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Sugatan How To Generate $350k/Month With Influencer Marketing

Irakli Zviadadze | Content Marketer | Sugatan.io 

July 17, 2020

How To Generate $350k Month With Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is everywhere these days. Especially in eCommerce.

Sometimes in the form of a sponsored post, product review, a brand deal, or maybe something even less subtle. 

Your favorite celebrities are doing it. Instagram models. Or even niche experts endorsing a new product on the market.

The point is, influencer marketing comes in many shapes and sizes. 

But in this guide, we’re going to focus on a topic we know what we’re talking about: our process for eCommerce influencer marketingbased on generating $350k+/Mo.

shopify influencer marketing total sales graph

If done right, influencer marketing can be a huuuuge needle mover for your eCommerce business. And a great way to scale up quickly. 

The main keyword being: if done right.

Which is why, today, we’re going to make sure you’re doing influencer marketing right by covering the following topics:

This is going to be another long post, so, hope you’re ready as we won’t be holding back. 

Let’s jump right into it:

Getting Started With Influencer Marketing: What Is It and Why Your Business Needs It

Influencer marketing is one of those things that’s easier said than done.

Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you pay influencers to get the word out about your brand, for their market, instead.

It helps small eCommerce businesses to scale by giving them more publicity, and allows large businesses to reach out to more people.

Most importantly, it typically provides a higher ROI than most marketing methods. 

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub benchmark report, for every $1 brands spend on influencers, they’re getting an ROI of $5.78 on average.

Instagram is one of the best performing platforms for brands to reach new audiences quickly, and it’s also the best channel for social action.

When it comes to eCommerce, most brands rely on paying influencers with big followings for a shoutout to reach their audience. Essentially, you’re paying to get your product in front of their subscribers.

But what makes influencer marketing so effective, exactly?

Part of it has to do with trust and social proof.

“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” – Seth Godin

Consumers are also taking extreme measures to avoid advertising. 

So, more people are using AdBlock, they trust marketers and ads less, and have a very good reason to be skeptical.

The point being, if there’s a time to start utilizing influencer marketing – it’s now.

When an influencer is recommending a product to their audience, they see it like a close friend recommending a product. This is obviously a huge advantage for brands – giving them access to a new market, usually for a smaller cost than what they’d pay for a traditional ad.

Additionally, by partnering with the right influencers, your business is reaching people who are already interested in your niche. So, it’s much easier to make a real, lasting impression.

instagram influencer marketing post

One of the most successful recent influencer marketing campaigns was by Gymshark, an eCommerce activewear brand that disrupted the gym apparel market using social media and influencer marketing to gain a cult-like following. 

They managed to:

  1. Turn fitness athletes into brand ambassadors by making it a super exclusive title.
  2. Built long-lasting relationships with fans by being active on pretty much all social media channels (including Pinterest and Spotify. Yes, Spotify.). 
  3. Had tactical sales (1-2 times a year), and a BIG one on Black Friday.
  4. Utilized FOMO and doubled down on exclusivity for each product they sold.

If you’re serious about influencer marketing, check out the complete case study of how Gymshark grew by 200%+ year on year and hit £41M in sales from influencer marketing to see how it’s done.

gymshark influencer marketing growth

Whether you’re just starting out your eCommerce empire or you already have a decent following, you can use influencer marketing to your advantage to scale up.

Here’s what you need to know:

Influencer Marketing: Facts and Myths in 2020

Influencer marketing is growing quickly. Like scary quick.

influencer marketing interest graph

According to BigCommerce:

  • 65% of influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2020.
  • 17% of companies spend over half their marketing budget on influencers. The number is even higher in eCommerce, fashion, and beauty industries.
  • 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable, or better, than other marketing channels.
  • Instagram ranks as the #1 for the most important and impactful channel.

But there are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding the topic.

So, let’s clear things up before we talk strategy.

Myth: Influencer marketing is a fad

A lot of people think influencer marketing is a bubble that’s going to burst soon.

influencer marketing myth searches

Influencer marketing is no fad.

Big businesses and budgets are just now entering the space and the channel has a higher calling beyond just promoting products.

To achieve good results takes discipline and time. This includes the willingness to mine social and other online data to understand the influencer’s own brand and history to make sure they align with yours.

Some influencers are not well known beyond their core following and may have done things that won’t fit well with your brand.

So, in short, you need to put in the time and effort if you want to succeed in influencer marketing in 2020.

Gone are the days of throwing money at Instagram pages with a lot of followers to see what sticks.

Now, you need to make sure:

  • The influencer is compatible with your brand.
  • You’re looking at the right numbers when gauging the effectiveness of an influencer (something we’ll touch up on below).
  • Make sure the influencer has a strong relationship with their followers.

Now for the not-so-good news:

Fact: Smoke and mirrors and FTC disclosures

The channel is not without its challenges – disclosures and ethics remain ongoing issues in the industry.

According to a news report by Cheq, influencer marketing fraud (buying followers, fake clicks/engagement) is said to cost the industry $1.3B a year.

And failing to declare influencer ads as ads is a matter the Federal Trade Commission takes very seriously.

Which is why Truth In Advertising (TINA) sent a complaint letter to the FTC when the organization discovered posts from dozens of celebrity influencers who worked with the brand and had failed to disclose their partnership (Source).

influencer instagram post no disclosure

The posts are a cautionary tale in the importance of following legal guidelines with influencer marketing.

