- Jul 05, 2019
- by Brad Litwin
Social media ‘influencers’ can really power up your marketing campaign. The right influencer can do wonders for your business, increasing traffic and sales for your products or services. The trick is finding the right influencers and getting them on board.
Locating influencers to work with requires knowing your audience, and finding out which individuals have the most authority in your target market. Then, you just need to reach out to them. It takes careful planning and a personal touch to be successful, but it’s simpler than you might expect.
In this article, we’ll explore what influencer marketing is and some of the ways it can benefit your business. Then we’ll talk about where to find the right influencers, and how to get them on board with your campaign. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing involves getting an individual who is not associated with your business to promote your products or services. An influencer is someone with a significant online presence, who can spread the word about your business to a large preexisting audience.
Celebrity endorsements are one kind of influencer marketing. Traditionally, a company would hire a celebrity to use its product or promote it in some way, in exchange for a fee. These days, it’s more common to join forces with non-celebrities who nonetheless have a following in your industry or niche.
By joining forces with someone who has an audience that’s similar to yours, you can gain access to entirely new (but relevant) markets. It’s a more inexpensive strategy, yet one that offers a lot of advantages.
How Influencer Marketing Can Benefit Your Business
Influencers are mostly found on social media sites, where they harness the power of Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to build a legion of followers and fans. Working with the right influencer can get your product in front of these fans, increasing exposure and brand credibility.
For example, it is estimated that around 34% of Instagram users have bought something because of an influencer. People follow online personalities they trust, and are therefore influenced to try products and services they might otherwise have passed over.
Harnessing the power of influencers can also vastly increase your reach, exposing your product to a large target audience. Instead of having to go out and build up new audiences from scratch, you can tap into existing communities. This can save a significant amount of marketing time and resources.
How to Get Social Media Influencers to Work With Your Business (In 4 Steps)
Building relationships with the right influencers is important. You want to work with individuals who not only have a large following, but are also relevant to your audience. Let’s walk through the four key steps to finding and approaching influencers who might be a good match for your business.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
This first step might not be directly related to influencers, but it’s still vital. Knowing who might be interested in your products is important to your overall marketing strategy – and it can also help you find the right influencers.
You’ll need to work with influencers who not only post great content, but who also create content that’s related to your business in some way. In other words, understanding your audience will help you locate influencers who are targeting the same market (or a similar one).
Therefore, it’s important to look at your current customer base and consider how they might interact with an influencer. If you know what problem your product solves and what your customers stand to gain from it, you will have a good idea of who your target audience is. You can also study your competition, and see who they are engaging for their promotional efforts.
Step 2: Research Potential Influencers
Once you know your audience, you can start looking for relevant influencers. As we mentioned before, it’s important to find influencers who share a niche that aligns with your product.
Each influencer you choose needs to resonate with your particular audience. That’s why it’s so important to conduct audience research first. Using a finance expert to promote your software company is not likely to work, while partnering with a developer is a much better idea.
You can find influencers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and just about any other social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. You can also find them with a quick Google search of a keyword related to your niche. In addition, there are plenty of tools specifically designed to help you connect with influencers, such as Traackr:
Once you’ve located a likely influencer, it’s important to research them. You could find someone with millions of followers, but if their interests don’t align with yours, you’re not going to get the engagement you need to promote your brand. You also need to be careful of influencers with a lot of followers, but not much engagement. That means checking out their social profiles and looking for lots of likes, shares, and so on.
Step 3: Plan Your Budget
Another thing you’ll want to know before you approach a potential influencer is how much money you have to spend. Some top influencers have so many companies approaching them that they can be very expensive. Others may promote your product in exchange for a small fee for each conversion or post.
If you find an influencer who shares your passion and who you suspect will like one of your products, you can also gift it to them. Many top influencers post photos or videos of themselves unboxing gifts like this, which can be excellent promotion for a very small cost.
Step 4: Reach Out Privately and Personally
At last, it’s time to reach out to your chosen influencer. It’s important to do so privately and personally. One of the worst things you can do is post about your product on a public forum. This is pushy, and will likely leave a bad impression of your company with the influencer and whoever else sees your message.
It’s also vital to write a personal message, and not send a potential influencer a form letter. You can reach out by email, or via a private message on whichever social media platform you have selected. Address the influencer directly, and tell them a little bit about your business and how your goals match up with theirs.
It’s important to be brief, as influencers tend to be very busy people. At the same time, try to be very specific with your intentions and budget. Remember that influencers are business people too and have a reputation to uphold. So keep your communications professional, and you’re more likely to start a positive relationship.
Working with influencers who have the same target audience as yours is an important part of any successful social media campaign. Influencers can not only increase traffic and sales for your products or services, but can also give your brand greater reach.
To find influencers for your next campaign, you can follow these four steps:
- Know your audience.
- Research potential influencers.
- Plan your budget.
- Reach out privately and personally.
Do you have any questions about influencers and how to approach them? Ask away in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.