A Brief Introduction to Influencer Marketing
Essentially, influencer marketing is refocusing your marketing efforts to reach your target audience via an influential person or people.
80% of marketers engage influencers as they recognise utilising them and concentrating their efforts helps their brand to achieve a better position in the eyes of their target audiences.
Who is an Influencer?
An influencer can affect purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge and relationship with their audience. So a positive review from them is large scale word-of-mouth and gives you a great opportunity to begin new relationships with their audience members, turning them in to loyal customers.
Working with an influencer can be likened to celeb endorsement, minus the obvious celeb is getting paid to say good things about this product/service. While an influencer doesn’t have to be a celeb, they should be someone who has a strong social presence and personality within your industry.
Influencers don’t have to be bloggers, they could exclusively use platforms such as Instagram and YouTube to earn their audiences and reputation, or they could do a bit of everything from blogging to reviews to vlogging.
How to locate an influencer
Begin by exploring the online community for your industry, follow accounts that you think resonate with your brand and begin to engage on their posts, stories, share their content etc.
Generally, you don’t want to steamroller in to forging a working relationship with an influencer. Take the time to follow influencers for a while to get to know them, how they engage with their audience (is it along the same lines of how you’d engage with customers?), and generally get ‘a feel’ for them.
You can also use a service like <Klout> to see how influencers rank according to complex algorithms.
How to get an influencer to work with you
You could send a load of emails or DM’s to influencers who you think mirror your company’s values, who you believe would deliver your message correctly and who’s opinion would be valued amongst your targeted audience. But what if you don’t get the reaction you expected, or you do but you haven’t figured out how to monitor the relationships success?
The below steps may seem laborious but they’re worth it to make sure you’re not wasting your resources.
- Update your marketing strategy – whether you’re planning on using influencer marketing for existing products/services or anything new you’re releasing, build it in to your strategy.
- What do they get – this is a business transaction so there has to be something in it for the influencer. Before approaching them, think about what you’re offering them. Will they be paid, will they receive commission, free products or services?
- Engage with an influencer – as above, take the time to learn about your chosen influencer/s and engage with them.
- Select the right influencer – make sure the influencer you select is active and has a strong presence on the platforms your audience is on, otherwise there’s no point, they won’t see it.
- Nurture the relationship – like any other business relationship, it takes time for each of you to build it. Be open with your communications and expectations.
- Keep to your objectives – usually the main goal of working with an influencer is to raise brand awareness (and subsequently increase sales), but there’s a fine balance of doing this or annoying people so much that they switch off from the message. Be sure there are guidelines for the influencer to work with.
How you work with an influencer
There are various methods an influencer can use to support your marketing campaigns, it’s not just about social media posts. Below are some examples, but don’t be afraid to explore other avenues you may think are beneficial to both parties.
- Guest blog or vlog on your website
- Blog or vlog about your product/service on their website
- Create content together such as a video at an event you’re both attending
- Written or video reviews on their experience of using your products/services
- Social media posts and stories featuring your brand and products/services
Whichever marketing channel you choose, influencer marketing can’t be overlooked as a strong option. It’s a fresh, innovative and less invasive way to reach consumers to boost brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.
Published on: 18th May 2018 by Rachel