Disclosure 101 for social media influencers by the FTC is as follows:

  • Disclose when you have any financial, employment, or personal relationship with a brand.
  • Keep in mind that tags, likes, pins, and similar ways of showing you like a brand or product are endorsements.
  • If posting from abroad, U.S. law applies if it’s reasonably foreseeable that the post will affect U.S. consumers. Foreign laws might also apply.
  • How to disclose: place it so it’s hard to miss, use simple and clear language (e.g. “Thanks to Acme brand for the free product”), if making a video, the disclosure should be in the video and not just in the description.
  • And more, check out the link above for the full list.

In short: if it’s an endorsement, make sure it’s obvious and you won’t get in trouble.

Now, legality and technical stuff aside, here’s how to make sure the influencer you’re working with is legit.

Fact: Numbers can be deceiving

This sounds scarier than it is. Yet, it’s still a common beginner mistake.

Here’s the process many brands and agencies follow:

  1. Search for keywords the account uses in their bio + posts.
  2. Sort by number of followers.
  3. Filter by manual review (actually not a lot of people do this part).

This is a terribly inaccurate way of doing influencer marketing as these surface-level metrics (likes/comments, etc.) are very easily game-able. And neither of them indicates the influencer’s account reaches the people you want to target.

Instead, your approach should look more something like this:

  1. Define your target audience you’re attempting to reach/influence with a high-level strategy.
  2. Ensure influencer aligns with your brand’s position, message, and audience.
  3. Filter based on manual review.

If done well, influencer marketing can be a considerably big needle mover for your eCommerce business.

Obviously, you shouldn’t select influencers based just on their likes and comments.

We’ll cover our approach in detail below, but for the most part, here are some other metrics to review before collaborating with an influencer:

  • Engagement – Sum of likes and comments for each post divided by the number of followers. This is a crucial value you should check first. Just because someone has a lot of followers, doesn’t mean their engagement will be high. You can use Phlanx engagement calculator to quickly check the engagement rate for Instagram accounts.
  • Comments/like ratio – Another important metric to gauge the influencer’s followers (how active they are, if they’ve bought likes, etc.)
  • Followers/Following ratio – Many influencers used to follow other users and then unfollow after a certain period of time (once they have followed the influencer back). This is a quick way to get a lot of followers, but they might drop off because they’re either bots or people not interested in the account.
  • Follower growth – Another great way to see if the influencer has been growing organically or buying followers.
  • Post frequency – How many posts does the influencer share per week? If it’s too high – the influencer’s followers might be losing interest and the engagement might go down. If it’s too low, the influencer might not be committed when the collaboration starts.
  • Branded posts – Before checking if the influencer is a good fit for your brand, you might want to check if they’ve already mentioned your competitors in recent posts. This can also give you an idea of the kind of brands they work with in general.
  • Cost per post  – Self-explanatory. Wondered if you can afford the influencer you want to hire? You can contact them and ask for their media kit. We’ll cover our process for this as well as the exact outreach below.

engagement rate distribution graph

Myth: Influencer marketing has lost credibility

Not as likely as you might think.

While it might seem likely to think that influencers get a bad rep nowadays and people might be less likely to trust them – this is actually not the case.

According to Trust Barometer study – based on more than 33,000 people participating from 27 countries around the world, some of its main findings include:

  • People trust people ‘like them’ more than just about anyone else
  • 74% of consumers are actively dodging brand messages (through AdBlock, etc.).
  • Influencer relatability is more important than popularity.
  • Influencer marketing drives real revenue. 58% of participants said they have actively purchased products based on an influencer’s recommendation.

Check out the full report for more info on the role of brands in our lives and society and people’s expectations.

Here are the main takeaways you should keep in mind:

  • Now more than ever, brands must provide a reliable product and a rewarding customer experience.
  • Relatability is often more important than the influencer’s popularity. See how they engage with their audience and in return, how loyal the audience is to them.
  • Make sure your relationship with the influencer is based on authenticity. Your product should be relevant to them and your brand should inspire trust.

Fact: The practice is narrowly defined

In the words of Rand Fishkin

rand fishkin influencer marketing tweet

There’s a negative connotation on influencers who are seen as well, just Instagram models.

In reality, they provide value, first and foremost, to their audience and have probably worked for years to grow their core base.

In any given field within eCommerce, there are numerous marketing channels and mediums that influence potential buyers and amplifiers. 

Often, Instagram is the biggest and most common.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the go-to case for all brands. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing your audience. And marketers that think more broadly and target more intelligently will run circles around their competitors.

Influencer marketing should be a win-win-win situation.

A win for your brand, for the influencer, and their audience.

And you can only do this with a great product and properly defining your strategy.

Speaking of, here’s how to properly define your eCommerce influencer marketing strategy.

How to Find the Right Influencers and Define Your Goals

Knowing how to find influencers who can get you in front of your target audience is an excellent way to reach new people, drive traffic, build brand awareness, and increase sales.

But that’s pretty vague, right?

So, let’s start with the most obvious building block first: setting goals.

Defining your influencer marketing goals

Before you start contacting influencers within your niche, it’s a good idea to set a clear strategy to get the most out of your campaigns.

If you execute a strategy with too many goals at once, the tactics will under-perform.

Each influencer marketing effort will produce different results so you need to formulate clear strategies for each campaign first.

Luckily, this is relatively simple.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common influencer marketing goals first.

Goal: Generating leads and getting sales

This will usually be your single most important goal.

If you want to maximize the profitability of your campaign, focus on sales-driven strategies and generating excitement around your products.

After all, this is the only way to find out if your influencer marketing efforts are paying off – are people buying?

The end goal of any business is to generate revenue, so, you’ll need to track sales.

For this, you’ll most likely be focusing on discount codes or tracking links.

