It’s a content creator's and we’re just living in it, right?
It’s no secret that influencers, bloggers, and social media personalities are some of the best marketers out there. In fact, a recent study revealed that up to 17% of businesses spend half of their yearly funds on influencer campaigns.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know your way around influencer marketing strategy, at least a little bit.
But do you know how market research can play into it? Types of market research like focus groups, surveys, and in-depth interviews with this audience can help identify their ideal brand partnership.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- What is influencer marketing?
- Using incentives and rewards
- Where to find your influencers
- Building strong relationships with influencers
- The screener process
- How a market research team can help
Prefer to watch a video? We cover all our tips to recruiting content creators for market research below.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Before we get into the nitty gritty, we wanted to give you a quick refresher on what influencing actually is.
It’s in the name–influencer marketing is about working with someone who has social influence.
Normally, influencers have a large social media presence or following. Because of this wide reach, they’re prime picking for brands to market their products.
No matter the influencer marketing tools used, this is a popular way for brands and movements to gain exposure.
Put simply, influencer marketing is just employing those that have a larger following. From there, influencers can then create product or service promotions and endorsements.
This can be in the form of:
- Promotional posts
- Brand affiliate programs
- Brand Ambassador opportunities
When choosing what influencer marketing platform to utilize for marketing purposes, consider the age group and other important demographics of your target audience.
With 80% of businesses viewing influencer marketing as a useful strategy, ensuring you’re using the proper platform is essential.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Influencer marketing, at its core, is not a complicated process. Brands pay social media users with a significant following to endorse their products or services.
Tip #1: Incentives and Rewards
If you want to remember one key term (aside from influencer marketing), remember incentives. In other words, a reward system.
Regardless of the audience, our qualitative recruiting company always recommends offering a reward for your market research.
However, content creators more importantly need higher incentives to pique their interest.
Influencers and content creators get inundated with brand requests over time.
Because of this, it's really important for them to relate to the brand they’re partnering with. Since branding truly is everything for influencers, they likely won’t work with a brand that doesn’t align with their content.
Letting influencers know more about your brand, even just your project initiatives lend necessary insight to help them make their decision.
When Drive Research has recruited influencers for projects, we will sometimes include a link to our Google reviews. This lets influencers read actual client opinions, which can resonate well.
We couldn’t talk about influencing and not mention money, that’s just how it is!
What you pay influencers is important because you want to make sure you’re compensating them fairly for their time.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Just like any other job, influencers need to be paid for their time. What’s more, influencers need to have the motivation to work with you. This often comes down to brand alignment and ideology.
Tip #2: Where to Get the Influencers
Okay, well, we know where to find influencers. But how do you find the right ones?
Implementing a functional influencer marketing strategy can be tricky at times because there are so many different types of content creators.
It can be hard for companies to even know where to start when it comes to the right partnership.
While this process may be tricky at first, there are ways you can get into a groove.
For instance, influencers will often have a means of contacting them on their profiles–either through their own email or their management’s email.
Go with what the influencer has provided–if that’s the means of contact they put down, that’s how they want you to get in touch with them.
A lot of the time it’s first a numbers game. Companies need to be putting in the work to find as many influencers as possible–just putting up an ad isn't enough.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Contact influencers the way they want to be contacted. If they provide an email or management contact info, get in touch with them that way.
Tip #3: Building Good Relationships With Content Creators
For success in social media influencer marketing, keeping as many open lines of communication as possible is key.
Content creators need to know who they should be reaching out to and where they can reach them, once you’ve begun a partnership. Ensuring they have a main point of contact is essential.
We’ll give you a quick example.
When an influencer is recruited (say, by Drive Research) they will be given the contact information of the actual recruiter. If they have questions or concerns, they can go straight to the source.
This frequent communication builds trust, and it’s also a way for influencers to understand the steps they need to take.
It’s also key to perfect the art of the speedy response. Meaning, that if an influencer you’re working with has an issue, replying to them quickly shows they are a priority.
Think of this as building a mini-relationship with participants. Reflect on your own personal relationships and how you communicate within those, and channel that into the relationship with the blogger/vlogger/social media personality.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Maintaining a solid relationship with content creators you work with is of the utmost importance. Keeping the lines of communication open and building trust are two key steps to master.
Tip #4: Implementing a Standard Screening Process
If your company wants to conduct market research with content creators, a screening process is essential.
This can start with just scrolling through a platform where the desired creators will be (Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok). From there, profiles can be researched to see which influencers are a good fit.
After a list of influencers is made, they will then be contacted via email. This step lets them know more about the project, what is expected of them, and then a link to a pre-screener.
Once the influencers complete the recruitment screener, they will go through a qualifying process to see who's the best fit for the project. A screening phone call is made to touch on some of the core qualification criteria, just to double-check.
Getting influencers to speak on the phone is especially helpful, as their responses can show how engaged they feel in the process.
Additionally, listing out all the information in a confirmation email will make the process clear for influencers.
To ensure no important times are missed, participants are given a set of exact times for their reminder calls and interviews.
Tip #5: Reminders and Follow-ups
Essentially an extension of the screening process, our qualitative recruiting company wanted to give further insight into following up with recruiters before their interviews.
Generally, this just consists of sending a quick text message with whatever they may need to know last minute. This is to make sure links are working and objectives are understood.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Of all things to skip with influencer marketing strategy (we don’t advise you to skip anything)–definitely make sure it’s not your screener process. This is a way recruiters can gauge how interested influencers will be in the upcoming project.
How A Third Party Team Can Help
When third-party teams like Drive Research survey content creators, it’s not as simple as you may think. We put in hard work, many hours, and resources to find content creators or influencers.
Remember, it’s not just locating the influencers that can be tricky–it’s also engaging them!
For us, we’ve landed on some influencer engagement techniques that work extremely well and that we’ve had a lot of success with. In that case, we recycle those techniques and work them into whatever the project or request may be.
We also want to point out 3 main elements of a successful influencer/third-party team strategy:
- Understand time sensitivity
- A certain amount of experience in influencer marketing strategy
- Effective outreach methods
💡 The Key Takeaway: A third-party market research team takes care of the recruitment woes of influencer marketing on social media. A keen understanding of how to communicate with influencers is a necessity in an outsourced team.
Utilizing influencer marketing is often a smart move for businesses–when done correctly. Drive Research knows just how much time and energy is needed to create a reliable panel of influencers for your next project.
Want to know more about our market research services? Talk to us through any of the four ways below.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
With nearly 10 years of experience in market research, Ashley has worked on countless quantitative and qualitative research studies. As a Fieldwork Manager at Drive Research, she’s involved in every stage of the project, especially recruitment.
Learn more about Ashley, here.