It's the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.
For those who want to start up their own businesses in the new year and are wondering if it is very "expensive to hire influencers". This is a rudimentary article, and i am not marketing professional, so do cut me some slack. Writing because well, I was thinking about what I should do next year and this came to mind from a friend's comment about how "whoa, it's so expensive to promote using influencers".
Of course, there are no fixed price list because every content creator sets their own pricing. Is there a market rate? Kinda, but not really. Most "established" content creators have a rate card, so you can always ask whoever you think suits your brand.
1. Hire a media/marketing company.
Simple enough. Hire and sub-contract and let the professionals handle it.
Best for if you have the funds. There are boutique firms around which deal with smaller quantums too, but they may or may not have the staff/ expertise, and most of the time you get what you pay for.
They work on front-client-facing and rear-operational modes.
Front-end: You get a client manager who takes care of your account and you.
Back-end: Content creation, drafting, storyboarding, campaign ideas etc.
They'll take care of seeking the content creator to create your content. So if you have someone in mind, please let them know up front and they can tell you whether or not that sits in your budget.
Otherwise, ensure you get final okay with the content creator used - after all. it's the face of your brand.
1.1. Utilise a seeding platform
Some of the platforms offer trying out the products for free in exchange for a social media post.
These opens it wider to more content creators as some have maybe 1,000 followers and are trying to build their personal brand or are really really trying to beef up their portfolio of sponsors.
Tokotown - which includes 5 free credits for companies to engage 5 content creators at their launch. At date of post no QC by the platform on their content created, after listing and setting your criteria, the content creators who meet your criteria and are interested will subscribe to your campaign and then their details will be provided for you to sent them your products.
Narratrs - AI-powered influencer marketing platform with a database of 500K influencers across South East Asia.
Partipost - Has a lot of different companies on it, and every-day people are also able to become partiposters if you're happy to set the band of acceptance wider. Good because you can reject the content created and select the profiles that sign up for your campaign.
The platforms will charge you a fee because well, they need to survive too.
Some will try to reel you in for a period of maybe three to six months, or it could be a campaign (where they will charge a bit more for one-off). Not mentioning names but at worst, up to 50% of your budget (with the other 50% being payouts to the content creators) could go to the platform. What this means is that if you have a $3000 budget, $1500 goes to the platform. If the campaign payout is $50 an influencer then you could get 30 influencers/posts, excluding your product prices. Price/campaign depends on the platform and your company/product/requirements, but that's mainly the gist.
Cons: You may have no idea the content you get, because you're just laying your product there and harvesting whatever content comes out of it. Same cons apply to 2 and 2.2.
2. Reach out to Social Media accounts yourself.
Mentioned earlier, the content creators have a rate card.
You can just pick your influencers and reach out to them either via direct messaging or email, and:
a) State your offer (if you can pay) and what you need them to do and negotiate; or
b) "Collaborate" i.e. free product in exchange for a post.
Pros is this is the simplest way, and you just incur the cost of your product and your time. Good for start ups and micro-entrepreneurs. Cons is because it's "free", the bigger influencers may or not take your post and product seriously and could result in a low-effort post that does not really feature your product. Content creators may also "ghost" you.
Strike a balance between "talking down" as though your product giving to the content creators are some sort of blessing, and "talking up", as though the content creators have all the power and you are begging them.
Note: Recommended to create a google form to capture their mailing details etc if you intend to mass send and collect details. PDPA applies.
2.2 The Reverse - Vet and sponsor the ones who reach out to you:
There are also people who are trying to build their portfolios who will reach out to you to seek sponsorships. In those cases its straightforward enough - assess their content, see if their content is what you would like, and then arrange the terms such as delivery, social media "collaterals" in return, and the posting date/ content you want them to talk about.
Interestingly, some "big influencers" in Singapore may also reach out to you if you have products that they want and would like for free, in exchange for getting the freebies they'll reach out to you to "collab".
Sometimes they get diva and ask for exactly what they want - you decide if you want to accede or counter-offer them something you actually want to promote and not just give your company's money away.
Example of deploying the Tokotown 5 credits influencer engagement.
I then either well, cropped the photos, edited it somewhat (not too much to risk insulting people's professionalism) and used the pictures to create a series with a somewhat-uniform look using Canva Pro.