Major KPIs you can keep track of also include:

  • Leads generated – Number of new leads generated from your influencer campaign. When you get more targeted leads, the chances of getting more sales increases as well.
  • Sales – Super straightforward KPI. Gives you an idea of the number of sales that your influencer campaign has contributed to.
  • Revenue – To figure out the ROI of your campaign in monetary terms.

Tracking ROI and compensating influencers is easy to do through custom URLs and discount codes. So, for example, if you give each influencer their own unique code, you’ll know where the sales are coming from.

You’ll see this influencer marketing tactic pretty much anywhere. 

Audible’s influencer tactic, for example, allows Tim the right amount of creative freedom in choosing his own favorite books, and during his podcasts, he shouts out Audible and directs users to check it out with his custom URL. Where they get a free ebook and also a list of Tim’s favorite books.

tim ferris audible influencer marketing

In short: influencers love unique discount codes for their audiences. And they’re easy for you to track as part of your influencer marketing campaign.

You can use:

  • Custom coupons – Influencers love having an exclusive offer, based solely around their followers. 
  • Product-focused content – Content based around your product for the influencer’s following. This could be story video ads and/or advertorials and demonstrations.
  • Special promotion and discounts – For example, seasonal or pre-launch promotions.
  • Promotional videos – Same as above.

If the main highlight of an influencer’s video is going to be your product, make sure you’re focusing on its features, and how they translate into benefits.

We’ve had a lot of success with advertorials and how-to videos that demonstrate the product in action to the user-base with this creative angle.

For more information on creating video ads that convert and further inspiration on video creatives, check out our full article on Facebook video ads that generated $10M+ in sales. 

There’s a lot you can copy from there that also applies to influencer marketing videos.

Goal: User-generated content

User-generated content is super important for influencer marketing campaigns as well as your general ads.

With this goal in mind, your main aim with working with an influencer is getting content from them.

Anything from photoshoots, videos, reviews, and more.

If you’re running a campaign with UGC in mind – make sure you’re contacting smaller influencers who will do it for cheaper.

Micro-influencers are usually willing to provide you with plenty of content for cheaper because they’ll want to get their name out there and establish relationships, as this can lead to further work in the future.

For example, it wouldn’t make sense to contact an influencer with 2M followers and ask them to create content for you, right? You’d want a shoutout post from them instead.

Once you receive the content from your influencers, you can edit it or re-use it for your ads accordingly.

With UGC, you can track your goal per content quantity. For example, 5-10+ content pieces per month, depending on the campaign.

Goal: Brand awareness

Now, brand awareness gets a bad reputation because it’s so hard to measure. Usually, it’s a ‘fluff’ metric and is mostly for social proof.

The extent to which customers are familiar with your brand or services.

This is as top-of-the-funnel as it gets.

If you want to generate some buzz around your brand and increase brand awareness, avoid focusing strictly on sales (though that might be a nice by-product). 

If your goal is to generate brand awareness for your eCommerce business, here are some influencer marketing strategies you can focus on to build brand awareness:

  • Brand mentions – Influencers can introduce your brand to their audience and explain how you help people, without forcing your products.
  • Product review – Influencers can show your products and give their reviews.
  • Encouraging shares – Influencers encourage sharing to their followers and user brand-specific hashtags.
  • Contests – More targeted for followers getting rewards for sharing. And not necessarily encouraging to buy the product.
  • Create engaging content – Can be great for building trust and establishing relationships. And when the influencer starts offering buying suggestions, their audience will be warmed up to your brand and make purchasing decisions based on them.
  • Invite influencers to contribute to your blog – If your blog is relevant, you can ask your influencer to write an article for your site. Then, ask them to promote it. Once the traffic from there kicks in, you should be ready to start capturing emails with an opt-in box.

Goal: Increasing followers and engagement for your social media

This is similar to the above goal, because if you’re implementing strategies to increase brand awareness, you’ll also gain some extra followers and boost your engagement.

But here, you should be focusing more on the influencer’s followers – with extreme caution and respect. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Account takeovers – Want to gain referral traffic from the influencer’s account? Let them run content (e.g. testimonial, demonstration, etc.) from your account for a short period of time.
  • Shoutouts – Have them mention your profile on the social media channel you’re targeting.
  • Local events or invitations – Situational, but if you run a location-based brand, invite local influencers to see your place of business for the day and have them record their experience/thoughts.
  • And more – Work with bloggers and influencers to create unique ways to use your products.

Here’s how we approach influencers account takeovers:

  1. First, they do a shoutout. If that works, we offer them to create content for us to try on the ads.
  2. If that works out, we offer to put them on our accounts, under our business manager, and run ads from there. In return, they gain our followers and we gain theirs.

influencer ad account takeover

Goal: Establish reputation

Every brand out there wants to strengthen their brand image and establish a reputation for themselves – eCommerce or not.

Building strong partnerships with relevant influencers helps here as well.

Look at your current influencers and spot the ones who share the same values as you.

If you’ve worked with them on several campaigns, consider establishing a meaningful and long-term relationship with them by turning them into your brand ambassadors.

This will help them feel more valued and directly reflect on their work too.

This is what Gymshark did on a large scale when they sponsored 18 influencers, who had a combined following of over 20 million people. 

This strategy turned many influencers into brand ambassadors (“Gymshark athletes”) – creating natural advocacy and genuine affinity for the brand.

gymshark influencer marketing ambassador

To take it a step further, they also made it so that not just anybody could turn into their brand ambassador.

This in itself inspired exclusivity with the brand and meant something special.

Got it?

Good!

Now, once you have a goal or two in mind for your influencer marketing campaign, you should start looking for the actual influencers. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Defining your influencer types

By this point, you’ve probably heard there’s a lot of different types of influencers, right?

