Influencer marketing has quickly become a buzzword in the world of digital marketing.
The idea of using influence to generate visibility for your brand is not a new concept. Using an expensive celebrity to tell your target audience that they should buy your product may not be within your budget and it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need high-priced endorsements – you need to establish trust.
The primary element of a successful brand is trust. You want your target audience to have faith in your product, your service, and your brand. In a competitive market, developing a relationship with your target audience can be difficult. You may be asking yourself, “how can we compete with established brands?” – This is where influencer marketing comes into play.
Before you can take advantage of the potential of influencers, you need to know who they are. Targeting the wrong influencers will be a waste of your precious marketing efforts. Before you begin, identify a few key influencers in your industry. The next step is connecting.
1) UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
Today’s marketing world is largely taking place at the ends of our fingertips. There is no denying that social media has taken the world by storm. As a prominent platform for all things marketing, you will most definitely find that social outlets are a good place to begin your efforts in connecting with influencers. Find your industry influencers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and really any place you can find them. Follow them, comment on posts, and start conversations. Here’s another tip: don’t neglect the power of YouTube. YouTube is a great place to find influencers. Users often subscribe to get more of their favorite content and recommendations by trusted YouTubers can go a long way.
2) ENGAGE WITH YOUR INFLUENCERS
The ultimate goal is for influencers to endorse your brand. It’s probably not a good idea to send an email to an influencer asking them to promote your business. Have you ever met a business owner who didn’t think he had a great product? Of course not. You need to set yourself apart. Don’t tell people why they should trust you, show them. Participate in conversations that your influencers will care about and notice.
3) DEVELOP QUALITY CONTENT FOR YOUR INFLUENCERS
By now, hopefully, you have identified your industry influencers and you are following them on social media. The next step is to build trust. Remember, trust is key. If you want influencers to endorse your brand, they need to trust you. Digital marketing expert Andrew Davis advises, “Take a content-first approach to building relationships with the influencers in your market.” Meaningful engagement is the key to success here. Offering relevant and quality content to a conversation is a way to instill confidence and illustrate that your brand is trustworthy.
You can develop this trust the same way you would develop trust with any other peer or colleague. You show them that you are reliable, helpful, caring, and respectful. Comment on posts with meaningful replies. Share posts that are helpful to others without promoting your business. Endorse another business (yes, this means a business that isn’t yours) that provides a quality product. Provide tips that readers can really use in your area of expertise.
4) ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE ON A REGULAR BASIS
In order to illustrate that your business is reliable, you need to actively participate on any channel you have set up that represents your brand. Make sure your website is current and offers helpful information. Share posts of others you respect, especially, but not limited to, industry influencers. Don’t stop there. Update your Facebook page, post content on Twitter, create a blog, post on your influencer’s blog, etc. But remember, active participation is the goal. If you can’t keep up with multiple digital channels, don’t create them. Nothing is worse than a stagnant presence. Do you ever try to call a company that never checks its voicemail? That’s a quick way to lose trust.
5) DEVELOP AN INFLUENCER STRATEGY
Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi recommends that you “Have an influencer strategy.” Most businesses who seek influencer support have no idea how they go about getting it. Identify who you plan to reach and how you plan to reach them. Don’t expect results overnight and stick to your plan. If you actively participate and offer quality content, your business will reap the rewards.
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