Posted: 23 Nov 2016 Contributor: Jacob Smart
How to Find the Right Influencers for your Marketing Campaign
It used to be a considerable achievement to have your business advertised online. Now, it’s basically like winning a participation trophy to have your company all over the web. If you don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account, or even a website… you’re considered to be at a distinct disadvantage. Consumers have come to expect a brand to have its own social media presence and some sustenance online for them to ogle over. In a world of limitless possibilities to market your business, the ideas to focus on are how you can separate your brand from the rest and how you can earn the attention of your potential consumers.
One way to do that is with this generations hottest social marketing trend: influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is basically asking someone really really nicely, to promote one of your brands’ products or services online (often using words such as please and phrases like pretty please). This style of promotion supports your content marketing plan by creating powerful user-generated content leveraging all the “popular kids” in your target audience. If you’re lucky, you may be able to lock down some influencers for free, but if you’re looking for a significant amount of impressions, you’re going to have to be ready to pay.
The advantage? If chosen correct, an influencer that aligns with your brand’s target audience has the ability to put your products or services right on the target for conversion while creating massive brand awareness. People follow influencers who have similar interests and tastes to their own, so a simple promotion by these market bodies can substantially increase a company’s chances of improving their sales.
According to Nielsen, “Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.” Add this with the stat that states 81% of people say influencer engagement was effective; if you’re looking to generate brand awareness and increase sales, it definitely works! This creates the question:
What is the best way to find influencers that specifically fit into your industry?
Social Media is a Two-Way Street
Word of mouth recommendations spread like wild fire through social media. If Kendall Jenner tweets about the new luxury branded dress she’s wearing for the day, you better believe that people are going to instantly stop what they’re doing and go run out to buy it. The reality is that oftentimes consumers trust influencers more than the brand itself.
Social media is like high school; there are popular kids and no so popular kids (For the record, I was obviously a popular kid). Facebook likes, Instagram follows, Twitter re-tweets and favorites, etc. can all let your business know just how much of an impact these people have in a market. The value from a popular kid or industry influencer is tremendous, and social platforms make it easy for your brand to connect with them and reach out to offer a partnership with your brand. Keep in mind that even promoters with a smaller fan base can still be effective if they hit a niche market. Using simple keyword searches that are specific to your industry, along with some of the tools social sites have are great ways to find influencers for free.
LinkedIn’s pulse discover, which recommends top influencing individuals based off what industry your business is in, is a great way in finding people to promote your brand. Let’s say for example, you’re a B2B Digital Marketing Agency; this influencer marketing tools will list people like Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin Group), Arianna Huffington (Founder of Thrive Global), or Mark Cuban (American businessman and investor), and others who are some of the top leaders in the influencer community. Then it’s your job to try to connect with them, or their people, and see how much pull they can have in promoting your brand. Seriously though, good luck getting a response from Richard Branson; the guy is hard to reach from what I hear.
Leverage hashtag searches. Hashtags and allow consumers to get a handle on what’s trending, but they also act as a filtering system to get to the influencers that you might be a good match with. Let’s say you’re a fashion brand trying to discover niche promoters on Instagram. Searching a hashtag like #womensfashion will allow your brand to find influencers on Instagram and identify with popular accounts in that industry. Other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook also support hashtag searches. According to Statista, Facebook alone has 1.71 billion monthly users. And with social media being influencers main stomping ground, the potential to reach influencers in your industry is endless
Build Lasting Relationships
Yes, it’s true that social media is a great tool to initially get a list of influencers; but yet, to fully take advantage of search engine marketing, building rapport with these people is essential for long lasting campaigns. Influencers repeatedly mentioning your products or business can have a great impact on establishing you as an authority on the web.
Ever since kindergarten, we’ve followed the most basic law when it comes to behaving with other people (or at least tried to), The Golden Rule. Best defined as treating others the way you would want to be treated. If you’re working with influential bloggers or authoritative social accounts that have large audiences, this idea of reciprocity is such a powerful concept. Remember, they have feelings too! An experienced digital marketing agency that specializes in brand development will tell you, cooperation is highly meaningful. Influencers will devote a greater amount of time to please your brand if you’re consistently giving back. Some examples of this:
- Sharing their content on your social channels
- Engaging with their posts (likes, favorites, etc.)
- Simply thanking them for their time promoting your brand’s services/products
- Continuing in long-term partnerships as an ambassador program
It doesn’t require an absurd amount of time to create relations with business partners. If you put the effort in, so will the people you engage with.
Realize Your Audience
Every effort a marketer makes in regards to building brand awareness should be aimed at their target market. In other words, whatever you or your influencer is promoting, it should be catered towards the consumers your brand is trying to reach.
By following these guidelines, your business experience campaigns that go viral and improve your brand awareness, conversion, social following, search engine marketing and more. According to tapinfluence.com, “With a set of early-stage influencers, you can kick start your campaign by guaranteeing that your campaign will at least be visible to all of the people in your influencer’s networks. Depending on who the influencers are that you work with, that can mean a reach of thousands to hundreds of thousands.”
Making sure your promoter is on a list of influencers that fall within your industry and share your target audience is crucial for influencer marketing success. If you’re an athletic brand attempting to campaign a new product-line, don’t go after Gordon Ramsey in promoting your brand, no matter how popular he may be. Instead, find an influencer who’s a superstar in your specific industry. Hone in on your audience and get a better understanding of the promoters your brand is meant to operate with, before making the investment on which popular kids to go forward with.
Influencer marketing is an effective and accelerated way to get your brand known by an extensive crowd of people. Selecting the right influencers is the difference between thoughtless impressions and targeted brand awareness that leads to conversion. So do it right, keep it tight, and start reaching out to the cool kids in your industry; they might just think you’re pretty cool too.