Marketing is all about getting your brand in front of a larger audience, and in particular, an audience that would potentially be interested in signing up for your services or buying your products. What if you could have a group of influential people within your industry promoting your brand for you? That’s exactly what influencer marketing aims to achieve.
By connecting with the right people and building a mutually beneficial relationship with them, you can leverage their audience to spread awareness of your brand.
Who is an Influencer?
Before you can really start connecting with the influencers, you have to know who they are. They are the people in your industry who have large, active followings on social media or are highly active with industry events like conferences, webinars and meetups.
Since they are capable of doing so much for you, it’s important to connect with the right influencers and ensure you do so in the best possible way.
Identify the Right Influencers
You need to be sure you identify the right influencers based upon your target demographic. If you’re promoting products for homeowners, you’re probably not going to want an influencer who talks to the college crowd because they would have no use for your products.
Spend some time looking through the different influencers - watch their YouTube videos, read their tweets and perform some general research to understand more about them and their role within their company and within the community.
It’s okay to ask for help from customers, too. Find out what blogs they read or who they follow on Twitter. Those are the ones you will want to add to your target list as it is likely that plenty of other people who follow those individuals are most likely going to be interested in what your brand has to offer, especially if it is recommended by their favorite blogger or another influential person.
Have a Goal
Figure out what your goal is for establishing brand awareness. Are you looking for more leads? Do you want to improve engagement on your Facebook page? Do you want to promote a brand new product?
It’s important that you have the goal in mind long before you contact any of the influencers out there. You don’t want to be vague in your request and this is what will happen if you’re not sure what you are hoping to achieve.
It is possible that you will form a long-lasting relationship with some of the influencers. They may turn to you for help and you will turn to them. It can be symbiotic where you both benefit. Each time you reach out to them, it’s best to have a different goal in mind – and this is going to impact how you formulate your request and the material that you provide them.
Treat Everyone Individually
Once you identify who your influencers are going to be, remember they are a “who” and not a “what”. Don’t send out one mass email to all of them because that’s the fastest way to get your request ignored. Treat them like the individual they are.
Identify with them and explain who you are and why you are contacting them. Compliment them and share why you think they would be a good brand advocate for your company. They are likely running their own business, so be cognizant of this when you make your request.
Offer Them Something
You want to make sure the influencers are being GIVEN your product. It can be a sample or you can ask them to select what they want. Never ask them to buy what you want them to make their audience aware of because they then have no motivation to help you.
Be sure that you give them all they need to fulfill your request, including links to your site as well as, perhaps, a discount code for them to share with their audience.
What you offer them will depend on your business. If you offer services instead of products, you might want to offer them a free trial.
Alternatively, you might ask them for something simpler. If you just created a great piece of content, send your influencers a message explaining that you think this content would really resonate with their audience and ask them to share it social media.
Influencer marketing can make all the difference in the world. You don’t want to be the one telling everyone how good your brand is. It’s much more effective if you have OTHER people telling them how good your brand is – especially when those other people are the most influential people within your industry.
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