Social media influencers can be some of the most powerful marketing allies for your private label supplement brand, in part because of the very personal and individual nature of their posts. A generic celebrity endorsement may attract your customers’ attention momentarily, but the influencer they have followed for months or years on YouTube or Instagram is more likely to keep them emotionally invested. When your supplements feature an ingredient that is generating a lot of attention and excitement, having a well-matched influencer share their positive experience with your brand will help draw buyers to your product.

However, sending an influencer free samples does not in any way guarantee that they will make any mention of your product. In fact, the more valuable they are as a marketing partner, the more likely it is that they are receiving samples and press releases from many other brands. To increase the chances that you will attract the attention of an influencer, try out the tips below.

1. Get to know them and their audience. You will make less of an impact – or even a negative impact – if you contact influencers with a pitch that sounds like a form letter. Do your research and let them know why you have chosen them over other, similar content producers. Because influencers always need to generate interesting content, you will make your brand useful to them if you offer high-quality products that show measurable results and address the concerns of their followers in a specific way.

Put in some time and follow the influencers who reach your ideal customer. Use online tools like BuzzSumo, Kred or Pixlee to broaden and refine your search. You can also search by hashtags based on your product, whether its #cbdhealth, #ketodiet or #weightlosssupplements. Remember that the total number of followers an influencer has is not as important as how involved they are in the community the influencer has formed.

2. Increase your odds of a successful placement. Once you have found some potential matches, do what you can to make your product seem exciting to them and their audience. This is especially important to help your private label supplement brand stand out from mass market brands. Some ideas include:

  • Clearly promoting the benefits or key ingredients in your product
  • Include dramatic testimonials or before-and-afters in your pitch
  • Start a campaign involving many influencers (e.g. a 30-day challenge)
  • Possibly the most effective is to develop long-term relationships with key influencers and get them involved with your products when they are still in the development stage. Knowing that their feedback helped shape a brand will give them a strong personal connection to the end result.

3. Know the rules and etiquette around paid endorsements. If you decide to offer a paid endorsement to influencers you will definitely get a mention, but there are still steps you can take to make your campaign more effective.

First, respect the regulations that apply when money is involved. According to FTC regulations, your influencer will be obliged to let their followers know when content is sponsored, either through a hashtag or a standard statement in their post.

Next, understand that influencers have to strike a delicate balance when accepting sponsorship. They understandably want the increased financial stability that comes from accepting paid endorsements, but they need to take care to not lose the feeling of authenticity they have built up with their followers. Some communities may be willing to engage with sponsored posts, while others will have a much lower tolerance for them. It’s up to the individual influencers to understand their audiences and find the balance that works for them.

You can help your own brand’s credibility with the following strategies:

  • Follow influencers closely enough to see which ones are skilled at balancing paid content with authenticity.
  • Agree to let the influencer post honest reviews in exchange for a sponsored post. The disclosure may say something like, “This video was sponsored by [name], but the opinions are my own.” Even if they have some criticism about your product, the review will seem more real to their followers. (Naturally, you will want to find an influencer who is likely to enjoy your brand!)
  • Create a sponsored event that influencers and their followers will enjoy and find informative.

With some research and the willingness to develop long-term relationships, you can find success using influencers to build your private label supplement brand.