Influential Marketing is a marketing activity that aims to launch a campaign, introduce a product or brand, create awareness, provide opinions, and demonstrate functionality and more by collaborating with an influencer, specifically in social media.
In above the line advertising, product endorsements made by celebrities are influencer marketing’s counterpart nowadays. Influencers are familiar faces, first-hand sources of information, trendsetters and brand ambassadors in their respective niches.
eMarketer reported in March 2018 that 70% of US agency and brand marketers either “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” that influencer marketing budget will increase in 2018, this is according to Who Say’s ”Influencer Marketing Insights” for 2017. In this report also, 89% of the respondents believe that influencer marketing positively impacts how people feel about a brand.
More and more brands, big and small are doing this for their local marketing campaigns in every country. The millennials or those who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s grew up in the era of mobile phones and the mass availability of internet connection – the significant target market of every social media application.
According to Forbes, in the US alone, there are over 80 million millennials. Millenials spend most of their time on social media, they make-up for most of the interactions and engagement, they are the lifeblood of the influencers, and influencers are what you need on your next campaigns. Figure out how to use influencers to market your online business with these tips:
How to Choose your Influencers
a. Based on Niche
This is not just about your niche but also about theirs. Knowing “who’s who” in your product category is your first goal. Choose influencers who are compatible and relevant to your niche and your target market as well. Screen your prospects based on their social media posting style, creativity, and consistency and it should match your brand’s voice and tone.
b. Based on Following and Engagement
The level of influence on social media is a numbers game but it should also go hand in hand with active engagements. A person may seem popular with 300K followers having only 5 engagements on a post may not be healthy.
Businesses should also be keen on the possibility that your target influencer is using bots on Instagram. There have been reports that some influencers are now using bots to generate more Followers, Likes and Engagements. This is why “auditing” the active engagements is very important. If engagements are purely emoji, single word comments like “Cool”, you would know who are using bots. Checking your target influencer’s followers is also helpful, bots generate followers using dummy accounts, and it is easy to spot one.
You need a trustworthy influencer, getting one who entrusts their online credibility to bots may not be the right one for you.
How to Convince These Influencers to Be Your Partners
Once you have shortlisted your prospect influencers, you need to find a way to touch base with them. It can be through a simple direct or personal message on their social media accounts or through their management agency if they are prominent brand ambassadors or celebrities. Remember that every good relationship starts with a nice introduction.
Once you are able to get their respective addresses, send your prospect influencers a personal note together with your products, media kit, invitations or gift certificates. Make it as social media-worthy as possible. Influencers like unboxing videos so put your best foot forward on the packaging of whatever it is that you are sending them.
Give it a week before you get in touch with the influencers to get their opinion about the brand and set-up a meeting to present your campaign and proposal. You will have a feel if your prospects are interested or not during the call and even if they are not, take it from the outcome of your presentation.
If choosing and convincing an influencer is taxing for you, you can also make the short route by getting in touch with “influencer marketing companies” or “influencer banks” like Upfluence or Tap Influence wherein you can choose between their influencer members, check their online portfolio and their average compensation rate for every campaign.
How to Use Your Influencers Reach for Your Own Brand?
Most influencers do their own creative direction promoting your brand but make it a point to communicate with them your branding guidelines from the start. Once your influencers start posting about you through photos, videos, blogs and vlogs, your social media presence and following starts to pick up as well.
People will become aware and curious about you so you should be ready to get busy in engaging with your new audience. But you also want to maximize this opportunity of being promoted by influencers. Here are the tips on how you can use their reach for your brand:
a. Share their content about your brand
It is an opportunity to thank them online and to affirm the partnership in public. It will be good for you and the influencer as well. This can also help beef up your content without spending extra on it.
b. Use these content for paid ads
If you have partnered with a few influencers, there is a possibility that one of them will create a content that is worthy to be amplified. Boost the post through paid ads. It can either be through them or through your own side. You might need to compensate them extra for this but should it be worth it, then go for it.
c. Interact with their audience
Once they started posting on the social media accounts, it is a good idea to actively engage with their audience (who are now your audience too) to gauge the market perception of the brand and the partnership itself. This is your brand’s opportunity to make the audience notice you better.
d. Offer discounts and sponsor a giveaway
“Click the link on my BIO” is a powerful call-to-action. You can incorporate discount offers and raffle prizes when the audience head on to your site through the link from your influencer’s social media site. Imagine how that can help you grow your mailing list when they sign-up to you and they get discount codes or a chance to win in a raffle in return.
Social media marketing broke a lot of barriers to marketing and advertising. It redefined the way consumers perceive a brand and they no longer just rely on celebrities but on relatable and common people trying out these products, documenting it and sharing it for their followers to see. Choosing the best influencers who can best represent your brand to this target segment may take some work but will surely pay off.
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