With the rise of the creator class—YouTubers, bloggers, and Instagram stars—influencer marketing has emerged as a new way for brands to reach their target customers through already-engaged and already-established audiences.
Influencer marketing doesn’t just get you exposure, but also endorsements through content that features your brand, which can make it worthwhile for businesses of all sizes.
Let's explore the different strategies and platforms you can use to hire influencers:
1. Meetups and Instameets
It’s often easier to broker a good partnership face-to-face rather than online, and you can usually find local influencers offline by attending the right events.
Instagram enables and encourages creators on the platform to host Instameets to come together and snap photos. This can be a good way to meet local creators who are into photography that also have sizeable audiences.
You can also look for local gatherings on Meetup that cater to YouTubers and other specific kinds of influencers.
Famebit is one of the largest influencer marketing platforms for creators across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The great thing about Famebit is that it’s free to post your campaign and receive proposals from creators. You then get to choose who you want to hire and pay.
The ability to choose the type of creative format you want to be pitched makes this a great way to get content made that you might not have the resources or skills to create yourself.
You can find influencers that span across a variety of categories here, including Beauty & Fashion, Health & Fitness, Gaming & Apps, Tech, and Pets.
Grapevine boasts a network of over 115,000 creators with a hefty focus on YouTubers, though the platform has recently embraced Instagram as well. You only pay when you book a creator and their free escrow service holds your payment until the creator goes live with your content.
Grapevine also gives you access to historical data on how these influencers have performed in the past and the ability to track any conversions they generate for you.
They also offer $50 to go towards your first campaign.
Shoutcart is a marketplace for buying shoutouts. Though some of the prices can be very cheap, it's also a fairly open platform, so be sure to carefully assess any influencers you want to work with.
Prices start as low as $15 with basic stats for each creator and a score to help you gauge the legitimacy of their audience.
Shoutouts can be purchased for posts where you supply the creative, with the option to pay more to also get a link in the influencer’s bio for a limited time.
Whalar is a platform that helps you discover and manage multiple influencers. It's a good option if you want to use influencer marketing as a means of sourcing stunning product photos and user-generated content.
With a built-in escrow service, you don't pay until the content is delivered. And Whalar only takes a 5% commission on whatever amount you agree to with the influencer.
There's also a managed service option for larger brands where Whalar acts as an agency that manages your influencer marketing for you.
Influence.co is essentially a directory and portfolio site for influencers to showcase themselves. Their pricing model focuses on helping influencers promote their business, so brands like yours can use it for free to reach out to influencers.
Each influencer profile features work they've done with brands in the past and all the channels on which they've built their audience.
The platform makes it easy to browse and evaluate influencers you want to work with, with a free Chrome extension you can use to find out more about influencers wherever they're mentioned on the internet.
Influence.co may not do much in the way of helping you manage influencer relationships, but it is one of the best at helping you discover and reach out to high-quality creators.
Hiring Influencers That Have an Impact
Influencer marketing has taken off as a way for brands to "rent" the influence and audiences of established creators. It's kind of like getting a celebrity to endorse your product on a smaller (or larger) scale, depending on how you look at it.
But because a social media following is something anyone can fake, influencer marketing requires that you carefully select legitimate creators and structure your campaign in a way that you get the most bang for your buck without compromising the integrity of the creator.