A buzzword you’ll often hear when delving into the marketing depths is ‘influencer’, and you’ll hear all about how they can bring you tonnes of brand awareness, traffic, sales and/or leads to your business. But what actually constitutes an influencer? An influencer is someone who has a powerful impact on a specific niche area or industry. Usually, these are people who have grown a following through various media outlets (online, this is most commonly YouTube and Instagram) specialising in writing/talking/performing in a certain business area. The key USP of an influencer is that they may have the trust and respect of your very own target audience in your industry.
However, if you are a travel company, you can’t just go searching for the first person you see with thousands of followers on Instagram who travels around the world. That would be waaaaaay to easy! Influencers need time and care, from the research stage all the way to the final stages and beyond. Here are our top tips to adopt when working with influencers. Of course, there are many ways to market with influencers both in the online and offline worlds, but today we’ll specifically be focusing on influencer marketing within social media.
Here at SocialB, we will never take on a strategy without defining goals with our clients or with ourselves. Otherwise, how will you know that the money and time you are spending has given you a return? Set your goals beforehand and work out what the different steps are to getting there with your chosen influencer(s). This could be to raise your social media followers by 2,000, send a 25% increase in traffic to your website, or make £5,000 revenue during the influencer campaign. Set them, stick to them, and analyse your progress.
Impulse will tell us to head straight to the big names with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of followers. Afterall, SugarBearHair, a chewy, bright blue hair care supplement, practically made their living after investing in high profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, and Kylie Jenner (who reportedly costs around $75,000 PER Instagram or Snapchat endorsement), but not everyone can invest that much, and are these people really key to your business for your target audience?
Instead, do your research! Try and find the influencers who might be less well known, but have a greater respect amongst your target market. These are often the ones who will have a more trusted opinion, especially if they are largely out of the spotlight of celebrity land. Though they have a smaller reach, their followers are likely more loyal to them and the content they put out meaning they are well trusted. I frequently tune into Estee Lalonde‘s YouTube channel to watch her content, and a recent sponsored video that she put out actually convinced me to try a product that I’d been thinking about for a while. It convinced me because I knew this was the type of product that Estee would actually enjoy using ‘in real life’ based on previous content, not just because it was an ad. I trusted her opinion and, lo and behold, I loved the product too!
The above example on Estee LaLonde also goes back to what influencers themselves want to see from you. Would the brand have collaborated with Estee if she wasn’t a big skincare advocate? If you see an influencer who lives a polished, healthy lifestyle, are they really going to want to sponsor a delicious, but very unhealthy jerky?
Look at the type of content they themselves put out, but also the type of content they themselves interact with. You can easily identify this on Twitter by looking at their ‘Likes’ tab. If they’re vegan and your product is an ethical solution to their lifestyle, then you’re bang on. A great example of paying attention to your influencers is from Lily’s Kitchen. They sent popular registered nutritionist, Plant-Based Pixie, their range of all-natural cat food to her new kitten, quoting that a nutritionist’s cat needs nutritional food too! Pixie then featured the gift on her social channels, opening the door for Lily’s Kitchen to have further communication with her now they know she appreciated the gesture.
Make them feel valued like you’ve taken the time to really get to know them. Use social media to touch base, even if it’s just by liking a post at first, to start building up trust so that when you do approach them, they won’t feel like you just picked them out of a hat.
Once you and your influencer have done business together, don’t just cut off all ties. Keep an active relationship with them, both online and offline, and they might naturally turn into an advocate for you by their own love for your brand. And that’s when you can start working together on bigger projects like partnerships and collaborations. Exciting stuff!
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