How Influencers Can Help Printers Get Better Marketing Results

Finding high-quality leads ready to buy can be challenging for everyone, including printers. Luckily, influencer marketing is a valuable tool for capturing interest from warm prospects. 


Influencer marketing uses the attractive power of a popular person to bring attention to your business. Usually, the influencer is paid to serve this role, although there are many creative ways to work with influencers. 

If goods or money are exchanged, the relationship must be disclosed both ethically and as required by the FTC. 


Influencer marketing can help a printer gain traction with audiences because print buyers are busy and distracted. 

An influencer who is trusted by the audience or who is highly creative can help elevate the message and catch attention. 

Experienced influencers understand their specific audience and what they respond to. Some influencers are so popular that their followers track and engage with every single thing they do. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right influencer who is visible to and respected by your intended sales leads. 


We tend to think of influencers as megastars in sports, entertainment, and music or on social platforms like TikTok. 

However, an influencer is anyone who positively influences your prospects and customers. This can include local celebrities, print industry experts, VIPs in your buying community, authors, speakers, and more. 

I produced a weekly newsletter for an influencer in the home remodeling field. You wouldn’t believe the caliber of people who subscribed, from elected officials to the heads of agencies like OSHA and DEQ to trade school administrators. He had a weekly radio show, emceed events, taught certification classes, and more. Whenever someone wanted to reach professional home remodelers in the region, they called him. He didn’t charge a fortune for his influencer work and had the respect and visibility to get the job done. 

Are there people like that in the fields you market to? Finding an influencer who reflects well on your brand and understands what you’re trying to accomplish is crucial. 

Keep in mind that the influencer is protecting their reputation as well. You need to be sure you’re worthy before you can expect a high-quality influencer experience. 


Rates for B2B influencers can wildly vary. One of my connections charges $1,000 per minute. Yes! Other influencers look at the big picture and are willing to negotiate. 

Here are some ideas for making influencer marketing more affordable. 

• Allow the influencer to work with multiple companies within your category. Not having an exclusive arrangement can make influencer marketing more affordable. 

• Look at “micro” influencers. This person may only have a few hundred highly loyal followers, but they may be exactly who you want to reach. 

• Dial back the deliverables. You may wish for a long list of excited print buyers who are ready to buy on the spot. The influencer may be able to deliver a list of 20 buyers who agree to attend an exclusive event and receive a VIP sample pack. 

• Partner with other non-competitors who use the same influencer. You can create a group event or campaign and get more bang for your buck.

• Compress the timeline for the influencer’s convenience. Although any influencer worth their salt will charge you for their value, the truth is that influencers, even micro-influencers, are usually very busy. You may be able to negotiate a better deal if all the in-person requirements can be combined into one or two days. 

• Give the influencer more creative freedom. Although you may prefer to approve every tweet, post, and video, I find that influencers work best unhampered—and it’s valuable for them to be able to do that. Discuss what’s possible and where there’s risk to develop mutual trust. 


Meet with the influencer to learn what results they’ve achieved with other clients. Review their portfolio. Check references.

Work with the influencer to design a campaign around your goals and create places where you can measure results. 

Here’s an example of a successful collaboration with an influencer. My client marketed to an industry where the local sports teams are top-rated. She hired a sports influencer to help promote a contest. The influencer had significant input and helped design a realistic campaign that measured clicks from emails to the contest page. The influencer was quite right when he said he couldn’t control whether someone would interact with the sign-up page, but he could control how interested someone would be in clicking over to find out more. The influencer generated curiosity, and my client took care of the conversions. It worked!


I have found that print sales teams love working with influencers. It gives them something to talk about and get excited about. They love tweaking their behavior to improve the overall results. They love the kick-off sales meeting where we introduce the influencer, and they can take selfies. They love watching the leaderboard stats rise in real-time. And they enjoyed the celebration at the end, where we took more photos and wrote about it in the company newsletter. 

Working with an influencer is usually a close-ended process. It forces everyone on the team to get organized and make the most of the experience. Experienced influencers know how to keep things rolling.

You may even find that your budget miraculously gets approved for a campaign after your boss meets with the influencer. They’re called influencers for a reason!


No matter how it turns out, meeting influencers is worthwhile. Start with a private company tour with fun areas set up for selfies. Give a no-strings gift of high-quality branded apparel in the proper size, not leftover stuff from your last trade show. 

One of the most memorable things I received as an influencer was a hanging terrarium with succulents—beautiful and long-lasting! Influencers get a lot of junk thrown their way, so take time to choose unique items. Food items with Instagram-worthy designs and personalized labels are always a good choice. 

In addition to influencing your target audience, influencers influence other influencers. Everyone loves to show off their merch to their peers, so make it good! 


The best way to get started with influencer marketing is to examine your active and former customer lists. It’s one thing to have aspirational, highly profitable buyers in mind – but that’s an option for down the road. 

In the beginning, you want to stack the odds in your favor. Your lists will help you see who your typical buyers are. If you have successfully turned those people into customers, that type of customer is an excellent place to start. 

With that profile in hand, that’s when you start researching influencers. Try to think without budgetary limits at first, just to expand your creativity. For example, one of my non-profit clients said their ideal member is a Boomer who loves Elvis. We explored bands and impersonators who had the reach but not the influence. We chose a colorful radio and YouTube personality whose listeners stay tuned to his oldies channel all day. 

Now that you see how printers can use influencers to generate leads, you’re ready to leap. A strategic influencer marketing program can help you reach print buyers, making it fun for everyone in your company.  

Check out all of Sandy’s posts here.

Read last month’s post: How Printers Can Start a Relationship Marketing Program

Sandy Hubbard is a Marketing Strategist and Advisor specializing in print, media, and tech. She helps print companies leverage their marketing to be seen, credible, and likable. Sandy is also the host of #PrintChat, a weekly global gathering of the industry’s most influential thinkers and leaders.



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