Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the effective marketing strategies, especially in the fast-moving world of social media. Although word of mouth marketing has been there since ages, the rise of social networks has given it a new and powerful structure in the form of influencers. Considering that word of mouth is probably the most successful marketing strategy, having an extension of that in the social media age seems like a natural and advantageous evolution.
But, in order to harness the potential of influencer marketing, you must first understand what it means and what kind of strategy might work. Since each influencer has a distinct following and an area of expertise, a one-size-fits-all strategy is not applicable. If you are looking to capitalize on this hottest new marketing trend, let’s dive deeper into the concept and how to boost your sales with influencers.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Simply put, influencer marketing is a personalized marketing strategy considered to be the social media equivalent of “word of mouth.” An influencer can be anyone from a celebrity, thought leader, popular blogger or anyone with a social media following. Influencers have a large social reach and are therefore paid to advertise and endorse brands and products. The influencer gives a brand increased reach and awareness because of their large following, while advertising with a human connects. From Facebook endorsements to staged Instagram shots, promotion can be in various formats, the biggest market being promotions through the influencer’s own blogs, channels or pages.
Being authentic in your influencer marketing efforts means investing the time to learn as much as you can about each influencer you want to reach out to and then communicate with them in a personalized manner that works to establish and then build a real relationship with that person.
Influencer Marketing Strategy - Micro & Macro Influencers
In order to develop a strong influencer marketing strategy, one needs to understand that influencers can be of any size and shape with varying levels of influence. They must be categorized into buckets and each bucket must have a purpose to serve. It must include micro influencers, macro influencers, brand advocates, brand ambassadors, employees, and power middle influencers. According to a Nielsen report, 92% of people trust a recommendation given by an individual even if they don’t know that person over a brand.
Macro-influencing includes radio personalities, celebrities, and athletes that have typically become famous through traditional channels, which gives them the benefit of higher follower counts and recognition. The advent of social media has given rise to a new kind of influencer: the micro-influencer - someone who wouldn’t be considered famous in a traditional sense, but has invested in their online presence and personal brand to build a dedicated Internet following.
Here are 7 tips to keep in mind that when you boost your sales with influencer marketing:
Be clear on your objective: When hiring an influencer for your brand, it’s important to know exactly what you want to achieve through this. Once you have a clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish, it will be easy for the influencer to work towards the same goal. Some of the common goals include driving traffic to your website, promoting a new product, creating awareness for your brand, attracting new consumers and more.
Choose the right influencers: Once you have a clear objective set, choose the influencers that help you reach your desired target market (demographic) and also help you accomplish the goals you have determined. Find the right demographic for your product or service and then search for the most popular influencers among that audience and what kind of content they create. If they are unable to add any value to your product or service, they are probably not a good fit for you.
Do research on the shortlisted influencers: After having selected the influencers to spend as much time as necessary to thoroughly research each one. The research will help you understand which influencer exactly fits your brand and also how to effectively reach out to them. Influencers consistently engage with their follower community and add value by providing knowledge and guidance. Look for these characteristics when finalizing on any shortlisted influencers.
Connect with them: After familiarizing yourself with the work of your finalized influencers, approach them. Start by connecting with them on each of their social media platforms, in a manner appropriate for each platform. Once you are familiar with their content and community, think of the perfect way to approach them with your proposition.
Send your email request: The success of your outreach to influencers depends on them actually opening the mail. Craft a subject line that’s effective in making them open your mail and not skip over it with the rest of the spam in their inbox. The body of the mail should be equally short and to the point. Clearly mention the purpose of you approaching them because they are a good match so that they also feel interested in promoting your brand. Also, let them know how they will be benefiting from this partnership. Write back in a few days if you don’t get any response.
Build the relationship: You work is not done once you get a positive response from your mail outreach. The process of building a relationship with this person begins here. Look for ways to add value to your relationship with these influences. In this way, they would also feel associated with your brand and not treat you like a promotional client.
Measure your success: After you start working with the influencers in promoting your product or service, it is important to track the success that each influencer is able to achieve. See if these results align with your pre-determined goals for your influencer marketing initiative. Taking stock of your achieved results and what else needs to be done in attaining your end goals will help you make timely choices to modify your influencer marketing strategy. This way, you get the best results with the right people.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective and efficient ways to connect to your target audience on social platforms and gain credibility in the process. The secret to pulling off an effective influencer marketing is connecting with individuals who share the same overall values and ideals as your brand. However, if done incorrectly, it can lead to wastage of large amounts of time and money, worse still it can potentially hurt your brand image. Influencer marketing allows brands to drive more sales with lead conversations.