How To Grow Your Brand For Almost Nothing With Influencer Marketing



You launched your custom clothing brand! You’ve got some dope designs, your Shopify store is built out, linked up, has some choice products in it, and it looks absolutely incredible; you’re hype to sell some clothes. So what now? How do you go from the ready-to-go stage to the making money and steady growth stage? You’d be surprised at the number of people that don’t take an active role in making this transition happen. Sales and growth will not occur magically; having excellent garments, the great fashion and apparel branding you can achieve through Apliiq, and sick designs won’t be enough to get people buying your products; it’s just half the battle. Marketing will be critical to take your brand to the next level.

How To Easily Find Your Target Demographic:

Marketing for your clothing brand might seem like an abstract and academic concept, reserved for the likes of Mad Men characters, but it isn’t! In this case, it’s as simple as getting your products in front of as many people as possible. But you don’t want just anyone coming across your products. You want people that you know will be engaged with and interested in what you’re selling to be the people seeing your creations. These people are your Target Demographic; identifying them is the first step to finding them. Your TD is one of the most important things you need to think long and hard about as a new clothing brand owner. Who is your niche, what are they interested in, and why would they want to buy the apparel you’re selling?

The Secret To Tracking Down Your Audience Is Right In front Of You:

Once you’ve identified who it is that you want to sell to, you need to figure out how you’re going to find them, where they are, and how to appeal to them. These days finding legions of people online is cake. There’s Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, Discord, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, scores of blogs and forums, and tons of other places you can find potential customers. These websites and social media platforms are often broken down into groups, tags, communities, and subsections. Within these is a great place to start. Since you’ve identified your TD’s interests and who they are, you can use that information to figure out which of these breakdowns they might be active in, thus, where you will have the greatest visibility to them.


Choose Your Fighter!:

Now you have your consumers in your sights; it’s time to find your conduit for reaching them—the influencer. This is a person or group of people with a platform from which they are visible to a large audience with commonalities and similar interests. At this point, everything we talked about above comes into play. You want to find influencers that have sway over your TD. They’ll be active in the subsets your TD is involved in, they’ll be tagging their posts with the interests and buzz words your TD is using, and they’ll be beacons of activity on social media and in online communities where your TD is present. Sorting through all the options to find them shouldn’t be too hard; after all, standing out is what they do!

How To Pick The Right Influencer To Crush Social Media Marketing:

There are two crucial metrics to consider as you start to make a list of potential influencers, the most important metric is engagement rate, and the second most important is follower counts. Engagement rates measure the engagement of an influencer’s audience with the content that they post. If you have someone with 10k followers on Instagram and their posts average 100 likes apiece, they have a lower engagement rate than, say, someone with a very similar number of followers whose posts average 500 likes apiece. More people interact with and therefore pay attention to the second influencer in that example.

Engagement isn’t just about likes though, it’s so much more, comments, reposts/retweets, any interaction between the community and the influencer. You also want to see the influencers reciprocating their audience’s engagement. Do they reply to comments, like their followers’ posts? Do they collaborate with other influencers if they have a large enough audience, host giveaways, or have unique ways of interacting with their audience? You want to look at how active they are and how often they post. These are all critical things to consider when making your shortlist of candidates.

The second most important metric to look at is follower counts. This might sound counter-intuitive, but at this stage, you want to make sure that your potential influencers don’t have too many followers; we’re looking for influencers with audience sizes between 2.5k and 20k. This is because we are on the hunt for a particular type of influencer, the nano influencer.

In most online ecosystems, a person’s or group’s visibility and audience size relate inversely to their audience engagement. To put that plainly, everything we talked about above decreases as their follower count increases. Generally speaking, this means the more followers they have, the fewer people they genuinely interact with, are trying to interact with them, and the fewer people genuinely care about what they are posting. This phenomenon makes sense; nano influencers aren’t super famous. They aren’t celebrities. They are more relatable to the average consumer than someone with hundreds of thousands of followers. Therefore, consumers are more likely to esteem their opinions and recommendations highly.

The Secret To Establishing A Business Relationship With An Influencer:

So you have your shortlist, a bunch of influencers that your TD interacts with and is regularly exposed to. The next step will be getting them to help you market your products. Effectively doing this is tricky for a few reasons: I promised to tell you how to do this for next to nothing, and influencers are finicky about their image because it is directly related to the value they bring to the table. They aren’t just going to represent anything, and they aren’t just going to help you if, in exchange for their value, they aren’t getting something.

