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19+ expert tips to grow your SaaS with Influencer Marketing?

Read a curated list of influencer marketing tips with examples for your SaaS products from influencer marketing experts and SaaS Founders to grow your SaaS.

We curated the best expert tips to grow your SaaS through influencer marketing. Let’s Go!
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Note: SaaSwrites is a curated growth marketing hub and resource built to help SaaS founders grow their products. We sincerely thank all our experts for their constant value addition to this world.
Updated: 05/27/2022

Growth Tactics shares the secret of smartest e-Com marketers. They're (quietly) all in on influencer marketing.

1. Brands that win with influencer marketing figured something out

They realized that they get a higher ROI when they create campaigns that make their influencers feel like they're promoting THEMSELVES.
  • Start small: Run giveaways with your influencers. Let them provide value (free product) to their audiences.
  • Then scale: Create products with your best, long-term influencers—they're brand ambassadors. Run a collab. Get them to invest in your brand
Make campaigns where influencers feel they are promoting themselves
Make campaigns where influencers feel they are promoting themselves

2. Influencer marketing is MOST EFFECTIVE for brands with high-quality, physical products

  • Quality products: Influencers prefer to promote products they actually use (+ strong word of mouth amplifies returns from campaigns)
  • Physical products show well through video & photo.

3. Work with creators > "influencers"

Creators are craftspeople (writers, photographers, artists). Prioritize them over legacy Instagram celebrities.
They care more about quality in their craft than follower count—which leads to more engagement & commerce.

4. Influencer marketing = designing a community

You’re working with humans, not dashboards. Each influencer is a relationship. And your influencers represent your brand. Put in the work to find the right influencers. Then empower them to find other influencers for your brand.
Once you find great long-term influencer partners, incentivize them to activate other great influencers.
  • Create a referral system for them to sign up other influencers
  • Give them a % of sales generated by influencers they activate
They'll help you scale.

5. Performance influencer marketing

Brands are tiring of wasting money on campaigns that lack a clear ROAS. So some are moving away from paying lump sums for "sponsored posts".
Instead, they're compensating influencers based on the conversions they drive—an affiliate model. And top brands deploy a mixed model.
  • They pay some cash for their best creator's content.
  • Then ALSO pay a small % of each sale that comes in through their affiliate link.
This approach often leads to long-term, win/win partnerships between influencers and brands

6. Seek long-term relationships over one-off campaigns

Brands that are reinforced over time to an influencer's following —> high affinity. Find influencers who want to be a true representative of your brand.
The result? More consumer trust and often lower influencer rates.

7. Most SaaS startups should start with nano and micro-influencers

  • Nano influencers: Under 10k followers
  • Micro-influencers: ~10-100k
  • Macro influencers: 100k +
As influencers grow, their audience becomes diverse.
It's harder to deliver personalized messages, so engagement and conversion often decline.
Start your influencer campaign with nano and micro influencers
Start your influencer campaign with nano and micro influencers
Another reason to prioritize nano or micro > macro-influencers:
Influencers with smaller followings are more accessible & trusted than their celebrity counterparts.
You’ll get better targeting (higher conversion) for a lower fee since they have less reach.

8. Seek relationships with fast-growing influencers

Especially for long-term partnerships. They'll likely charge less than large, inflated, slower-growth accounts.
And over time, they’ll get you in front of their rapidly growing audience.

9. Offer creative control

Make sure you allow influencers to maintain some creative control over the content.
Why?
  • The content needs to be authentic, not scripted.
  • Creators know their audience best. Give them a chance to create content that goes viral/gets great engagement.

10. Know when to "gift"

Gifting = sending influencers products for free. This works best for nano influencers who aren't creating "full-time."
If they like your product, ask them to post about it.
Brands get low-cost exposure since their cost is inventory, not cash.

11. Attribution is notoriously difficult in influencer marketing

You can try to track traffic/sales through influencers' URL or discount code. But this doesn’t always tell the whole story—people will hear about you from an influencer but purchase later from another source.
Add a post-purchase survey to figure out the number of people who heard about you from influencers.
 
Click/coupon data might show a low ROAS, but you might find that your ROAS is much higher once survey data is accounted for.

Azar Shad paid zero dollars upfront to get a startup to 7-figures. His secret is influencer marketing

12. Seeding

It's basically offering your product for free to hundreds of right folks. Then, those who love your product, give them an affiliate offer. Go with TikTok creators, more likely to go viral.

13. Every good product has fans, you just don't know it yet

Your most happy customers are the best salespeople. Make sure you make it easy and accessible on your website/emails. Put this in your email signature and website header from them to discover it.

14. Find the rising stars, not the superstars

Best partners are those who are value-aligned but don't know their value yet. Example: Trends found Packy McCormick when he was growing fast.
Then, offered to pay for the cost per sign-up basis.

15. Can't afford macro-influencers who are brand aligned? Ask them to invest

It's counterintuitive. If they believe in you, they'd 10X their revenues and you get free publicity without paying anything. Make sure these folks are your customers. We do that Synthesis

16. Partner swaps without cold reach out

Businesses are okay to share some leads but never thought about affiliates. Sharing best partners with other companies are the lowest hanging fruit. But do it with taste, & win-win for everyone.
Be in the consideration set for affiliates who are regularly looking for such programs. I 3x-ed my affiliate leads by just bidding on them. The CPC was so low.
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18. Rank on affiliate keywords and offer your program as an alternative

Once you see Google Ads are working. You'll easily rank on the "X brand affiliate program". You'll keep getting inbound affiliates from search. There is not much competition or keyword difficulty there.
After 9 yrs of using many approaches with influencers for his sunglasses brand, he implements-

19. Follow this 3-phase strategy

(Seeding -> Qualification ->Ambassador)
A three-step strategy on influencer marketing for SaaS.
A three-step strategy on influencer marketing for SaaS.
This is what a semi-automated process will look like:

Seeding Phase

We'll offer micro-influencers on IG and TikTok (<5000 followers) that fit our brand a free pair of sunglasses. The clue: There is no condition. No posted content, no briefing, nothing.
Why are we doing this?
Because instead of bought love we want to see real engagement with our products. We want them to check our sunglasses and see if they fit and like them.
Around 20% of contacted profiles take our offer. They move to the next phase.

Qualification Phase

The influencers that accept are invited to our community program via @dovetale, they choose their free product in a pre-defined product set matching their personal style (male/female, sporty/fashion, etc.)
They place their (free) order all integrated in our @Shopify Checkout. No spreadsheets, no address copy & paste, Pure magic. They receive their product and about 80% of those will engage with us and post about it - deliberately!
These are the people we would really love to partner with.

Ambassador Phase

Those engaging with our brand will receive the invitation to join our Ambassador program. They will receive more products and a personalized discount code (around 15% off) that earns them an affiliate commission on their code's sales.
The easy part? All commissions are tracked in their profiles in @dovetale. Super easy to track performance and manage payments. We'll automate the onboarding process by sending our ambassadors an onboarding flow with information about the products and our brand with @Klaviyo.
The results? This gives our partners a big incentive to push our brand. And lays the foundation for a long-term partnership with mutual benefit.
We get reach affiliate + sales + lots of content we can use for ads. And depending on discount and % commission: Better CPAs than ads