When creating a social media marketing campaign, it is important to know your audience. It’s vital to know what your customers and followers like to read and like to share when they’re on your page.
Last month I gave you information on what it means to go viral; these tips included:
- Building a loyal following
- Using images and videos
- The times of day to post on the different platforms
These are ways you can increase the number of likes and shares on your posts, but what about getting the help from others? By engaging in influencer marketing you are expanding your reach and connecting with leaders and experts in your industry. Keep reading to learn more about what influencer marketing is, how to use it and how to find influencers.
What is Influencer Marketing?
According to Forbes, influencer marketing is “A non-promotional approach to marketing in which brands focus their efforts on opinion leaders, as opposed to direct target market touchpoints.” In other words, influencer marketing is about providing product context and expertise through an influential person. Forbes also recently reported that influencer marketing the next “Gold Rush.” Here are two tips to building a campaign that can strike gold.
- Identify Potential Influencers
Before you pay for an influencer to post about your product or service, consider whom you want to reach. Identification of natural brand advocates is the foundation. While you may not be able to get your product pictured with a major celebrity, you can still raise brand awareness through a smaller approach. Consider offering your thoughts and opinions, or a sample of your product for them to write about. This will expose your brand to their followers with their endorsement.
- Begin to Build Your Own Influence
Before you want others to talk about your brand, you have to build it up first. A solid website and social media presence is crucial to assert your place in your industry. Creating a blog on your website is one way to show off your expertise. Consider writing how-to posts on frequently asked questions customers have. How-to articles don’t mean you’re giving away secrets; it is creating a positive relationship by sharing helpful information with potential connections. Search engines give preference to sites that offer high-quality consumer-friendly content, so it can be beneficial to write some articles in this style. Just be sure to do these three things:
- Identify and write with your reader’s needs in mind
- Include relevant keywords
- Offer a compelling headline
These three tips and more information on blogging can be found in How to Leverage Blogging for Stellar Customer Care.
Why Should You Care About Influencer Marketing?
As mentioned above, influencer marketing is considered to be a “Gold Rush” and the next big thing in marketing. If you’re still unsure, here are seven reasons to engage in this form of marketing from AdWeek:
- It’s Powerful
A word-of-mouth recommendation is incredible powerful to drive sales. A study by McKinsey found, “Marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.” And those that were acquired through word-of-mouth had a 37 percent higher retention rate. As mentioned above, when an influencer mentions and endorses your brand, your product is given more credibility as it’s shared with a wider range of consumers.
- It’s Social
Social media users have come to expect that brands will talk with them rather than at them. Having a fun and engaging social media presence will persuade followers to interact with your brand, and possibly share and like your posts.
- It’s Attractive
Recently, 50 influencers posted an Instagram image of themselves wearing the same Lord & Taylor dress on the same day; that next weekend the dress sold out. Building a relationship with tastemakers and trendsetters can push your brand ahead of the curve and make you look like a leader.
- Consumers are Tired of Paid Ads
According to research firm Yankelovich, the average American is exposed to 5,000 advertisements a day. That is a lot; many people have started to tune them out. When an influencer likes or is wearing a product, it allows the customer to see themselves using it. They’re following the influencer because they like them and have similar tastes; give them an opportunity to envision themselves with your brand.
- It’s Native Advertising
In contrast to traditional advertising, which interrupts the consumer experience, native advertising places brands and products within the natural content, creating a more pleasurable experience for consumers and a more powerful marketing solution for brands. As mentioned above, native advertising reduces the chances of being ignored by customers.
- It Helps Your SEO
According to The Social Media Revolution, user generated social posts account for 25 percent of search results for the world’s top 20 brands. The more people mention your brand on social media, the more popular and relevant you will be on Google, making your business easier to be found online.
- It’s Trackable
Every website visit, social like and picture posted online can be stored and analyzed, yielding large amounts of data that turns into valuable insights about your target market and your advertising performance. You will be able to see if a relationship is working or not and can make decisions from there.
How to Find Influencers
When looking for influencers, type in keywords related to your industry in whichever social media platform you are interested in. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest take some time to research the right influencer for your brand. Look for accounts that have the similar values to your brand and make sure their content stays on message. Just because an influencer has a high number of followers, doesn’t mean they are a quality account. Once you find accounts and create a solid list, use the tips below to begin engaging with them.
How to Engage in Influencer Marketing
Now that you know why influencer marketing is important and how to find influential people, it is time to get going. Here are eight do’s and don’ts of influencer marketing from Entrepreneur:
- Do: Choose Influencers Wisely
First and foremost, it is important to choose the right influencers to reach out to. You want to make sure their following is actually part of your market. That way, your message is conveyed to people who will actually have an interest in what you’re promoting.
- Do: Amplify Influencer Messages
Influencers are often under pressure to drive traffic to their message, so anything you can do to help them do that will be noticed and greatly appreciated. Find an influencer you greatly admire, and start amplifying their content by sharing it on your own social media networks. Be sure to tag the influencer so he or she knows what you’re doing.
- Do: Offer Influencers Something to Entice Them
This could be something along the lines of offering them a free sample or service, or providing additional information to a piece of work they’ve previously written. It’s their name on the line if they choose to engage with your brand, which makes it important to build a positive relationship. They may also have another number of brands interested in their position on social media; give them every reason to choose you.
- Do: Use an Evangelical Approach
Top influencers respond to a different kind of value propositions than regular users. While typical users respond to quantitative value propositions like “cheaper,” “smaller” or “faster,” top influencers are more interested in qualitative value propositions. This is where you’ll use words like “revolutionary,” “breakthrough” and “game-changing.” Influencers want to be involved in exciting ventures, so you need to attract their attention with engaging text.
- Don’t: Spam Influencers with Follow Ups
After sending the initial message, it’s possible it may take a few days to hear a response. Wait a week before sending a follow up; just don’t send too many. This could be deterring them to want to work with you. Walk the line between pleasantly persistent and annoyingly pushy for best results.
- Don’t: Forget to Build Influencer Relationships
Get to know the influencer you are after before you start asking for things. Compliment and comment on work they’ve published or add your two cents to a link they’ve shared. This will get a dialog going that can lead to a successful relationship. If you start off with a request it may come across as spam and it will be ignored.
- Don’t: Forget to Set Influencer Guidelines
As we mentioned before, find out how they like to work. Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another platform? Make sure you have specific tactics in place for how you’d like to be promoted and tagged to generate the maximum exposure possible.
- Don’t: Rely Only on Influencer Buzz
As effective as influencer marketing is, it cannot sustain your company. Continue with your other marketing efforts such as social media marketing, blogging and paid advertisements to keep spreading the word about your company.
If your business is interested in influencer marketing but find it to be too much work, contact Three Girls Media today to get your campaign going; we can start you off with a complimentary consultation with our CEO. Check out these additional blog posts for more information on marketing, too!
- Expert Advice on Engaging Content: Marketing to the Masses the Modern Way
- Digital Marketing Success: How to Blog for SEO Results
- The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Your Business (Infographic)
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