Image by Markus Spiske
Today’s customers are no longer captive audiences. Thanks to social media, they can choose where to get their information and pick which individuals to follow. Celebrity endorsements aren’t the only valuable recommendations these days. Influence is now spread out to individuals who have a significant following.
Influencer marketing, according to InNetwork, “provides a way for brands to increase awareness, engagement, and sales by working with a trusted social influencer that potential buyers want to consume content from.”
It’s no surprise that marketers are shifting their attention to this strategy. Why? Because it works.
Sharon Black, in an article for Rival IQ, shares exactly how effective this strategy can be: “When an influencer shares your content or recommends your brand, about 1% of his/her followers are likely to engage— click-through, retweet, follow you, etc. And then, 1% of his/her follower’s followers will respond, and the circle continues.”
This type of marketing is extremely valuable, especially when you’re positioning your brand within a niche. Here’s how you and your marketing team can get started:
Identify the people you want to work with.
Influence isn’t necessarily a numbers game. Don’t rule out the micro-influencers. You might have a better shot at getting results by working with those who build great relationships with their modest following than popular individuals who don’t make connections. Remember, you want your influencer to drive your target market to action.
Separate the true influencers from those who are just popular on social media. LeadMD’s content marketing manager, Chad Koskie, says that true influencers “aren’t much into self-promoting; they exist to provide value to their audience, and by doing so build something critical: trust.”
Your marketers can use these tools to find the influencers as well as streamline your influencer marketing engagements:
- Traackr – helps marketers create engagement strategies for each influencer to help them make successful connections
- GetLittlebird – shows reports and analysis on influencers, their social behavior, and engagement to measure their impact
- Insightpool - makes predictions on which individuals a brand should nurture a relationship with for best results
Evaluate your future influencers.
Don’t have your marketing team engage with individuals without having them vetted first. Remember, you’re banking on their influence and credibility for your own branding. Their reputation can reflect on yours.
Have your marketing researchers check round the clock how influencers interact with their audience. What kind of connections are they making? Do they engage frequently and respond in a timely manner?
For their own influencer program, American Eagle Outfitters check on the people they’ll potentially work with. According to their Senior Marketing Manager, Jamie Simoni, here are some red flags your researchers should look out for:
- They have poor response time
- They use negative language and have controversial opinions
- They have worked with / promoted your competitors
- A high percentage of their content is paid promotion
- They have low engagement for their audience size
Review their social media profiles and websites. Check out their policies when it comes to working with brands. When you get an influencer, chances are they control how they will promote your brand. Make sure you can work within their terms.
Reach out the right way.
You can’t just email influencers and expect them to do your bidding. Start by getting your social media marketers to share their content. Your first point of contact is social media engagement. Follow them, like their posts, and retweet helpful articles they share. Leverage your remote social media specialists by participating real-time in twitter conversations.
The goal is to get noticed. “Use your social media savvy and genuine interest in their content to create a real relationship that will help you catch the attention of a social media influencer in a way that will help you create mutual value.” suggests The Shelf’s Sabrina Fenster.
If they’re responsive to your social media engagements, you can send them an email. If you want them to respond favorably, avoid sending out templates. Get your email marketers to write authentic emails and attention-grabbing subject lines. A lot of companies approach these influencers, so it’s important to stand out and make an impression. Tools like Sidekick help check if they click your email.
Build a genuine relationship.
Some marketers only use influencer marketing to gain momentary buzz or instant traffic. This is a waste of a potential brand advocate. Always work towards building a friendship with your influencers.
Think about how partnering with you will benefit the influencer. Whether they ask outright for compensation, it’s best to offer it before asked. Barry Feldman, founder of Feldman Creative, says that “Influencer marketing works best when you’re giving before getting, delivering value before expecting anything in return.”
It doesn’t always have to be money, but make sure it is fair compensation for the work they have done. Offer your own product or service. They’ll be able to genuinely support your brand if they truly believe in what you’re selling. Why not have your content marketers create collaterals for them to share? Make sure it adds value to their brand, instead of promoting yours.
You can also thank them by giving them a testimonial or crediting them as an advocate on your site. Influencer marketing is a two-way relationship—a mutual partnership where both parties can benefit from each other.
Have you tried influencer marketing? Which strategies worked for you?
Need tips on other strategies your remote marketers can apply to get great results? Subscribe to our newsletter for helpful articles straight in your inbox. Email us at info@BoltonRemote.com.
Latest posts by Bolton Remote (see all)
- 4 Steps to Solidify Company Culture this 2017 - January 25, 2017
- 4 Ways to Add Culture Fit to Your Hiring Method - December 28, 2016
- How to Test for 4 Qualities Every Great Programmer Must Have - May 24, 2016