Marketing is always a challenge. Convincing someone to part with their hard-earned money requires skill, experience, and a healthy understanding of psychology. One of the most effective psychological traits to utilize as a marketer is the human need for social validation. The newest iteration of this trait in the marketing world is the use of Influencer Marketing.
To tap effectively into the power of influencer marketing, you first need to identify the individuals who hold sway over your intended audience. The easiest way to do this is a simple web search. Adding "influencer" after typing your industry name in a search box will give you a literal who's who of relevant people.
Another effective approach is through conversations with your current and potential customers. Often, your followers on social media will already also follow individuals whose opinions they value - their social accounts are a goldmine of information.
Some brands look to journalists as influencers, too, especially at the local level. This may be an avenue worth exploring if your market is geographically concentrated.
A word of caution is needed here: "influence" means more than "number of followers," the term is more similar in nature to "engagement." This means that someone whose posts get more likes, comments and shares may be a better actual influencer than a personality with more "absentee follower." Choose your influencer carefully.
You are probably not the first person to approach a relevant influencer with a collaboration offer so make the most of your brand's unique appeal. Be clear on WIIFM - "What's in it for me?," which is the prime motivator for any action a person takes.
Tell them how your values align with theirs and will lead to shared goals. Professional influencers are always looking to build their fan base. Encourage them to see for themselves how you engage with your online community, and how they can pick up a swathe of followers from your audience through a collaboration.
Perhaps the most enjoyable perk of being an influencer is the free stuff, which they sometimes get to try before the product is released publicly. Highlight the privilege and the particular highlights of what you are offering.
A collaboration with an influencer is still a collaboration. Whether your agreement is for a single post or a series of them over a year, make the journey together. This includes addressing their questions, giving them access to your company or staff if/when they need, and also sharing media that they can post to make you look good.
Many brands continue to maintain and nurture the relationship after the initial collaboration. This can often lead to further mentions of the company down the road.
Influencer marketing, if done properly, works. With these simple guidelines, you now have the resources to launch your own successful influencer marketing campaign. Interested in learning more? Read our previous article titled "How to Use Influencer Marketing to Your Company's Benefit."