An influencer could be:

  • A blogger.
  • Social media personality.
  • Celebrity.
  • Industry expert.
  • Thought leader.
  • Lifestyle brand.

But for the most part, when talking about influencers, people categorize them into the following.

Celebrity influencers

This is the classic and the oldest type of influencer marketing. 

Your Kardashians, Kylie Jenners, Kevin Harts, and all those influencers go here.

Companies have hired celebrities to endorse their products for years now and the actual practice is pretty old. Examples include the George Foreman Grill, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James and Nike, and more.

But businesses have found that celebrity endorsements can cause its own problems. For one, they’re extremely expensive. Kim Kardashian reportedly receives anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 for a single Instagram post.

Secondly, consumers are often suspicious of these endorsements (for a reason). As the practice has become synonymous with celebrity endorsing products they don’t actually use. 

Some things to keep in mind here:

  • Is the celebrity well-liked in general? What about in your niche?
  • For specific cases (e.g. beauty, skincare industries), their massive reach and ability to create viral content can be incredibly helpful.
  • Want to work with celebrities? No way you’ll be able to get their attention by messaging them out of the blue. You’ll have to go with an influencer marketing agency (they’ll most likely have a ready-to-go press and PR kit too) if you want to get on their radar.

You can create a sheet of dream celebrity influencers you want to work with and hire an agent to help you contact them.

influencer marketing outreach sheet

Macro-influencers

Macro-influencers also have a large scale following. But the main difference is that people consider them to be authoritative experts in their respective field. They often have millions of followers across their social media.

Here, you’d find authors, skilled experts, or CEOs like Gary Vaynerchuk (2.1M+ Twitter followers), Jeff Bullas (563K), Neil Patel (364K), Larry Kim (774.4K+), and more.

You get the point.

These people are the superstars of their niche but the average Joe will have no idea who they are.

A retweet or a shoutout from them can really boost your campaign, but it’s important to note that they are already at the top of their field.

  • You need to give them a really strong incentive for them to work with you.
  • Or, they must genuinely love your product/service and benefit from building relationships with you.

To get on their radar, you can email them (make sure you stand out), make sure your brands align, or give them a really strong reason from working with you (what’s in it for them?).

Micro-influencers

Micro-influencers have a more defined and specific audience and are respected in their field (skills, profession, lifestyle brand, etc.).

These individuals are usually less expensive than macro-influencers, but tend to have a great engagement rate and a loyal fanbase.

Often in the range of 3,000-10,000+ followers, micro-influencers are often going to be your best bet for an influencer marketing campaign. They have a much more significant support base than the average person, but not so large to turn down your offers.

If anything, they’re often seriously interested in buying your products too.

influencer sponsored post gifs

When a micro-influencer features a product on their channel, it comes across more like a trusted word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend – as opposed to an endorsement by a celebrity.

But which one of these influencers should you go with for your eCommerce campaign?

Hard to say.

For the most part, you need to work with influencers who will allow you to meet your goals. You should never work with an influencer just because they’re expensive or cheap.

Someone with a smaller community will most likely have more influence.

And someone with a bigger community will most likely have less influence.

Define your audience

It goes without saying that you should be aligning your business with influencers who have an overlap with your own audience.

For example, if you’re an eCommerce fitness brand, it makes sense to partner up with influencers like yoga or gym instructors, right?

So, you should have a solid understanding of your own target audience at this point.

But some other key points you should consider here include:

  • Geographic distribution (location) – Where they’re located, region, city, etc.
  • Age breakdown and range – How old they are
  • Gender 
  • Approximate income – If you know
  • And more

Now, here’s how to actually find the right influencers for your business.

How to find the right social influencers for your brand

So, how DO you find influencers to partner with?

Well, there are quite a few options.

And we’re going to take a look at all of them.

Manually

This is the simplest, and the most direct way to start your first influencer marketing campaign journey.

Also the most time-consuming too.

All you do is start sifting through the relevant hashtags, keywords, or even just going through the followers of popular hashtags that align with your brands.

Pro tip: Once you find someone who looks relevant for your campaign, you can simply press ‘Follow’ on their profile at the top and Instagram will give you a list of recommended influencers. Then, you can go through them one-by-one and start creating a list.

instagram suggested to follow

Once you find a few ideal accounts, you open up Google Sheets and start filling it up with their info.

Collect things like first name, social media link, follower amount, engagement rate, contact info (email, if possible), and more.

Then, you need to get their attention. 

You can shoot them a DM – which they might reply to depending on their popularity. Obviously, you can’t expect a celebrity to reply when they get a million messages per day.

Or, just use an email outreach tool once you have all their info.

If you’re looking for macro-influencers and above, you can just run a Google search for “Top influencers for (your brand)”.

OR, you can just find and copy our approach below.

Go with an agency

Pretty obvious, right?

This will save you a lot of time, but it’s going to be more expensive.

If you do opt in to use an agency for your campaign, you’ll be taking advantage of their roster of reliable influencers and networks.

The agency will do most of the legwork and find specific influencers suitable for your campaign.

Note: If you want to work with celebrity influencers, going with an agency or contacting them through their agent will be your best bet.

Using a platform and other tools

There are now many platforms dedicated to finding influencers suitable for your campaign.

Apps such as Scope (what we use) make it easy to find and manage influencers without having to use messy spreadsheets. You can also use it to find similar and lookalike influencers for your niche, track their posts and analytics, collaborate with your team members, and more.

scope app influencers search

Speaking of, here are some more tools you can use to improve your influencer marketing campaign.

Tools to find influencers (and what we use)

Looking for tools to help with your influencer marketing campaigns, from start to finish?

Here’s a quick cheat sheet, based on what we use.

