Downloadable: The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing

Gianna Callioni
. 17 May 2021 . 15m read

Our Top 10 Influencer Marketing Tips - An Overview

Tip #1

It’s not all about a sponsored post, think beyond that and come up with unique promotions which align with your brand and will add value for your audience.

Tip #2

Don’t forget about the ‘other’ social media channels. Do your research and find out which channel your target audience is on and which channel will suit the types of content you’d like to put out into the world.

Tip #3

Once you’ve found the right influencers who have an engaged audience and who genuinely care about your brand, you don’t want to lose them. Invest in a partnership, not just a transaction.

Tip #4

Don’t go straight for the bigger influencers so you reach more people. More followers don’t necessarily mean engaged followers or followers who are part of your target audience.

Tip #5

Look for lots of good quality comments. If they’ve got lots of followers and likes but only heart eye emojis in the comments, there’s a good chance they’re fake followers.

Tip #6

Give your influencers as much creative freedom as possible. If you’ve chosen correctly, you’ll be pleased with the results.

Tip #7

Look for how often they post branded content because you don’t want to work with someone who’s always chopping and changing their opinions and who seem to be just in it for the money.

Tip #8

Don’t just slide into their DMs.

Tip #9

If you’re not sure, just ask. Using other people’s content incorrectly can result in legal action, so if there’s any uncertainty it’s worth asking your influencer and getting something in writing.

Tip #10

Make sure your influencers are aware beforehand that you’ll need screenshots of certain insights so it doesn’t come as a shock later on. Not all brands ask for the same screenshots, so you’ll need to be clear.

87% of people admit they've made a purchase because an influencer prompted them to

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing allows brands to leverage everyday people on social media to promote their products or services. These people have grown a following who are (theoretically) interested in what they have to say and trust the recommendations that they make. This gives brands a voice that they traditionally haven’t had access to.

It uses common marketing concepts like:

Social Proof

A term coined in the 1980s for the psychological phenomenon where people copy the actions or beliefs of those around them to reflect the “correct” behaviour in a certain situation. We see this with clothing trends, uptake in diet fads, and belief in conspiracy theories.

Target audience

A straightforward term – your target audience is the audience you want to target. Influencer marketing isn’t quite as granular with this as other digital marketing methods, however, you can still make sure your influencer has an audience in the right location and age range and assume that they have similar interests as your influencer. It also allows for an expanded reach to people you may not have realised would be interested.

Word of mouth

92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising – and, many people see the influencers they follow as friends. Because of the nature of social media, you begin to feel as though you truly know the people that you follow, so it’s easy to begin thinking of them as a friend and trust the recommendations they make when they offer genuine opinions.

An influencer campaign should be done with the same level of strategy as you’d use for any other style of marketing campaign; you need to have a clear goal in mind and an understanding of your own brand voice and target audience before you begin.

When done well, influencer marketing can generate great results for your brand, but not every influencer is created equally and not all of them will get you the results you’re looking for.

The Benefits and Risks of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can suit just about any industry and the right strategy can mean brilliant results, but just like anything else, it comes with its own benefits and risks.

  • Provides an authentic voice – using real people to talk about your brand gives you an authenticity you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get
  • Reaches an already engaged audience – choosing the right influencer means choosing someone whose audience is already interested in what they have to say
  • Allows for unique content creation which you wouldn’t be able to necessarily do yourself – a huge breadth of content styles is at your disposal when you outsource content creation
  • Inherently provides user-generated content – UGC can be used to create digital campaigns across platforms or fill out your own social profiles
  • Provides more brand touchpoints – more touchpoints are more chances for you to positively engage with your audience and create stronger relationships
  • Gently pushes people out of the ‘messy middle’ with social proof – the messy middle is where people are in the research/decision phase of their purchase choice and social proof can provide the kick they need
  • Nurtures loyal customers and brand advocates – you can use influencer marketing as a way of celebrating some of your best customers
  • Avoids the pitfalls of ad blockers
  • Has the potential to hurt your brand image – if you choose the wrong influencer or approach a collaboration the wrong way it can backfire and result in a poor response from your audience
  • It’s not ‘set and forget’ – you need to be able to manage the conversation happening in the comments and trust that your influencer will know how to respond appropriately to questions or contentious comments
  • Not all influencers will get you the right results – if you don’t carefully look at your influencers’ audience and engagement then you may not get as good of a return on your investment as otherwise

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Finding the 'Right' Influencer

This is probably the section you’ve been looking forward to the most and, honestly, it’s one of the most important parts of a successful influencer marketing campaign. Experience tells us that when these campaigns don’t go well, often it’s because of the strategy, not the influencer. Please don’t hate us for saying that.

