It’s super popular to hire SMI* these days — for many good reasons (if done the right way): they bring attention, awareness, trust, influence, change opinions, and offer advice on turning your business around to meet the needs of relevant communities as never before.
At least 2 if not 3 posts per year because… like all marketing, Influencer Marketing is not a switch you flip on or off when it suits. If an influencer has nothing to say about your brand 364 days a year and then suddenly starts singing your praises… would you trust that? It’s best to find ways to work with an influencer year-round to support your branding and have them post frequently on your behalf (all that should be included in the contract).
That’s right, if you’re a brand, choose your SMI* candidate carefully (e.g. evaluate their engagement in their post comments, their language, and make sure to answer questions such as of use whether they will they sign a clear contract with milestones, whether they will influence or just bring a large audience of uninterested people, etc. In short, vet them just like you’re supposed to do with any other partner.
If you’re an SMI, choose the brand you want to work with carefully (e.g. is their value aligned with yours, are they respectful to your community, do other SMI enjoy partnering with them, will they pay you on time, etc.).
I analyze the trends in Influencer Marketing and the return on investment it brings daily. Based on that, and my experience as an Amazon vendor, here is my advice for my fellow Amazon vendors about how to take advantage of this new marketing tool.
I compiled major rules for when NOT to hire an SMI*, no matter what. Some of those rules were written in blood, after some really bad, devastating experiences some members of the community had. So take these into account when engaging with SMI:
Before contracting the Influencer, make sure the Influencer likes your product, otherwise they may write a bad or less than enthusiastic review. If they’re not sure, send them a sample so they can decide before closing the deal.