By Thomas Griffin
Influencers help bridge the gap between your brand and your target audience.
Marketers spend money on advertising through various platforms to generate more leads and website traffic. Despite the amount of money spent on marketing material, 63% of businesses say that generating leads is their biggest struggle.
Influencer marketing bridges the gap between businesses and their audience. Essentially, influencers are social media personalities with a large number of followers. Businesses are connecting with influencers to reach their target audience, which translates to more traffic and potential customers.
In this article, I address:
What the advantages are of influencer marketing
When your business should invest in microinfluencers
How you can look for social media personalities
Additional tips about contacting and working with influencers
Advantages of influencers
There are several advantages to incorporating influencers within your marketing strategy. One of the first and most important benefits is a greater ability to reach a broader audience than if you use email marketing or social media ads alone.
Influencers advocate for businesses by telling their followers about your products or services. If someone has never heard of your brand, they may find out about you solely because their favorite YouTuber mentions your company in one of their videos.
It's possible to gain valuable feedback through influencers. Listen to what the influencer (and his or her followers) tells you about your product or service. Next, check the comments section of the video where you're mentioned to gauge how others feel about your product or service. If you notice trends regarding your user experience, the buying process, content, your products, etc., it might be time to step back and reevaluate how you can improve your website or products.
Influencers also build trust between prospects and your company. If someone has been undecided about buying something from your website, the opinion of an influencer they follow could sway their decision and cause them to become a new customer.
When to use microinfluencers
Microinfluencers are a specific type of influencer that has a low to medium number of subscribers or followers. There are no absolute numbers, but, generally, personalities with 10,000 to 500,000 followers are considered microinfluencers.
The most notable difference when working with microinfluencers compared to influencers is that microinfluencers' promotion tactics have a longer tail than those of high-subscriber influencers. Instead of creating several videos about a wide range of topics, microinfluencers make videos that are niche. Because the topic is so specific, their audience tends to have a closer connection with the microinfluencer, and they are more likely to trust their recommendations.
It's also important to keep in mind that since the audience is so niche, consumers are more likely to go to your website if it relates to the topics the microinfluencer covers. Pet supply companies, for instance, want to partner with microinfluencers who talk about animals or their pets. The logic is simple: Most people who view pet videos have pets of their own. Consumers who own animals need food and supplies to keep their pets happy and healthy. It makes perfect sense to look for people who cover animal-related topics when you want to find someone to represent your brand.
However, if you want to promote something time-sensitive, like an online contest or limited time deal, you're going to want to work with an influencer with a large following so you can get a short burst of new traffic and leads.
Now, let’s examine how you find influencers for your business.
Research your audience
Before you start looking for an influencer, you must understand your target audience. Internet personalities have specific audience profiles, and you need to ensure that your target audience and the audience the influencer has align.
Before you think about contacting influencers, dive deep into your website analytics and social media stats for audience insights. You'll want to create customer personas that cover the interests, goals, age and income of consumers who come to your website.
You can research your audience further by conducting customer feedback surveys either on your website or through email. For example, health and wellness websites might ask their audience if they are interested in more content covering working out or maintaining a healthy diet. The first step to marketing your brand is understanding your customers. Once you've developed several customer personas, it's time to work out your influencer marketing strategy.
Plan your strategy
Some businesses offer influencers the chance to write a guest post on their website as a way to build traction on their channel, which may benefit your business. Other arrangements involve the business owner paying the influencer cash for promoting their content or products.
If you find influencers who are receptive to working with you, you could strike a deal by giving them free products or perhaps a free trial with your service, for example, in exchange for their feedback.
The key to building relationships and striking deals with influencers is finding online personalities who already cover your industry. Let's say you have a website that sells beauty supplies. You want a beauty influencer who will promote your website in exchange for free products.
Before you reach out to an influencer, carefully consider what you're willing to offer an influencer. Consider, too, from the influencer's point of view, what is alluring about your company that would persuade the influencer to work with you versus your competitors.
Research and contact influencers
Now that you understand your audience and you have an offer in mind, it's time to research potential influencers. One of the easiest ways to find people talking about your industry is by searching keywords specific to your industry on YouTube and hashtags on sites like Twitter.
You'll see a list of people talking about your industry, with the most popular influencers appearing toward the top of the page. Browse through your options and look for someone who has a decent amount of followers. Contact them through direct message or email.
Be sure to send your message through your official business page or email address. Your message shouldn't focus exclusively on how that influencer can help you. Build a rapport by telling the influencer that you've looked at their content and enjoy their work. When you present your offer to the influencer, don't just talk about how this deal will benefit you, focus on benefits for the influencer and their audience.
It doesn't matter if you're marketing your blog or an e-commerce website, everyone can benefit from influencer marketing. The internet allows people with similar interests to connect on social media and forums.
Keep your eye on influencers who are rising within your field or industry, monitor your audience for persona changes, and you'll have no problem finding an influencer to promote your brand.
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