You need to put in the hard yards at this stage, more than any other, to choose the right people. It’s going to take a lot of research, looking through data, and scrolling through your socials. It also means building relationships with influencers who do well, so you know you can go back to them.

There are a number of tools you can use to help you through the process of finding new influencers to work with. Upfluence and Ninjalitics both offer free versions for a limited number of searches, otherwise, you can pay for their premium features. It can get pricey, so we recommend trying to work through the process manually at first so you can get a feel for the ins and outs of it.

What should you look for in an influencer?

There are several key things to look at when choosing influencers (aside from the fact that they need to live in the areas you’re targeting):


This is a buzzword when it comes to influencer marketing, but for a good reason. Originally, all brands looked for were influencers who had a lot of followers and looked pretty. In reality, this doesn’t really work for anyone and while you can certainly get a lot of reach, that’s rarely going to help you achieve tangible marketing goals.

There are different forms of engagement and when you look across multiple platforms, you’ll see that some of them offer more importance than others. For instance, on Twitter re-Tweets are really important and on Instagram saves are really important. One thing all platforms agree on though, is comments. Comments are where you can gather incredibly valuable information about audience sentiment and where you can engage in meaningful conversations.

Engagement rate

An influencer’s engagement rate is a good indicator of how highly their audience regards their content. Using publicly available information, you can calculate the engagement rate using this formula:

Eng. rate = avg. number of engagements / followers

Where the average number of engagements comes from their last few posts.

For nano influencers on Instagram, aim for an engagement rate of at least 5% but as their audience grows, this can go down to a minimum of 2.5%. *Note: the environment has changed over the past year or so and average engagement rates are declining. For larger influencers, you may wish to aim for a minimum of 1%.

Matching voice

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The best content is authentic content. Your influencer knows how to create content their audience will enjoy and, conversely, your audience knows when you’ve created the content for your influencer.

Choose influencers who already align with your brand voice and image, so you don’t feel the need to restrict their creativity too much. This is in relation to their style of imagery, the filters they use, and how they speak in their captions and stories.


As with any marketing campaign, you want to be sure you’re targeting the right audience. With influencers, this comes in the form of their followers (largely, obviously other people can still view their content too).

The platforms mentioned earlier will show you audience data as part of their paid subscriptions. This includes information about where their followers live (down to the city in some instances), their gender split, and what topics their followers are interested in.

But, once you’ve got a shortlist of influencers you’d like to work with, you can ask for this information yourself. In the early stages of your outreach to them, make sure it’s clear that while you’d like to work with them, it’s dependent on them having an audience that matches your desired target.


The whole reason for using influencers is to offer an authentic voice for your brand. Working with someone who promotes products in every other post will likely dampen that authentic message.

Keep in mind though, that influencers in some industries (like beauty and fashion) will tag brands in almost every photo, simply because that’s what their followers want to know. They’re not necessarily being asked to promote those brands.

My top tip for working with influencers is to give them as much creative freedom as possible! Nobody knows their audience better than they do, and they know what makes for an engaging piece of content. Provide essential guidelines (e.g. no underwear/swimwear”, “please create your content outdoors” etc - whatever is essential for your brand), but the more freedom you can provide, the better!

Jo Tanton (@jotanton) | Influencer


Make outreach personal; give them both what you can do for them and what they can do for you. Include WHY you decided to reach out to them – Do you like their content style? Do you like the support they show for certain initiatives? Have you seen them regularly use a product like yours (but not as good)?

Most influencers have their email address in either their bio or under the ‘email’/’contact’ button on their profile. If they’ve got a talent manager, be sure to email them directly instead of the influencer. If you can’t find that information, and sometimes you won’t be able to, you can still send them DMs, just be sure to include the same authenticity as you would in an email and move the conversation to a more formal setting as soon as you can.

