Influencer marketing is not a new concept in business. Brands have always relied on a small segment of their loyal customers to spread the word about their products.
What has changed?
Today, the commonness and indispensability of multiple digital marketing platforms has enhanced the role of the influencer marketer. An influential person is no longer just a CEO of a company or the president of a local club; ordinary customers are now some of the most influential brand ambassadors.
What’s really challenging for marketers is to develop a workable strategy that will allow them to select and engage with the best influencers for their brand.
Here are 5 effective steps that will be helpful in finding and engaging with influencers who will positively impact your business:
Given the popularity of social media, many marketers have only focused on trying to build relationships with social media users with the largest number of followers. Undeniably, most influencers do have a significantly large number of followers.
However, the number of followers should not be the only metric used to identify potential influencers. It is important that your potential brand ambassadors have expert knowledge and interest in your brand or niche.
Tools like Traackr and Appinions can help you to efficiently identify influencers in your niche, their geographic location, engagement metrics, and their social media reach.
Your influencer marketing strategy should focus on two types of people: The well-known, celebrity or niche expert and on the other end of the spectrum, the ordinary customer.
Naturally, most brands will want to collaborate with well-known personalities and to engage them as brand ambassadors. However, ordinary customers who may not have as many followers are also an important aspect of the matrix.
Your ordinary customers are likely more loyal than influencers whom you recruit elsewhere. Building a relationship with these customers, offering them insider information and engaging directly with them to create user-generated content can help you tap into a loyal group of people who will effortlessly spread the word about your brand to their peers.
Influencers have their own communities whether that is blog followers or social media fans. As such, your influencer-marketing strategy should be less about pushing your own agenda and more about finding points of mutual interest. This means that you need to offer value to your potential influencers for them to reciprocate.
When creating your outreach program ask yourself how the influencer will benefit by mentioning or promoting your brand to his community. To successfully reach out to potential brand ambassadors, it goes without saying that you need to research several fundamental factors including:
After identifying, contacting and bringing your influencers on board, what’s next?
Brand content creation is an important aspect of building credibility for your brand and attracting influencers. All along, ensure that you are creating and distributing content to show your influencers your commitment to promote your own brand and to make connections with your customers.
Influencers, no matter how excited they are about your products, will only be motivated to stay with your brand if they see that you are keen on building your brand through strategized content marketing.
In addition to creating your own brand content, involve your brand ambassadors to co-create content. Content co-creation can be very powerful in amplifying your brand’s message among your own audience and your influencers’ audience too.
There is a risk of expending so much time and effort on an influencer marketing strategy and not getting any ROI in return. Monitor and measure your efforts to identify how they contribute to tangible returns such as mentions, more followers, addition to the bottom line, and number of leads. The metrics you use will largely depend on your campaign goals.
The rise of digital influencers cannot be discounted. Ordinary consumers and social media users have managed to build a following and an influence that surpasses that of mainstream mass media. Today, any marketer who wants to shift opinion and impact customers’ purchase decisions should leverage the power of the influencer.
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