Scope – For influencer research and filtering based on followers, engagement, location, demographics, and more.

scope influencers search result

You can also create a custom list with this and the tool can automatically suggest a lookalike audience based on that with similar stats and followers.

Check out their guide to building long-lasting relationships with influencers here.

Yesware – For email outreach campaigns and contacting influencers. You just upload your sheet of influencers and reach out to them with a super simple email flow.

We go cover our outreach process for contacting 400+ influencers weekly and the exact emails we use below. Keep on reading!

yesware email campaigns for influencer outreach

Phantombuster – Optional, but underrated tool for automation and scraping data. 

Can be useful for scraping a list of followers and/or automating manual tasks.

phantombuster automation tasks for instagram

For example, if you want to reach an influencer who’s too big for you. You can use the Instagram Follower Collector to scrape their followers and run your influencer campaigns through them.

If a lot of the influencer’s followers are posting about your product, the big influencer will want to work with you or at least hear you out. 

That’s a really sneaky way to get on their radar.

These 3 tools are the main big ones we use.

But you can also check out the following influencer marketing tools. Some of them we use occasionally, others are just great alternatives you can consider for your campaigns.

Mailshake

Mailshake is a quick and convenient email outreach tool. 

It’s useful for sending personalized cold emails at scale to your influencers, and you can manage your email campaigns all in one sequence – in one dashboard.

mailshake email template for outreach

Pricing:

  • Email outreach – $59 per mo/user
  • Sales engagement – $99 per mo/user

Influee

Influee.co is an exclusive network of content creators to level up your influencer marketing and content game.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You create a brief which includes details about your campaign goals, specific needs for your content, requirements, and more.
  2. You collect creator responses and view each influencer, through their analytics and scores, to make an educated decision as to who to collaborate with.
  3. Get custom branded content in a matter of days.
  4. Pay from site.

influee influencer insights

Pricing:

  • Depends on the influencer.

BuzzSumo

Buzzsumo is a classic influencer research tool that goes beyond influencer marketing.

With it, you can analyze what’s trending, do digital PR, do content marketing research, monitor what’s happening online, and of course – find influencers.

With influencers, you can search for Twitter, Facebook, Youtuber, personalities, and authors. And then filter by countries, languages, engagement, and other categories.

buzzsumo influencer results for youtube

Pricing:

  • Pro – $99/mo
  • Plus – $179/mo
  • Large – $299/mo
  • Enterprise – $499+/mo

NinjaOutreach

NinjaOutreach is a powerful social engine to find Instagram and YouTube influencers. This tool allows you to create effective influencer marketing campaigns by filtering through millions of influencers to find THE ONE that captures your target audience’s attention.

You can also use it as an outreach and prospecting tool as it allows you to find business profiles, contact info, and manage multiple projects for big campaigns at the same time.

ninja outreach fashion influencers insights

Pricing:

  • 7 day free trial
  • Flex – $119/mo
  • Pro – $199/mo

SocialBlade

SocialBlade is an analytics and account analyzing tool that simplifies gaining insights for your influencers or online content creators.

The tool is super simple.

All you have to do is type in the influencer’s name and platform, and you instantly gain access to their analytics, growth, engagement, and more. 

You can also use it to analyze influencers’ growth rate. If they have a sudden skyrocket increase in followers in one day, chances are, they might have bought followers or went viral. Be cautious.

social blade search results

Pricing:

  • Certain features are free.
  • Bronze – $3.99/mo
  • Silver – $9.99/mo
  • Gold – $39.99/mo
  • Platinum – $99.99/mo

Phlanx

Finally, Phlanx is an online marketing platform for your business to measure engagement rates, contact influencers, create contracts, audit accounts, and more.

The all-in-one tool has a lot to offer. But if you want to zoom in on influencer marketing specifically, it allows you to look them up in the site influencer directory or contact them directly on the site collaborations section.

phlanx influencers results

Pricing:

  • Free for a month.
  • Basic – $25/mo
  • Premium – $35/mo
  • Business – $50/mo

Our 3 Step Process For contacting 400+ Influencers Weekly

Luckily, a lot of steps in influencer marketing can be outsourced. And that is exactly what we do to save time and scale quickly.

Now, this won’t work every time and if you’re really focusing on quality – you should take the time and do the research internally on your own to find the really good influencers for your campaign.

No matter the approach, we create one long list in Google Sheets with the following information for our campaigns:

  • Instagram link (or platform of your choice).
  • Name – First name usually works.
  • Number of followers.
  • Email (contact info).
  • Code – Unique discount code for them. You can create this once they’ve agreed to work with you.
  • Rate – We’ll be asking them their rate directly. Check out our outreach templates below.
  • Deliverables – What you agreed on for the sponsorship. Can be multi-frame Instagram stories, shoutout posts, video review, something else.
  • Notes – Custom notes for the influencers if needed. 
  • Status – You’ll update this accordingly.
  • Posting date – When you decide on when they’ll make the post.
  • Content approved/status – It’s a good idea to get them to send you the content first. Then, you can make edits and approve it before posting.
  • CPM – Cost per thousand impressions (story view). This is useful for negotiating the influencer’s rate and pay. As an example, let’s say the average story views for your influencer is 100K (make sure you ask them this) and they’re asking for $3,000 for a sponsored story. To calculate the CPM, you divide the rate per average story view. In this case, 3,000/100, which would be $30 per 1,000 impressions.
  • Revenue Generated – Revenue generated from influencer’s post.
  • ROI – Revenue generated divided by rate.
influencers info sheet

Copy our influencer marketing outreach Google Sheet template here. File -> Make a Copy.

