Influencer marketing has been around for quite some time, but in recent years, it’s taken on a completely different face as far as many people are concerned. In the past, it was all about getting a celebrity to support your business or product. Even if that celebrity was local, it still counted for something. These days, however, influencer marketing involves bloggers, Twitter personalities, YouTube stars, and other “regular” people who have become quasi-celebrities in their own right.
How can you use this new form of influencer marketing to your advantage? That’s exactly what these next two blogs will cover. Without further ado, here are the first six ways to get the most out of it:
Proper Vetting Is Essential
The first step you should take when choosing an influencer to help advertise your business and grow your brand is to check them out a bit. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’ll work for your goals or overall mission statement. You want to align yourself with men and women who will add something to your company, not take something away. If you feel yourself getting skittish about a certain person, it’s best to move along and find someone else.
Integrity Stands for Something
A big element of the vetting mentioned above is to ensure that the influencer has a high level of integrity. Some influencers have been known to be offensive or negative, and some will partner with any brand at all. Pairing your brand with this type of person could cause damage to your own integrity, regardless of how many potential customers they have access to.
Engagement Is More Important Than Follower Count
Too often, businesses base their decision on aligning with an influencer based solely - or almost solely - on follower count. While that number is often a good indicator of what you might expect in terms of exposure, it’s possible that the followers don’t pay too much attention to what the influencer is doing or saying. What you want to look for, instead, is the level of engagement from followers.
Ask to See Audience Demographics
An important element in teaming up with an influencer to take advantage of their popularity is a little ol’ thing called audience demographics. If he or she isn’t being followed by the audience you’re specifically aiming for, then it’s probably not going to be worth your time to partner up. So, before you start working with a specific influencer, ask to see details on their audience demographics.
Make It a Part of Your Advertising Budget
In the past, it was common for influencers to work for mere peanuts - or, more accurately, to work for whatever free stuff a company was willing to send their way. While that still happens from time to time, many of them have moved onto cold, hard cash. So, if you’re going to reach out to an influencer, you should be prepared to pay them out of your advertising budget.
Prepare for the Long Game
Like most things in the marketing biz, influencer marketing won’t typically show you immediate results - and that’s perfectly okay. These things take time to build, so if you’re expecting to see your sales skyrocket overnight, we suggest that you cool your jets and give it some time. How much time is up to you, but it’s a good idea to at least give it 30 days to see what your tracking results show and go from there.
Let the Influencer Know What You Expect
You don’t want to reach for the stars or expect too much, of course, but you should have some sort of expectation at the start of your relationship with an influencer. Let the influencer know what those expectations are and discuss how those goals can be realized together. Not only will this help you both stay on track, but will allow your potential partner to tell you whether your expectations are realistic right from the get-go.
Content Must Be Relevant
This is a general note that's relevant to all platforms and media that your company and brand utilize, whether it's blogs, social media, email blasts, or anything else. Your potential influencer partner's content must be relevant to your customer base, buyer personas, and target markets. The more relevant your content, the higher the quality of leads you’ll bring in.
Start Slowly at First
While you may feel excited or antsy to jump in with both feet, you need to take your time when engaging an influencer’s services. After all, there is no guarantee that any particular influencer you choose will give you the results you want, so it’s best to start out slow and grow after a certain level of engagement has occurred. Once you know it’s working, you can further solidify your relationship with an increase in content.
Consider Smaller Influencers
Just like how there are A-list celebrities and B-list celebrities, there are different levels of influencers. As logic would dictate, the smaller influencers will have less reach, but they’ll also cost a lot less. The big advantage here isn’t the lower cost, though - it’s the fact that you can spread your advertising out a bit more. Plus, by using a few different influencers, if one hits it big, you’ll get a bigger return on your investment.
Three Words: Quid Pro Quo
While many influencers will gladly take your money, some of them might also be interested in a trade deal. Perhaps they're interested in the types of products and services that you provide, or maybe there is some kind of advertising opportunity to be found where you could help increase their reach. This is just one more option for your impending relationship.
Grow Your Own Influencers
While it’s probably more convenient and effective to utilize the services of influencers who are already out in the market, you also have the option of growing your own influencers. The benefit here would be that any influencers that you create yourself would be solely connected to your company and brand. And later down the line, you could always trade your own influencing prowess with other companies looking to advertise.
Are you looking for a way to grow your business and your brand through the use of marketing techniques that simply can’t be beaten? The professionals at Madison Taylor Marketing can help devise a strategy that fits your goals and expectations. Give us a shout and we’ll get started right away!