Can an Influencer Help You Sell More Subscription Boxes?

blog social media strategies Feb 06, 2022

We’ve all seen the power an influencer can have. If the right celebrity or social media personality endorses or even talks about a product, it can go viral. And that usually translates into a LOT of sales. Does that mean you should look for an influencer for your subscription box? 

Maybe. 

I know, not a helpful answer. But this isn’t an easy question. It’s going to require some digging in and talking through the details. 

 

 

The fact is, influencer marketing might be a great strategy for one subscription box owner and not for another. A lot depends on the business owner’s goals and their willingness to spend money without guaranteed results. 

 

What is an influencer? 

An influencer is someone in your niche who has “influence” or sway over your audience. In other words, they are someone your ideal customer would be likely to listen to or respect. 

Influencers often have specialized knowledge about a specific topic. The fact that they are already established and respected within a niche makes them a useful marketing tool for brands who are seeking credibility. 

Huda Kattan is a top Instagram influencer in the makeup and beauty products space. She started out as a blogger and then started doing makeup tutorials on Instagram. She used those videos to grow her followers to 47 million. 47 million!! That means if a makeup company sends her their product and she makes a video showcasing that product, there is the potential that 47 million people will learn about that product. Wow. 

Now, do you think Huda Kattan or another influencer would feature a product just because they think it’s great or they like the company’s owner? 

Not likely. 

Influencers are paid, either in cash or free products or other incentives, to promote a brand or product.

 

 

What is your goal in working with an influencer?        

I want you to think about influencer marketing the same way you do any other part of your marketing plan. Ask yourself what the goal is. Is it traffic, audience building, or sales? 

Take time to determine the goal of an influencer campaign. You can’t go into every influencer transaction with sales as your goal. Of course, getting sales is your ultimate goal, but what else would you consider a win? 

More followers? More traffic to your website? Simply building brand awareness? 

You need to be okay with NOT getting sales at first. Realize that if you get the traffic to your social media or your website, they may not be ready to make a purchase right away. It’s up to YOU to turn them into future buyers. 

 

Where can you find an influencer?    

Start by looking for influencers who are well-known inside your niche. By setting up a Google alert for industry-related terms, you can find out who regularly writes content about your industry. Also, spend time browsing industry forums to see who frequently answers questions. 

Next, it’s time to put on your detective hat and discover which influencers promote your competitors. Influencers who already promote brands within your niche or industry are more likely to be open to promoting your brand. Not sure where to start? Check out industry-related hashtags to see who is sharing content or talking about your competitors. 

Don’t limit yourself to people inside your industry. Consider people who share your audience, too. Are there other groups you share a target audience with? For instance, if your subscription box is a preschool craft box made with eco-friendly materials, consider influencers who focus on all-natural soaps and lotions or organic food for young children. 

 

 

How should you contact an influencer?  

Remember, everything we do is about building relationships. Influencer marketing is no different. 

Start by following them. Interact with their social media accounts by liking and commenting on their posts. It’s a lot like dating. You need to get to know a person a bit before asking them out on a date. 

Take this time to check out other products they’ve shared. Do they align with your audience? 

When you’re ready, start by sending them a quick message or email. Most influencers who do this for a living have their email address in their bios. 

Introduce yourself and tell them what you do. I don’t suggest putting your ask in the initial message. This is more about making a connection. Ask a question about what they do or about something on their page. Your goal here is to start building trust. 

You want this to be about more than just a transaction. If you treat it like a transaction, that’s all it will ever be. You won’t get the same benefit out of a transaction that you would from a relationship. 

 

 

Launch Your Box member Tiffany successfully works with influencers. Listen to Episode 14 on the Launch Your Box podcast to learn more about how she has grown her subscription box business using influencers as part of her marketing strategy. 

 

Do I have to pay an influencer? 

I get asked this question all the time. Members of Launch Your Box ask, “Should I pay for an influencer to open my box?” or, “Is a free box good enough for the influencers?”

So many variables come into play here that make this a difficult question to answer. 

Most influencers who do this regularly have a fee associated with any type of influencer activity. This includes posts, stories, reels, photos, and more. 

The more they do, the higher the cost. 

The more “influence” they have, the higher the cost. 

You have to think about what it’s worth to you. 

If you could get your subscription box in front of their audience, what would you be willing to pay? 

Some influencers would love the free product, but don’t expect that to be the case for most of them. Remember, this is what they do for a living. They can’t pay their rent with a cute sweatshirt someone gave them for free. 

This is why I choose affiliate commissions with my influencers. Instead of paying them per post, I’m paying per result. Read more about working with affiliates in this blog post

If you are paying an influencer, get a contract outlining their responsibilities. 

 

The bottom line is you have to be willing to spend the money and expect NO results. What’s the amount you’re willing to lose if you get no sales? What is getting in front of your ideal customer worth to you? 

Consider influencer marketing part of your advertising budget. We spend a lot of money on Facebook and Instagram Ads regularly. We don’t always know if they’ll bring us sales. 

Have the same mindset when working with influencers. Hope for the best, but keep your expectations low. Go into this with the intention of growing your reach and building your audience. 

 

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired! 

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