great opportunity to jump on. There’ll be conversations that are already going on so definitely tap into those, get your brand out there in as many ways as possible but also look at who’s following who on Instagram and you’ll probably find a lot of relevant people there. Also if you don’t know what is a hashtag that people use, you can put the hashtag in and Instagram shows you how many times that hashtag has been used. If you put it in and it’s got no use then it’s probably not the right hashtag that’s relevant to your business or your niche. If you’re stuck on what hashtags you should be using, it’s just a small google search and there’ll be little bots and calculators online that will create them for you. 

Is there a rule of thumb for cost versus influencer reach?

Is there a rule of thumb for cost versus influencer reach? I wish there were. It’s really scalable. I’ve worked with people with 1.5 million followers that would be just as happy with a gift if they really liked the brand and then I’ve worked with people with 300 followers who are asking for £100 and the product to be gifted. I wish there was a one size fits all approach but there definitely isn’t. It’s more personalised so be looking at your return on investment. They might be able to give you some metrics on how much reach their posts have. If they have 500 followers and approximately 350 see those posts on a daily basis, you need to start thinking about which ones are more likely to convert. How much money could you make from that? What can you afford to put in? I wish there was but sadly not. It’s a bit of a learning game with influencer marketing.

Additional point is that if you’re doing outreach by doing it yourself, you probably will get a lot of people that will come back and straight away ask about money and that kind of thing. The best thing you can do is try to build some kind of relationship and choose the right people. If it’s someone already using your products, you can say ‘great, I can see that you are using our products and you like it, can we discuss this?’ and then it’s not a completely cold outreach. You might even be able to find people who have already reviewed your products. I think the rule of thumb is to find the right people. You might be able to build a relationship, you might be able to get costs down. 

SEO tips for photographers

What are SEO tips for photographers? For just plain photographers, if they’ve got a blog they’re more than likely creating their own blog content around that so if you can give them any tips that are, for example, ‘there are this amount of people searching for this term’. Maybe you’re going to a food blogger because you’re a small artisanal chocolate maker, you’re going to be searching ‘homemade chocolates’, for example, or terms like that. You’re going to be finding the monthly search volume and you’re going to be going to the photographer and you’re going to be saying ‘if you work with me on this content and include those keywords, it’ll be really beneficial for you because there are X amount of people searching for this every month and that’s exposing your brand as well as mine’. That’s where they’re more likely to collaborate with you because you’re showing them their benefit as well. So as much as their followers are interested in it, what’s the benefit for their personal brand that’s almost threefold. 

Age demographics for different platforms

What are the age demographics for different social media sites? You can type that into Google and there’s a statistics website – can’t remember what it’s called – that comes up and tells you the demographics for different people on different social media sites. You can also check on your own social media, on Facebook you can check the demographics of the people visiting your Facebook page if you have one. 

SEO tips for bloggers

SEO tips for blogging. I would say keyword research. If you want to improve the SEO of your website through influencer marketing or through any other SEO activity, make sure your website is targeted and is relevant to your business or whatever you’re trying to achieve. If you’re a food blogger then do some keyword research around food blogging. There’s lots of different tools out there, just type in ‘free keyword research tools’. There’s one called Uber Suggests. Another called which gives you questions that people are asking about food blogging, for example. Lots of free keyword research tools. It’s all about making your website and whatever you’re doing for your marketing relevant. Google’s and any search engines’ algorithms now are focussed on relevancy. I can’t stress enough that you need to be talking about and need to be marketing related to what you do as a business. I always go back to when I worked at a previous company, we used to do a lot of cat memes on Facebook and they performed really well, people loved seeing things about cats and dogs, and the engagement rate was great but we were a financial services company. It was completely pointless because no one was actually coming to the website to buy our product. You really need to be doing things that are relevant to what you’re trying to achieve and what your objectives are. Always go back to that.