Before you start DMing everyone on your list you want to make sure that you seem genuine to them, like you believe in what you’re selling and that you are not just trying to make a quick buck because if they do promote you, you’ll reflect on them, good or bad! Look through their accounts a little bit You want to get to know them a little better, maybe like some recent posts, comment some, look at the things they’ve been talking about and posting about, maybe follow a few of the accounts that they follow. Since most of the time, people build brands based on their interests, establishing a connection to these influencers on a personal level shouldn’t be too hard to do. Most importantly, when it comes time to write them a message, you’re going to want to write it just for them, don’t copy and paste; people can always tell if you do!

How To Entice Influences To Promote Your Brand:

The other reason that you want to start with nano influencers is that at the moment, you’re not going to have too much to offer. Nano influencers don’t exactly either—relative to some of the bigger accounts out there, so they won’t be as difficult to impress. You want to present a partnership or a feature post as something that will be mutually beneficial. Remember, you are ultimately the one that needs them, so do not try to get something for nothing; you’ll burn bridges and could start to garner a reputation in the communities you’re trying to reach.

You can offer to pay them upfront, up to about 50k followers most one-off sponsored posts won’t cost more than $200. You can offer to send a gift bag of your products in exchange for a sponsored post (this is where it because especially important to touch on the functionality or quality of your products because what they are getting out of this is free products). Lastly, if you can prove to them that their post will indeed bring you sales, you can offer them a discount code to give their followers in the sponsored post. When sales come in using that code, you will provide them with an agreed-upon percentage of the sale. I like this option best because your success is their success; thus they’re driven to make sure you do well. Depending on the circumstances and the influencer you’re talking with, you may need a mixture of these methods. Just make sure to stay flexible and remember, you’re essentially trying to make a sale to them; they’re no different from your end customers in many ways!



How To Get Amazing Marketing Content For Your Brand:

I can’t stress this enough, make sure that you give the influencers creative agency over the content of the posts. If you try to control what they post and how they post it, they will not want to work with you! Again, their image is critical to them; they will not want to post anything that seems disingenuous. Remember the importance of audience engagement? Audiences don’t want to engage with someone who comes off as fake, unrelatable, or trying to sell them something. You don’t want that either because if the post they make for you has low engagement, you’re not going to sell anything! They know best who they are, what they want to represent, and who their audience is at the end of the day. Let them do what you came to them for!

Let’s Make A Deal!:

You want to make sure you agree with them on everything, including a timetable and deadlines. Clear communication of both of your needs and stipulations is a must. It might end up being that you are not a good fit for each other. If that’s the case, just move one to the next candidate.
Once you have picked an influencer and gotten past the initial stages, I recommend asking them to briefly outline what they will post. You should provide them with whatever they think they need to make the post successful and generate sales, such as product samples. You should also have written down somewhere precisely what they will be getting out of this and any other terms so they can agree to and hold onto that information.

Launch The Post and Watch The Sales Roll In:

Once you agree on everything and send them anything they need, you’re good to go for now! When they make the post, track the sales that result from it. Doing this will allow you to fine-tune your influencer marketing strategy. Give the post some time, then analyze the results and modify your approach in any way that you think might be beneficial to your marketing. Make sure that you are holding up your end of the bargain if part of the agreement was a percentage of sales. Again, you want to watch your reputation, make sure you are as transparent as possible, and that the influencer also has a good experience working with you. One of your goals here should be to build solid relationships with people that could end up being strategic partners in the future.

How To Incorporate Social Media And Influencer Marketing Into Your Brands Future:

Once you’ve locked in a successful formula for doing this, rinse and repeat as wide and often as you can! This is a good basic strategy for social media marketing in the early stages of your brand’s growth; it’s powerful, easy to implement, doesn’t take any special skills, and can produce significant results.
While building out your marketing strategy and network, make sure you are simultaneously growing your own social media presence. Do all of the things we talked about above that make an influencer a good candidate for a promotional post: be genuine, engage with your audience, get them hype about drops, reward them for being loyal followers, and be active in the communities of your TD. Build those follower counts, and one day, people might be coming to you for promos!


Check out this epic video below featuring our CEO Groobies and his take on Influencer Partnerships and Marketing!