In the world of online marketing, customers cling to those with authority — end of the story.
You can’t expect users to invest their hard-earned cash in a company they’re unfamiliar with.
The bad news is, authority is something a business can’t build overnight. It takes weeks or even months of relentless marketing before you draw substantial attention and win over customers.
However, the good news is that you can “borrow” the authority of other brands to accelerate the authority-building process.
This is where influencer marketing steps in.
Why Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a strategy that involves leveraging the reach, authority, and content style of someone else. This can be a popular blogger, thought leader, social media personality, or pretty much anyone with an established online presence in a particular niche.
Curious how this works?
Then let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of influencer marketing.
1. Looking for the Right Influencers
Finding the right influencers to promote your brand is the key to a successful influencer marketing strategy.
If your brand is fairly established and has a strong following on social media, chances are you already have a couple of willing influencers right under your nose. It would be best if you had a few social media listening strategies to get in touch with them.
One example is to find social media mentions with a tool like TweetReach. Upon creating your free account, you can start using TweetReach by creating a new “Snapshot.”
All you have to do is enter a keyword, hashtag, or username that’s relevant to your brand and click “Run.”
After a few seconds, TweetReach will present you with a collection of metrics, including the estimated number of accounts reached and total impressions.
What you need to look at, however, is the “ Contributors” panel, where you can find the most influential accounts that mentioned your brand.
Yes — these are your brand’s potential influencers.
If you have funds and would like to find influencers from other networks, below are a few paid alternatives to TweetReach:
Another way to look for social media influencers is to perform a Google search for popular bloggers in your niche.
This technique is more straightforward than using social media listening tools. Fire up Google, enter a keyword, and add the word “blog” or “blogger” encased in quotation marks.
2. Inspect Their Content Style
Got a list of prospective influencers ready?
Don’t get too excited — there are still preparations to be made.
Although someone may have a huge following on social media, that doesn’t automatically mean they can produce content that will resonate with your target audience.
You need to carefully evaluate your prospective influencers’ content on their social media pages or their own website.
If your target influencer is a blogger, a quick look at their posts should help you gauge their ability to develop the right kind of content. For social media personalities, the first place you should check is their Instagram bio, where most influencers share their marketing background and useful links for businesses.
Below is an example from Marques Brownlee — one of the biggest influencers you can work with if you’re a tech company.
Remember, look for experienced influencers in the specific platform and type of content that match your audience’s preferences. Marques Brownlee, for example, has a tremendous influence on YouTube, which is the preferred platform of millennials.
However, businesses and marketers learn more about Twitter, industry news websites, and niche blogs. So, if you’re a B2B company, you may want to prioritize influencers from those platforms instead.
3. Plan Your Outreach
Perhaps the trickiest part of influencer marketing is developing a collaborative campaign that benefits both parties.
It all boils down to how well you understand the influencer and their needs. For example, if you plan to work with micro-influencers who could use some exposure themselves, then pitching a video interview should get their attention.
Here’s how your outreach would look like in this case:
Note that the email template above can also be used to cover influencers in a roundup post. It would be best to tweak a few words to align the email with your planned content.
However, if you wish to work with a more authoritative influencer, your proposal should be well worth its while.
No — it’s not just about the compensation. It should also be about giving them the creative freedom to work on something they’re truly passionate about, be it a YouTube video or a well-written article.
According to a survey, 68 percent of influencers work with a brand because of competitive compensation. A whopping 77 percent, on the other hand, prefer working with brands that grant them creative freedom.
4. Showcase Influencer-Generated Content
Ready for some good news?
Working with an influencer who prefers creative freedom means you don’t have to plan every detail of your campaign.
After the initial discussion of your proposal, you need to trust the influencer with the content creation. Besides, you should be already aware of their creative capabilities by now.
Just be there whenever they require assistance on absolutely anything. But, more importantly, be sure to be an active promoter of the influencer’s content once it goes live.
A simple blog post and newsletter to your existing audience should work in getting the word out.
Of course, you can also share the influencer’s content on your social media channels to maximize their reach. You may even take things to the next level by building a new website from scratch — topped off by buying a branded domain name — specifically to accommodate more contributions.
Companies like Canon take full advantage of this approach with pages like “My Canon Story,” where influencers and regular users can submit their own content.
The result? Their Instagram page is always loaded with user-generated content:
Influencer marketing may be intimidating, but it’s actually easier than you think.
It’s all about building relationships with people who can help elevate your brand’s online presence. You need to identify the right influencer, conceptualize a mutually-beneficial campaign, and be ready to promote the results.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a reply below. Cheers!