When it comes to marketing, it’s all about putting your business or product in front of the people that should be seeing it. But sometimes it’s the how that gets in people’s way. How do I get my product into an ideal customer’s hands if they’ve never even heard of me? This leads us straight into the often fascinating world of influencer marketing. Not familiar with it? Let’s take you down the path of influencer marketing and we’ll show you how you too can play the influencer game, and if you’re lucky, find more customers, leads, and people interested in what you’re bringing to the table.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
For those that aren’t familiar, influencer marketing is the act of finding influencers in your niche in order to use them to spread your brand message. What does this actually mean? Influencers are people that usually have an extremely large and devoted social media fan base, across platforms. For the niche that they may be in (food, fashion, tech, couponing, etc.) they are considered the ultimate expert, and their followers will listen to what they have to say. When executed correctly, influencer marketing can put you right in front of the people that you need most: new customers.
How To Execute Influencer Marketing
Although influencer marketing may seem next to possible, it’s really not. While some people may associate influencers as the untouchables, this really isn’t the case. Think about it. Influencers at one time or another, were just ordinary people. Now, they are incredibly successful and in demand, but at their core, they are just people.
Put Together a List Of Influencers
The first step: put together a list of influencers for your niche. This can be produced through using Twitter and creating a list, or you can manually put it together. The point here is to know who you want, so you aren’t trying to get a large number of influencers at once. After your list has been created, it’s time to think about how you are going to engage with them. There are tools that you can use that can help you create the lists and send them emails, but it can often be easier to just do influencer marketing organically.
Engaging with influencers is going to be the thing that makes you or breaks you. We recommend taking a look at your overall social presence before you get in too deep trying to court influencers. Is your cover photo grainy and out of focus on your business Facebook page? Edit it so it’s the right size and dimensions. Does your Twitter profile feature the old school default egg? Put in a picture of your real face so you don’t look like your account could be spam. Are you posting on social channels regularly? All of these things can really make or break you if you’re trying to win at influencer marketing.
Time to Engage
After you’ve cleaned up your online presence as necessary, engagement is the name of the game. Depending on which profiles you follow the most on social media, you should go through and follow the influencer on the appropriate channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Wait a few days after following them to make any additional moves, since you don’t want to come off as desperate. When a few days to a week have passed, you can start to slowly engage with the influencer’s content. This can include liking it on Facebook, favoriting a tweet on Twitter, and liking a post on Instagram. The key here is to engage in a natural way that doesn’t look stilted or fake. A few more weeks after, you can comment on a few posts, like on their blog or telling them what you liked most about something that they recently tweeted.
Crafting Your Pitch
Now that you’ve engaged efficiently, it’s time to craft a pitch. This is going to be the most important step of the whole process, so you need to keep it simple and engaging at the same time. One smart way to seem engaging is to reference a few of their blogs (if they blog) that they have written in the last few months. This signifies that you are a dedicated follower, and are interested in them as a person at the same time. Use their first name when pitching too, rather than an anonymous “To Whom It May Concern” or addressing them by their last name. Add a few tidbits about what you liked about the posts, like the subject that the blog is about, or just about what their opinion was in general. This is how you’re going to connect through influencer marketing. After praising the posts, it’s time to get to the ask. The ask section should be as positive as possible, so they feel like it’s something that they want and their followers will enjoy. After all, influencer marketing should really be a win-win situation for everyone involved, not just the influencer.
What Happens If The Influencer Responds
If you’re lucky, you’ll get a response back from an influencer, but be warned, this is an incredibly tedious process. The rate of success is very low, but if you succeed, the sky is the limit! If, after a few weeks you get a response, the next step is to discuss terms and conditions of what the influencer is agreeing to. The thing that is going to make influencer marketing really worth your time and money is the digital aspect. Make sure you can get: a direct back link to your website out of it, especially when they are posting a blog. Another important detail is social media. The influencer should agree to share the post on their social networking platforms, so that the most people possible are going to see it. When working with influencers, you’re either going to have to provide free product or pay them for their services, so be prepared for that. This is a business transaction, with an incredible amount of value behind it if it works properly.
There are no guarantees when it comes to influencer marketing, but with this beginner’s guide, we’re confident that you may be able to find a new audience and customer base. Want to discuss the ins and outs of influencer marketing with our content management team? Give us a call or fill out the form below, we’d love to start the conversation.