Would you rather buy a product or service after seeing a scripted advertisement orchestrated for profit, or based on the recommendations of the people you trust?
What if the person recommending the product or service to you had an impeccable reputation, and a large social following? What difference would that make to the level of trust you place in your purchase decision?
A Nielsen report mentioned that approximately 84% of consumers prefer to buy on the basis of word-of-mouth recommendations from their social network. That’s the power of word of mouth marketing.
This post will serve as a definitive guide to Influencer Marketing, a more productive iteration of word-of-mouth marketing. In case you’re not aware, influencer marketing primarily focuses on utilizing the social reach of influential people to build your brand’s image, reach a bigger audience and attract new customers, who value brand authenticity. Research has indicated that for every $1 invested in influencer marketing can produce up to $6.50 in revenue. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the fastest growing marketing channels available to businesses!
Businesses can tap into the innumerable benefits of influencer marketing and create massive awareness for their brand. To do so, the businesses need to adopt a clear-cut strategy to implement effective influencer marketing campaigns. This article will discuss in detail the steps involved in doing influencer marketing for your business like a wizard.
Step 1: Identifying The Ideal Influencers For Your Business
The most important step for the initial stages of an influencer marketing campaign involves discovering the right influencers to promote your business. The ideal influencer for your business should be someone who can relate well to the product or service that your business offers. The deeper the connection, the more likely it is that the influencer will promote your product or share your content. You also need to consider the influencer’s audience. If your content, product or service is relevant to an influencer’s audience, you’ll be on the right track. For instance, if you’re in the business of selling pet products, an influencer who owns and maintains a blog about pets is a much better choice compared to a Hollywood celebrity.
Who is an influencer?
As the term suggests, influencers are highly influential people who can convince their followers on social media to support a certain opinion or brand, not just generate awareness for it. Celebrities, content creators on social media websites like Youtube, Twitter, Vine etc, and Bloggers with hundreds of thousands of followers can be termed as Influencers.
How do you identify influencers?
Make a list of influencers who have the same target audience as yours. You can do this by utilizing marketing tools like BuzzSumo, PeerIndex, and FollowerWonk for Twitter. For instance, if you wanted to search for the most popular influencers on ‘Content Marketing’, you could use the BuzzSumo Influencer Tool and search for ‘content marketing’, which would bring up the following list of influencers, bloggers, and social media mavens.
While you are short-listing influencers, don’t let the number of ‘followers’ and ‘likes’ on their page cloud your judgment. Try and analyze the content the influencer is publishing and their audience demographics to make an informed decision.
Step 2: Reach Out To Your Influencers And Build A Relationship
There are numerous ways to reach out to your ideal influencers. Here are some suggestions on how to get on the radar of influencers:
- Reach out to them on twitter, and engage with their content. Ask them questions and pay them a genuine compliment on something you found interesting. Respond to questions they ask, they love it when they feel their posts are getting engagement, and if you contribute to that engagement, you’ll be sure to be noticed.
- Share your influencer’s content regularly. Make sure you tag them on twitter with an @ symbol. They’ll start to notice you when you share their content.
- Send them a complimentary email. Praise them on the value they’re bringing to the world! Just a short, simple compliment can leave a great first impression.
- Email them asking for some inputs on content you’re developing. Every influencer wants exposure and would be glad to share some tips or advice on a topic they’re an expert in.
- Point out broken links on their site. You’ll do them a huge service by letting them know about this! Use a tool like Chrome’s Check My Links to find broken links, and then try to find replacements for these links and email them about. I’m sure they will thank you for it!
Remember, your goal at this stage is only to make a genuine connection with them and ask for their email address. Build a genuine rapport with them to warm things up. Make this process as ‘organic’ as possible.
Once you’ve built some rapport with your influencers, you’ll know you’ve ‘earned the right’ to work with them further. You should know exactly what you want from them to progress to the next step.
Step 3: The ASK.
While building a relationship should never be viewed as a ‘sequential process’, you’ll know when you’re ready to ask an influencer to share your content. Some influencers may charge you to do this (if you ask them directly), some may not, it entirely depends on the depth of your relationship and their preferences.
Think about how you can create a mutually beneficial relationship. What do you want them to do, and what can you offer them? Do you want a backlink to your site? Do you want the influencer to share your content? Or do you want them to review your product or service? Here are some ways to create win-win outcomes:
- The best way to grab an influencer’s attention is by creating awesome content, with inputs from them. Ask them for some insights or advice on content you’re developing. Influencers love to be mentioned on great content, and by involving in them in your content creation process, you’ll not only build a great relationship with them, but you’ll also end up with an awesome content asset.
- Once you’ve got your content asset created, you can ask influencers to share it via a simple tweet. A simple email pitch asking them to do this will do the trick. Even if you can get a handful of influencers to share your content with their audience, you’ll set the foundation for your content to go ‘viral’.
- If you’re looking to do a Guest Post on an influencer’s blog, you’ll need to use a more sophisticated outreach email. Here’s an example of an email script you can use:
- If you’re asking for a backlink from their blog, you’ll need to find a post on their site you can add value to. Once you’ve found how you can add value to their post, you can use the following email to reach out to them:
Build your relationships further by thanking influencers and reaching out to them via Skype. Get to know your influencers in person by taking the relationship offline, and you’ll pave the road to long-term success for your marketing campaigns.
Step 4: Measure The Success Of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
To measure the success of your influencer campaign, you’ll need to know the metrics that need to be tracked. Are you aiming for increased engagement on your posts? More email subscribers? Or product purchases? Be sure to choose metrics that are realistic!
You can use the following metrics for reference:
- Increase in the size of your audience: This is the number of viewers, new website visitors, followers and fans that increase as a result of your campaign.
- Public Sentiment: This is the rise in comments, shares and positive reviews you accumulate.
- Purchases & Transactions: This is the increase in the number of purchases as a result of influencers promoting your product.
Wrapping It Up
Influencer marketing, unlike other marketing channels, involves deep research and strategic execution. A well-executed influencer campaign would enable your business to grow at a faster rate, generating high revenues with minimal investment.
So get started with recruiting the right influencers, developing great content, and engaging your audience to experience the benefits of influencer marketing!