Industry Regulations

Remember to specify how you’d like to disclose your partnership, keeping in mind different national legal requirements depending on the country your influencer is in and/or promoting to.

Eg. #YourBrandNameSponsored + the “Paid partnership with Your Brand” tag

As per the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ guidelines, you’re legally required to disclose the relationship between your brand and the influencer. Note: #sp isn’t going to cut it – you need to make sure your disclosure statement is clear to the general public and doesn’t use industry jargon. Influencer marketing and disclosure tags is a big topic to go through, so we’ve written more about it here.

Remember: Instagram and Facebook require influencers to use the “Paid partnership with…” tag on all sponsored posts in addition to the legal requirements for your region.

We also recommend that your influencers briefly mention why they’ve partnered with you and your brand. Authentic relationships garner the best results and being transparent about why they’ve partnered with you will help support this.

Usage Rights and Intellectual Property

The content that an influencer creates is their intellectual property, whether it was created to promote your brand or not. Without additional agreements (and often payment) in place, you may only use their content organically, otherwise, you risk fines and coming under the wrath of an influencer with a large audience.

Organic resharing

This is the most common form of resharing user-generated content. You mustn’t edit the image in any way, like adding a watermark or changing the colours, and you must give credit to the creator. It’s best practice to avoid using screenshots and instead ask for a high-quality version of it from the influencer if you don’t already have a copy.

We encourage you to reshare content in this way for a number of reasons: it increases the number of links between you and your influencers, it’s high quality user-generated content that can supplement your brand-generated content, and it garners social proof.

Digital usage/commercial usage

If you’d like to use content in your ads, on your website, or in any format without giving credit to the influencer, you will need to negotiate these usage rights into your contract. Depending on how and for how long you’d like to use the content, the amount you’ll need to pay will change. For instance, if you’re planning on running Instagram ads with your influencer’s photo for a month, it will cost a different amount than if you were planning on using it on your website indefinitely.

We always encourage holistic marketing strategies and the best way to get started is by asking your top performing influencer if you can boost their post. This is particularly straightforward on Instagram, as the app natively encourages boosting a post to increase reach and engagement.

Exclusive/non-exclusive rights

This is less likely to come up when specific products or services are featured in the content, but if you’re paying for commercial usage rights, it may be beneficial to include an exclusivity clause for the same period. This will prevent the influencer selling this content (or using it themselves) and potentially directly competing with your ads.

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Reporting and Results

Go back to your goals and think about why you wanted to work with influencers in the first place. Was it to increase brand awareness and reach a new target audience? Was it to make sales? These two goals involve very different metrics, so you need to be clear and concise with what you’re after.

You will need to ask your influencer to send you screenshots of their insights to get anything beyond the surface-level results you’ll see publicly.

What insights should I look for?


Reach tells you how many unique accounts saw your piece of content.


Impressions are the number of times your piece of content was seen. Your impression value will likely be higher than your reach value as some accounts will see your content multiple times. Depending on the platform, sometimes you can see where these impressions have come from which can be useful for reporting.


Usually used in terms of videos, views are like impressions in that they’re not necessarily unique; an account may have viewed your video multiple times.


Engagements come in multiple formats depending on the platform your content was posted on, so we won’t go through them all but these are the top five that you’ll encounter.

Likes – the number of likes your piece of content has received.
Comments – the number of comments on your piece of content.
Saves – the number of times your content was saved for people to look back at it.
Shares – the number of times your content was shared, either within the app or externally.
Link Clicks – particularly important for traffic goals, link clicks are the number of times your link was clicked on directly via the content.

To Wrap Up

It’s a lot to work through and think about but be rest assured that once you’ve wrapped your head around it, your influencer campaigns will be great.

The main thing to keep in mind is to make sure your influencers align with your target audience in their tone of voice, content style, and audience location. Once you’ve found those influencers, make sure you’ve clearly discussed what’s expected from both sides and recorded it to keep everyone involved safe. Everything else can be modified based on you and how you run, but if you’ve set up those parameters you’ll do fine.

Get your full copy of the guide here!

The full PDF version of this influencer marketing guide outlines specific tips and templates to follow for choosing, reaching out to, and contracting the right influencer for your brand. Get your free copy today by filling in the form below.

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