Influencer marketing has become a powerful strategy for many businesses out there.
But when thinking of tapping major influencers to jumpstart your marketing efforts, just remember:
you may be treading a treacherous path.
Although it is important to get good social media influencers who may bring in more followers and customers to your business, you have to make sure you get the right one for your campaign.
For those on a small budget, it might be easier to become the online influencer yourself.
Here are seven simple tips you can consider when looking for the perfect influencer for your business:
1. Audience research is important.
Find the needs and wants of your audience, their profiles, preferences in the industry you are in, where they go on social media, as well as their social behaviors.
One way to do that is to get around 10 of your followers or fans and ask them if you could talk to them over phone or Skype to do some chat.
A phone or video chat brings out everything you need to know about them, compared with an email which gets ignored most of the time (because honestly, who does want to sit and answer a number of questions on email).
Spend the time to know more about them, discuss your brand, ask their thoughts about the brand, and in return, show them your appreciation by giving them a free product or variety sample pack.
In this case study by CLEVER Influencer Marketing, they promoted conversations about natural remedy success stories and got users to attach their BOGO Coupon onto each post.
Their campaign resulted in a 6,000 clicks to the site and 133 million impressions on social media sites.
They even grabbed the Fourth Ranking trending topic nationwide on Twitter. When you talk to your fans or followers, you will be able to see what they think about the brand and what needs to be improved or honed.
2). Check your goals and budget.
Every brand would probably want Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian to tweet about their products and services.
But of course in reality, unless you have the budget to get these high-profile celebrities, this is just a fantasy. In truth, influencer marketing costs money, time, and effort to launch a successful campaign.
Another crucial consideration is managing your own expectations from launching an influencer marketing campaign.
You have to consider not just your budget and time but also the goals why you think your brand needs a marketing campaign with the help of an influencer.
3). Understand an influencer is different from an advocate.
An influencer, in its basic sense, is an individual with relatively significant social capital. In most cases, an influencer has several thousand followers or fans on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or other top social media networks as well as websites and blogs.
Their online posts are often shared or quoted.
They are usually featured in interviews, tapped to serve as guest speakers or even wrote a book. Influencers have a significant amount of reach online, thus all the attention given to them by the big brands.
An advocate, on the other hand, is different. Advocates may have fewer followers, at least, compared with influencers.
Advocates do not necessarily support or endorse a brand because of rewards or incentives. An advocate will talk about a brand he cares about, even if the company completely ignores him.
An advocate is passionate, vocal, and if he likes and believes in a brand, he will offer positive recommendations about it, on and offline.
One proven tactic is to encourage advocates to review your product, as demonstrated in this case study by MarketingSherpa.
They focused on the followers engagement rather than the volume of followers, and encouraged a campaign focused on creative, unique, and honest reviews of their line of mattresses focused on luxury and interior designers.
The campaign drove over 400 sales of new mattresses and over 100,000 unique visitors to their site.
4). Do the groundwork.
It is always important that you do the groundwork first before you start building a relationship with an influencer. This is important before you want to engage influencers who may be interested in your product or service.
Use tools such as Get Little Bird and Traacker to look for relevant influencers in your industry and then start building your relationship with them. Look for ways how your brand can also help the influencer.
Simple ways such as sharing the content of an influencer and promoting his books or social media accounts are good ways to start building a harmonious relationship with influencers.
5). Have a very engaging and compelling story.
Work on a story that is engaging and compelling for the influencer to share. Influencers are seen by their followers as persons of authority, but if the story you are pitching to influencers are not compelling or engaging enough, there is a good chance the campaign would fail.
A story should be relevant enough to the audience of an influencer. Together with the authority and trust associated with the influencer, a good story will push followers to a conversion.
6). Know the beat of the influencer and make them shine.
One good way to enhance your campaign with the help of an influencer is featuring expert opinions of influencers on your website or blog.
If the formula is good enough, this would ultimately bring extra value to your target market and at the same time, good chances that influencers would want to engage you and your campaigns.
When you select the right influencers, it can end up as a win-win solution for your brand and the influencer.
The more you understand the goals of the influencers you want to tap, the better you can pitch to them your marketing objectives.
For instance, if you are writing an article about the importance of mobile marketing in the next few years, you might want to look for people who are already out there championing the idea.
7). Make the pitch as effortless and sincere as possible.
When asking for a top influencer to get on board and tell your product to his followers, it is always recommended to lay every detail out for him on a silver platter.
Getting an influencer for your marketing campaign is a form of a partnership. For example, Billion Dollar Boy has a perfect case study to highlight this fact.
They managed a campaign with Foster Huntington, who is a prominent photographer that blended in promotions for Bonobos seamlessly into his current stream of content. This resulted in 5.1 million impressions and tripled the engagement rate of the Bonobos brand.
After all, we are all busy so it would be easier if you can tell influencer everything he needs to know about your business and your products or services.
It is always best that the influencer knows about the brand because after all he is going to be the one interacting with his followers or fans about the product.
Of course, when we partner with an influencer, the hard work of pulling content, making emails, designing collateral, and other details will fall on our lap while the influencer will push the content to his audience.
The most crucial thing you should realize is that both you and your influencer’s time are valuable. Create a relationship based on trust, respect, and sincerity.
About the Author – Cley is a marketing consultant, specializing in influencer outreach and marketing. The backbone of what he does is creating a lasting connection and relationship between a brand and its influencer and by extension bringing in loyal return customers. When not dreaming about content, Cley is scaling sheer rock faces.
Tweet him @TheCleyWilliams