A lot of this info you can easily find manually by browsing Instagram profiles, use Scope to make your life easier (and when focusing on quality over quantity), or of course – outsource it to UpWork for $5/h-$10/h to scale quickly.

Now, as you might have noticed, there is no personalization tag in this list.

And that’s fine!

We’ll only be using the first name and Instagram profile personalization tags in our emails.

Speaking of, here’s our influencer outreach email approach.

Influencer Email Outreach: Done the Right Way

As mentioned above, we use Yesware for email outreach.

The process is simple:

  1. You upload the list of influencers (Google Sheet above) to Yesware.
  2. Run the following email outreach campaign: initial request outreach, follow up after 2 days, follow up again after 2 more days if no reply.

yesware email influencer outreach template

Here are the simple templates for your copy-and-paste pleasure which you can modify to your brand:

Subject line: Let’s work together? ❤️

Body text:

“Hi {!Name},

Great to see you!

I’m (your name), head of Influencer Relation at (your brand name linked to your site) – a (1 line description of what makes you unique).

(Expand on 1-2 sentences of how you help people. Make sure you’re relating to the influencer’s values here).

I stumbled onto your Instagram account {!InstagramProfile} and absolutely love your content.

Our team thinks your style is a great fit for our skincare brand and we’d love to collaborate with you!

We’d like to send over some of our products so you can feel how well they work and see if we can collaborate together.

Let me know if you have any thoughts & how we can make this collaboration possible.

Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon,

(your name) from (your brand).”

Follow up 1 after 2 days if no reply:

“Hey {!Name}!

Have you had a chance to read the previous email I sent you?

Would love to work together with you, {!Name}!

Let us know.

(your name) from (your brand).”

Follow up 2 after 2 more days if no reply:

“Hey!

Just checking in on you again!

Would love to work together with you.

Let me know if you’re interested.

(your name) from (your brand).”

Few notes on outreach here:

  • You don’t need fancy detailed personalization. We only personalize their first name and profile. That personal touch is often enough. No need to go in detail about how you liked their recent photo, describe what it was about, and how high quality it was.
  • Make sure your emails are short and straightforward. Try to describe your brand and what makes you unique in only 2-3 sentences at most. You should focus on them most of the time. 
  • From the management side, you can assign emails to members of your team depending on who needs to reply (you can do this within Yesware). 
  • Then, you can also set up a quick CRM to assign what step you’re on with each campaign and influencer.
  • Bonus: Always be A/B testing. 1. Track your emails. 2. Resend to unopens with a different subject line. 3. Track results.

Now, once you’ve got the outreach down, it’s only a matter of time until influencers will want to start working with you.

Here’s how to properly work with influencers and handle all the management.

Managing Relationships and Working With Influencers

First things first – the contracts.

Our approach is simple and it depends on their rate.

So, let’s take a look at a few scenarios.

Rate is less than $3,000

If the influencer is asking for less than $3,000 – we do NOT do contracts.

Why?

Simply because they’re usually too time-consuming and no one has ever vanished without delivering on their promise.

There’s usually no point in creating a legal agreement if you’re just going to pay them $100 for a simple shoutout post.

However, if you want to keep things safe, you can either:

  • Pay the influencer AFTER they posted.
  • Pay 50% upfront, and the other 50% once they make the post.

Rate is more than $3,000

Contracts can get tricky real quick.

And a lot will depend on your personal brand, and how technical your influencer marketing campaign is.

If you don’t want to take any chances, of course, you can hire a lawyer to draft one for you. And if you’re working with celebrity-tier influencers, this might be the way to go.

But for the most part, here are a few things you should watch out for:

  • Timeline and dates – We usually have a specific set date for our influencers on when to make a post. This helps with not having to follow up with them and just makes everything more convenient. You can outline the duration by specifying the start and end dates of the contract.
  • Scope of work and deliverables – Here, you’ll want to be more specific with what you’re working on. Deliverables can include the type of footage and content you want from them. The more details you can provide, the better. If there’s a misunderstanding later on, you can often resolve things by pointing to specific terms outlined in the contract.
  • Approval workflows – Specify the scenarios in which the influencer can publish the content directly and when they need you to approve it first. Usually, it’s good to give the influencer some legroom in creativity, but we always prefer to go over the content and approve it first.
  • Exclusivity – Concerned the influencer might work with your competitors or reference their products? You might want to put an exclusive clause in your contract, especially if it’s going to be a long-term relationship.

If you want to do things yourself, you can check out this influencer contract template as a starting point. 

Measuring results and tracking ROI

Let’s break this down piece-by-piece.

The formula for ROI = Net profit / Investment.

In this case, you’d have to see how much you paid the influencer and how much revenue they brought you to see if it was worth it.

Simple, right?

To make things even simpler, you can track everything in the same Google Sheet. You’d have one row for the ‘Rate and one for ‘Revenue Generated’.

So, for example, if the influencer’s rate is $1,775 and they brought in $3,162 in revenue, the ROI would be 1.78.

After each push with your influencer, it’s also a good idea to check how your influencer’s code performed through WeThrift. The site tracks general discounts and coupons found online.

So, you can usually expect your influencer’s coupon to show up there once the post has been made.

wethrift coupon codes

Approximating your sales with the 3% rule

Not sure if your investment in the influencer will be worth it?

Here’s how you can quickly approximate.

As an example, let’s say your influencer gets around 100,000 story views. 

As a rule of thumb, usually 3% of those views will go to your website. That’s around ~3,000 people.

From those ~3,000 people, around 3% will usually end up buying.

So, that’s around 90 people buying per 100,000 story views.

Now, multiply that number by your average order value (AOV) to see approximately how much you’re going to make in sales.

