In the new world of digital relationships, people have grown more accustomed to trusting what they see in the web.
Over the recent years, influencer marketing has become one of the biggest trends in the marketing circles, it’s now more acknowledged by consumers and more profitable for brands. It’s been shown to influence 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
In this post we’ll take you through a few key things you should know about it – from strategy and tips, to tools and a guide for where to find ideal asset to promote your campaign.
First things first, what is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing focuses on online leaders to drive your brand’s message to your target market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, influencer marketing aims to harness the influence of key individuals to meet a business objective. It’s done best by building relationships beneficial for both parties.
Online influencers have the ability to transform behaviors and create an impact on purchase decisions in a given context. They are brand advocates and niche promoters, they drive action, not just awareness. Because of the loyalty of their audience, an influencer has the ability to drive traffic to your site, increase your social media exposure, and flat-out sell your product through their recommendation or story about their experience.
Start with the Audience, Rather than the Influencer
Influencer marketing starts by first identifying your target customer and understanding who impacts how they discover, evaluate, decide and buy. Laying the groundwork before executing on tactics is crucial. Decide what kind of extra exposure you’re trying to gain. Are you looking for a specific media coverage? Or is it for industry events? Do you want to gain some traction for your website? The list goes on. But with this in mind, you’ll be able to figure out your persona.
Context & Channel
Now that you understand who you’re targeting, it’s time to reach out to them and get on their radar. It really comes down to two elements: context and channel. While someone with hundreds of thousands of social media followers could certainly expose your brand, if they are not a snug contextual fit, their post would be moot as far as driving leads and customers. To locate the ideal influence, you need to take it one step further and think about the types of topics, blogs, and tweeters that your audience would follow.
To get this right, it’s important to adopt a data-driven approach. By using available data, you can build a profile of the customers, users, and visitors from your online channels who are most engaged to find more of them. Use this to map out your target influencer audiences. This makes it easier to find influencers who have access to this audience.
Remember that an approach like this requires a manual effort as well as automated tools. Use Twitter hashtags to find those who contribute to conversations around relevant topics. A digital tool like Tracx makes it easy for companies to analyze the social media landscape for the most influential profiles based on geography, category, or other demographic data.
Take Action & Engage
Now that you know who they are and you’ve found them, it’s time to start creating a relationship with them. Influencers are not empty vessels. Get to know them, build trust, understand their community and make sure they’re actually engaged. Plan initiatives that will let you work together.
Influencer marketing often goes hand-in-hand with two other forms of marketing: social media marketing and content marketing. Customize your approach based on the individual person. Encourage content creation and it shouldn’t just stop with the content being posted on their site, or across their social channels.
Make sure your influencer feels rewarded, acknowledged, loved, important, or any combination of those. It doesn’t have to be financially, but it can be, though. The value of your influencer relationships grow over time. Invest in earning trust and sustaining connections.
What does success look like?
Now that your idea of influencer marketing isn’t so elusive, don’t let your outreach campaign slip by forgetting to measure the results. Keep track of the relationships you are building and how they translate into measurable outcome such as visits, introductions, mentions or leads.
Kim, L. (2013, July) The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting. Retrieved from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-influencer-targeting/
Vetvik O., Bughin J., & Doogan J. (2010, April) A new way to measure word-of-mouth marketing. Retrieved from http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/a-new-way-to-measure-word-of-mouth-marketing
Barysevich, A. (2016, August 19) 4 Key Steps in Your Influencer Marketing Strategy. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/4-key-steps-your-influencer-marketing-strategy
Morrison, K. (2017, March 22) Influencer Marketing Is Becoming an Essential Business Strategy (Survey). Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/digital/influencer-marketing-is-becoming-an-essential-business-strategy-survey/
Whatley, T. (2016, Aug) 3 Advanced Influencer Marketing Strategies for Noisy Markets. Retrieved from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/influencer-marketing/advanced-influencer-marketing-strategy/