I’m back in New York! CiderCon 2020 was an exciting time and like past CiderCons, it did not disappoint. At CiderCon, I presented a meet-up: “Connecting with Influencers” on Thursday, January 30. I met with the media and cideries to discuss how we can build a partnership to move the cider industry forward. I thought I’d put together some information here for you to share for those of you who weren’t able to attend.
Who Are Influencers?
Influencers have the ability to reach out to consumers and inspire them to purchase products because of their title, knowledge, position in the industry. They are NOT just used for marketing, but rather a “social relationship bridge” between YOU (the business) and THEM (consumers). They are the digital form of the word of mouth. They are NOT FREE. Social media influencers while they enjoy what they do, work hard on a daily basis to brand and build an audience base.
What platforms should we use to connect with influencers?
According to MediaKix in 2019, 89% of businesses spent their budget on working with influencers on Instagram.
- Instagram: 89%
- YouTube: 70%
- Facebook: 45%
- Blogs: 44%
- Twitter: 33%
How many followers does an influencer need to have to qualify as an influencer?
It’s not always about numbers, but more about impact and interaction. A micro influencer in the cidery industry with only 1,000 followers can have a deeper impact over a macro influencer with millions of followers with no particular industry niche.
What can influencers do for your brand?
Influencers are relatively cost-effective and reliability when repping your brand to consumers. Mediakix showed that 89% of marketers get comparable or better ROI from influencer marketing compared to other marketing channels. A mass loyal following to an influencer is almost guaranteed mass loyal following to your brand. Brand loyalty is difficult to achieve in this promiscuous craft cider world, however followers trust influencers.
How to find and vet influencers?
After you define your brand and story, do some market research on social media via hashtags: #CiderDrinker #CiderLover #PickCider #HoppedCider #IceCider. You can follow accounts and watch the page closely. What language and image do these influencers portray? Who do they work with? How do the review products? Are they a fit for your brand? Additionally, there are media agencies like TweetReach and CrowdFire that can connect you with vetted influencers.
It’s difficult to gauge if accounts have legitimate followers and comments now that apps allow influencers to purchase fake accounts. The ratio algorithm is no longer accurate. Websites like Instagram Marketing Hub scans the influencer’s account for bots and gives you an accurate rating of an influencer’s account through a grade rating. It also details how much a page and post is worth.
What are some ways to establish a relationship with influencers?
Press Kit – Create a press kit: Images and press release or mission statement so your brand is align with how they will present you online.
Giveaways – There are some legalities state-wide, but you can offer a giveaway with your cider, swag, tickets to an upcoming festival, gift card. Make the contest simple with the deadline, 21+, and simple rules have followers tag a friend in the comments and have them follow your page so it drives traffic over.
Press Day – Invite them for a press day, have a IG Live tour of your facility. This a great way to hit a group of media all at once with one concise language. Don’t forget a goodie bag.
Care Packages – Send a package of goodies! Include a press release, swag, and cider samples (send legally).
Referral Program – In 2018, Twitter reported that 88% increase in the purchase intent of consumers when the products were promoted by a trusted influencer. You can have a promo code created for your online shop. Make the promo code simple and negotiate a kickback both parties agree upon.
What are some helpful resources?
Marketing agencies to finding Influencers: Tweet Reach for Twitter and Crowd Fire for Instagram.
Find out how much an Instagram influencer page and post is worth. This page also gives you the rating of accuracy of the account.
Sample Contract: It doesn’t have to be complicated, but put together a simple contract listing the terms of the partnership to ensure everyone is on the same page. When using Instagram, be sure both parties use #Ad when posting to comply with Instagram rules regarding partnerships.