If your AOV is around $100, you’d be getting approximately $9,000 in sales.

Finally, if the influencer is asking for around $3,000 as their rate, you’d still win $6,000 and it would be worth it.

Of course, this is all based on rough approximates. But this is a pretty good way to estimate general ROI.

What Generating $350k/mo From Influencer Marketing, and Growing, Looks Like

Influencer marketing is not about quick results.

It took us 6-7+ months to get where we are now to be able to generate $350k+ per month. 

10% of the agency’s total revenue comes from influencer marketing and we did a whole podcast about what generating $350k+/mo from influencer marketing looks like – down to the process and SOPs.

Listen to what our main influencer marketing manager Kristaps Beltinš had to say about generating $350k/mo and growing through influencer marketing here.

Here are some of the main insights he shared in the podcast:

💡 2 Main priorities Kristaps looks at in influencer marketing campaigns: Generating revenue (measure based on discount codes through Google Analytics) and getting more user-generated content (from co-working with influencers).

💡 Influencer relationship management: As surprising as it may sound, Kristaps says they’re NOT doing contracts with most influencers. They usually make everything much more time-consuming and it’s extremely unlikely for an influencer with 10,000 followers to take your money and run without holding up their part of the bargain. If you’re paying $3,000+ and requesting image and videos rights though, contracts are essential. 

💡 Celebrity influencers: It’s a matter of connection game and building relationships. You’ll most likely need an agent to get in touch with them. He’s had moderate success with shoutout posts this way.

💡 Influencer marketing with TikTok: People can get a huge number of views in a short amount of time, and influencers there tend to be cheaper. He hasn’t done anything significant there yet, but the process will be largely the same. As of writing, the platform might get banned in the U.S. But with that said, TikTok influencer marketing still has a lot of potential.

💡 And more! Listen to the full podcast above to hear what Kristaps has to say about overcoming the biggest influencer marketing challenges, unpleasant experiences with marketing agencies, and how he overcame feeling overwhelmed in the beginning.

And check out this podcast on spending $300k/Month profitably on Snapchat ads if you’re interested in Snapchat instead.

Main insights:

  • For fitness, skincare, beauty producers and other similar eCommerce industries, Snapchat ads and influencer marketing can be extremely effective.
  • Main 3 bidding options for Snapchat ads include: 1. Auto-bid. 2. Target cost. 3. Max bid.
  • Snapchat content is usually more short-form (5-6 seconds) and has a single clear value proposition. User-generated content, testimonials, and easy-to-consume content and creatives work best there.
  • Though, there is no ad library for Snapchat. So, the best learning method is to look at what other people are doing, reverse engineer their success, and learn how you can do better than that.
  • And more. Check out the full podcast and follow Fares on LinkedIn to learn from his journey in eCommerce marketing.

10 Other Influencer Marketing Campaign Hacks

Our influencer marketing team is super versatile and fills quite a few roles.

That’s where we’re getting a TON of visuals for our creatives, run paid social media campaigns and we’re adding additional sales from this department.

Here are some other influencer marketing hacks and campaign ideas we’ve used to boost sales and get more traffic.

Giveaway campaigns

Create prizes around your product, have your influencer announce it on Instagram, and enjoy the traffic boost.

Sometimes they go viral, sometimes they don’t. Usually, we always see a boost in traffic, as well as an increase in follower count.

The process is simple. Have your influencer create a post outlining the set of ‘rules’ to win the giveaway, such as:

  • Tag your friend.
  • Follow our page.
  • Comment.
  • Join our email list.

If the stakes are higher, we ask them to do a bit more. Like send us a photo (more user-generated content is always good), share our photos, or something else.

instagram influencer campaign giveaway products

Check out this article on influencer marketing strategy giveaway campaigns for more info on this and how to pick the perfect giveaway prize that your audience will enjoy.

Loop giveaway 

This is like a giveaway campaign on steroids and much more likely to go viral.

Here’s how it works:

You get 5-10 brands chipping in for prizes (their products), with the same rules as a normal giveaway (engage with the post), and in the end, customers who followed all brands will have a random chance to win.

For this though, it’s important you carefully choose your brands. Because you might get a lot of random followers, who might not be the ideal demographic for your products.

On the bright side though, the giveaway itself is more likely to go viral because of the massive prize pool.

instagram influencer loop campaign giveaway

Influencer shoutouts with a discount code

This is a classic influencer marketing tactic. You’ve probably seen it before somewhere, but it’s a simple one and it works.

For this, you give your influencer a special discount code, they make a sponsored post and encourage their followers to buy from your site and use the promo code at the checkout.

Here’s what we do to make sure this works:

  • Give your influencers a specific date to make the post instead of having to chase them throughout the month.
  • Use tracking links to make sure you can monitor traffic properly and see where the sales are coming from.
  • Make things easier for yourself and give the influencer clear recommendations when creating the shoutout post.

Thank you campaign

Imagine someone new buys from your site for the first time, after finding about your brand from an influencer.

After buying the product the influencer recommended, they’d get an automatic ‘Thank you’ email, in which the founder of the brand thanks them for their purchase and reminds (or introduces) to them the story of the brand. 

This allows the new customer to connect with your brand on an emotional level and stay connected after the initial purchase.

From there, you can also re-target them and introduce them into your community (e.g. Facebook group), alert them of new product launches and sales through email marketing, and more.

Save and (re)use user-generated content

This one is huge.

User-generated content (UGC) is any content – text, videos, images, reviews, etc., created by people, rather than brands.

And guess what?

They’re super valuable to have on board.

Customers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic – compared to something made with in-house production. 

That offers brands an important credibility boost and sometimes (often) work much better than obvious actors who were paid to start in a video with super high quality and professional production.

