Brands and marketers are gradually embracing the fact that the real power lies in the customer’s hands and that their voice matters more than what a brand says about themselves. People want to buy products from trusted brands, and only after they’ve received positive recommendations from their friends and family. This is where influencers enter the picture.
Influencers are active on social media, blogs, acting as brand advocates and participating as niche promoters. There’s no magic formula for finding influencers and working them into your marketing strategy, but there are guidelines to follow that’ll make you more likely to succeed. If there’s one take away to gain from this outline, remember this crucial bit of advice from Jay Baer: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”
What Defines an Influencer for Your Brand?
An influencer is an inspirational person in the eyes of your target consumers. They are the driving force that spreads your brand message and connects with your target consumer in a more powerful way. Their opinion and experience carries authentic weight and an element of trust that isn’t always evident coming from the brand itself. Influencer marketing provides brands with a scalable way to reach new people on social and quickly convert them into a customer.
These socially savvy people provide value to brands because they have proven they know how to grow a loyal following, create consistently engaging content and inspire trends. A social influencer has a high level of credibility and respect with an audience. So much in fact that their opinions influence others to take actions. A contextual fit, strong reach and that the influencer’s ability to cause action by their audience. This is exactly what brands need to grow their business and increase sales.
Give Your Influencer an Image
Giving your influencer an image and persona is key to choosing the right influencer for your campaigns. Outlining exactly who you’re looking for and then matching those characteristics to your prospects will give you a better chance of building relationships that will help you reach your goals.
Some elements you want to think about are personality, genre, niche, topics and type of reach. Take time to document and work through the process so that the end goals are achieved. If the person you’re going after is already talking about the topics you’re trying to market, or their personality already fits the brand’s voice, then the relationship will effortlessly come together and the message will be seen as authentic and honest.
Where to Look for Your Ideal Influencer
Finding the right influencers isn’t an easy task and it’ll require putting in the appropriate time to do research and outreach. One of your first steps should be to enter yourself in the conversations that are already going on. Tune in to your social media mentions and blog posts about your brand and you’ll find influencers and advocates you didn’t realize you had.
- Use an influencer network to quickly find the best social influencers that match your persona demographics.
- Monitor hashtags on Twitter such as #bloggeroutreach and #influencemktg and make lists to organize your potential influencers on the platform.
- Setup Google alerts for keywords pertaining to your brand so you can identify people who actively writing about topics in your realm.
- Search social mentions on the various social media platforms to see who’s talking about your brand and find those who are already fans and believers.
- Do a blogger outreach to locate strong influencers. Be sure to also check their SEO stats and social media information to make sure they’ve got the appropriate reach.
Encourage Content Creation
After you’ve done all the work to find and vet potential influencers you need to have a plan in place for sharing and creating content so your hard work doesn’t go to waste. This part isn’t going to happen on its own. It takes careful planning and specific instruction to ignite the excitement and sharing of information from your influencers.
Generate as much content as you can from happy customers and their love for your brand will spread to the masses. Don’t be afraid to ask the customers to upload photos and videos of themselves using your product. Offer them a promise to share their uploaded content, which I’m sure they’ll be delighted to accept.
Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to finding, connecting and building valuable relationships with influencers who are going to ignite and expand your marketing efforts. The process is the secret ingredient to a well-executed influencer marketing program. The rewards you’ll reap are well worth the careful planning and hard work upfront.