Being on both sides of influencer marketing, I have seen a lot of what the influencer marketing world has to offer. It seems that many people are not prepared for launching or creating an influencer marketing campaign. Below, I will outline a few things that you may want to consider prior to your first post.
Set up your budget. Whether you are the business or the influencer, you need to know what your budget is and if it is reasonable. On both sides, people are consistently taken advantage of. Many websites that tell you the 'true cost' of a post are completely unreasonable. For my site, with close to 320k followers, I have been marked as over $1,200 per post when I charge under $100. My suggestions would be, whatever your quoted rate is from these auditor sites, take off 30% minimum. I tried working with an influencer who had less than 3,000 followers and requested $250 for one 24-hour post. "(Website) said I should charge $150." Be realistic in what your page is worth and what other influencers are charging for your amount of followers.
Know your content. Know your audience. Do you think this audience will resonate with this content? If my content is commonly automobiles and fixing vehicles, should I post a nail polish advertisement? Probably not. "But the rate is within budget and they have a ton of followers!" That doesn't matter if no one will engage with your content.
Do background checks. Check an influencer for the amount of fake followers, 'ghost' followers, and the engagement rate. HypeAuditor is a great site to see some background information on an influencer. This site does show price per post being far higher than the norm. Phlanx's engagement rate calculator is a great tool for looking at the summary of an influencer's account. Keep in mind, a "good" engagement rate is 1.6% to 3.5%. Smaller accounts may have a much higher engagement rate. Be careful to check if these likes and comments are from 'real' accounts or if they are purchased. To see if a comment was purchased, look for one word comments like: good, awesome, great pic, follow back.
Request another post if the first falls flat. When running my social media accounts, I promise my advertisers a certain amount of views/impressions.
Judge solely on recent advertisements. One audience will not interact the same way with every piece of content. Using previous ads to get a baseline for running with one influencer is a bad bet. Usually, the influencer will give you the best performing ad to give you as reference. Now, this ad may have been ideal to their audience. It may have been a contest (resulting in far more engagement than an average ad). Some days perform better than others, so request the insights from their Instagram page to find an ideal day and time to post.
Write off a niche page. Niche pages may charge more (followers are all in one location, are all men, etc) but can be closer to an ideal audience for your business. Just because this page hasn't posted an ad for an industry like yours, doesn't mean the audience won't be responsive.
Use the same image for the same influencer. This goes for an influencer creating the same content and rebranding it as a new post. Try to always create new content for your audience. People do not like advertisements. Keep their focus with new and engaging content. People will remember if you post the same offer every week with the exact same image. Businesses, try to create content based on the influencer you are using. If the influencer posts tons of memes, make a meme advertisement. If your influencer only posts images of themselves, request they make the post for you. Be sure to pay the influencer a bit more if they are going to make the post for you.
All influencers, and all businesses, will work differently. That is why it is so important to have a budget in mind. Don't be afraid to ask for a test advertisement if you are unsure of a price-point an influencer is suggesting. For a test, you could request a couple hours in-feed or even a story post. These options will give you a taste for how the audience may respond. It is okay to turn down an influencer if they are charging something unreasonable for their account. Let them know the rates of other users you have worked with. Remember, those audit sites will commonly give an influencer a rate much higher than is standard. Do your research before accepting a proposal. Influencers can be incredible for marketing a new product or service. Influencers are aligned with today's "word of mouth" advertising but on a much larger scale. Writing out this form of advertising is like making your business' name start with an 'A' to be first in the phonebook. Trying new forms of advertising is critical to a business' survival.