Case in point: Jure Knehtl increased the budget on his user-generated content and decreased it for his in-house production team.

This move, as he later learned, was well worth the ROI. So, he started sending influencers his products and told them what kind of content they needed. 

Before, influencers didn’t want to push products to their followers. After, Jure would receive 10-20+ pieces of content PER influencer. Content which he could then re-user for highly converting ads.

Suddenly, he went to having 200+ high-quality and converting content per month, which performed MUCH better than the in-house content they were using before.

Be sure to check out the full podcast to listen to what Jure has to say about scaling up and going glocal – global with a local approach within eCommerce.

jure on influencer marketing scale

You can follow Jure’s journey on LinkedIn here.

Do a social media takeover (brand awareness done right)

Already mentioned above, but this is an incredibly powerful growth hack that many brands use frequently.

With this type of campaign, you get an influencer to create and publish content on your behalf. 

This is an extremely powerful way to breathe new life (and followers) into your social media profiles. Such content is often highly engaging and usually considered much more authentic.

Finnair is Finland’s largest airline. As part of its brand-building campaign, the company publishes a series of takeovers from their flight attendants. Each team member took over the airline’s account for three days, sharing images and descriptive captions about the life of flight attendants, places they’ve visited, personal details about them, and more.

instagram influencer account takeover post

The goal of the campaign?

To give the faceless corporate brand some personality, increase followers, boost engagement, and brand awareness.

Finnair was clearly targeting young, Western travelers with this campaign (Finnish brand, English captions) with beautiful people flying to beautiful destinations. 

The more popular posts are pics featuring close-ups of the flight attendants themselves and those posts are getting 2%+ engagement, and more likes than averages. The fact that each of the four flight attendants that participated were nano-influencers, with their own small following, kept the whole thing relatable and real.

Though they weren’t directly selling anything here, there’s a lot to learn from this particular social media takeover campaign.

This is an example of an influencer marketing campaign for brand awareness done right!

You can get really creative here. Check out this article on Instagram takeovers for more info on the Finnair campaign and how to do brand awareness influencer campaigns right.

Go live

Another simple but powerful influencer marketing tactic.

Partner up with an influencer and go live from their account.

Live social videos are ideal for product unboxing, showing off a product, conducting an interview, doing a quick product tutorial, AMAs (ask me anything) and more.

For their social gaming app, Best Fiends partnered up with Laura Clery (lifestyle blogger/personality) to promote the app on Facebook live to her audience.

The result?

10+ minute long video, 468K views, and 761 shares to date.

influencer live campaign facebook

As long as the influencer can include their own ‘charm’ in the video and make sure the whole thing doesn’t feel like an ad (i.e. don’t focus on the product the whole time), you should be good to go.

Prepare for pre-launch with an influencer

Preparing for a new product launch?

You can work with an influencer to build some hype around your product and launch with a bang.

To start hype marketing, you can:

  1. Start blogging to educate first time site viewers.
  2. Provide exclusive access and content to your influencer.
  3. Start taking pre-orders and have a site optimized to capture emails (to notify them once it’s live).
  4. Focus on content creation and generating a buzz.
  5. Host contests and giveaways to tease your target audience.
  6. Finally, make sure to actually deliver on the launch itself.

A lot of the major brands are already doing this whenever they have a new product they’re working on.

And that’s the key to selling thousands of units within a few days of launching.

Encourage new customers to stay and boost retention rate

You’re going to enjoy a boost in traffic from the influencer marketing campaign. Might as well make the most of it, and make sure your site is optimized to encourage new-comers to stay and boost retention.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use an upsell app – If you haven’t done so yet, you can install Zipify or ReConvert to increase sales anywhere from 5% to 15% through upsells.
  • Add a minimum requirement for free shipping – Speaking of upselling, you can also add a minimum requirement price for free shipping. This way, whenever someone new lands on your site and is ready to make a purchase, you could have a customized ‘Almost there” pop up to let the customer know they could be eligible for free shipping if they pay a certain amount more.
  • In-cart cross-sell – Here’s another simple upsell option. Once your customers are viewing their cart, add a small section for certain products they might be also interested in. You can also use scarcity here, sales, and more.

in cart product cross sell

Scale quickly, test everything

Last but not least, if you want to take your influencer marketing campaign (also applies to ads campaigns), you should be ready to test everything and scale quickly.

You can:

  • Increase the amount of creatives to find the winning combination that works best.
  • Create more pages to run traffic and influencer campaigns from. For example, a before and after page, affiliate site, partnership, something else.
  • Re-use your testimonial videos and try out different targeting.
  • Optimize the rest of your eCommerce ecosystem to capture emails, make conversions smooth, and answer any objections your customers might have.

If you’re wondering how to do all this, and more, check out our full article on 84 eCommerce hacks to boost sales for more general sales, marketing, and advertising hacks based on proven results.

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap!

Hope you found this guide to influencer marketing useful and you’re ready to start scaling up now.

To recap, here’s the process you should know once again:

  1. Research – determine where your audience lives and what your goals are.
  2. Outreach – Copy our Google Sheet and email templates above and start filling them in (or outsource lead generation if you’re to scale).
  3. Tracking – Create custom discount codes and tracking links to see where your sales are coming from.
  4. Payment – Use the 3% rule and decide how much you’re ok with paying your influencers, also based on the CPM.
  5. Analytics – Keep track of the final ROI per influencer and campaign to see what worked and what didn’t.

Did we miss anything or still have questions on influencer marketing that we didn’t cover?

Let us know in our private Facebook group for eCommerce growth-hacks and marketing or in the comments down below!

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