More often than not, when constructing a business, you are aware of what your product does and have a general understanding of who would find it helpful.
That’s entrepreneurship 101, right?
You have likely completed some market research, created customer personas, and perhaps even started advertising on platforms such as Facebook and Google.
It’s harder than you thought it would be to find a growth channel that you can rely on to reach a larger audience and gain their trust.
PR can be a dead end if it only results in a few placements in digital or print magazines with no guaranteed readership or useful content. The only thing you can depend on are rough estimates of how many people were exposed to the material, which are probably inaccurate.
There has been a big change in the way public relations and marketing work in the last ten years, and now there are lots of different ways to reach the people who might buy your product.
Influencer marketing is a very interesting and promising area to develop. Your brand can pay people with a relevant customer following to talk about your product, or work with existing social authorities.
Essentially, when you work with a large network of influencers, your brand can become more recognizable to customers, leading to more exposure and positive word-of-mouth.
This strategy is often used and discussed alongside the idea of “micro-influencers” — people with small (<15k) but highly engaged audiences. Micro-influencers typically have high levels of engagement with their followers, which can make them more effective at promoting products and services than people with larger audiences.
The Types of Influencers
There are three main types of influencers.
This is to say that there is no one platform where influencers are primarily found, but that some platforms have more influencers than others. The numbers next to the platforms are meant to give a general idea of the kind of reach these influencers have.
The number of followers required to reach a certain level of influencer status varies depending on the niche. A-listers in some niches may only have a few thousand followers, for example.
A-Listers or Celebrities:
These are well-known bloggers with large followings (> 50k to 500k+), who are harder to connect with, and offer more credibility and authority. While having other influencers on board can help, they are less likely to respond unless you have a lot of money to spend.
B-Listers or Trusted Authorities:
famous experts with large followings (15k-50k) that are looking to grow offer credibility and authority. These companies are usually big players in smaller markets and are more willing to form connections.
They’re often looking for ways to work together that will be beneficial for both parties involved, and can often offer a good return on investment due to their credibility and authority within their niche.
C-Listers or Up-and-Comers (Micro Influencers):
These new or unknown influencers typically have highly engaged audiences and are usually eager for publicity.
Although they lack big names, they are willing to help and some may even become famous.
As influencer marketing grows, micro influencers are becoming more popular. Many brands are choosing to work with 100 influencers who each have a reach of 10,000 instead of one influencer with a reach of one million.
Influencer marketing importance
Influencer marketing is worth looking into for all sorts of reasons, including:
Third-party reviews are king
Nowadays, people are not likely to buy something just because they are aware of the existence of a certain brand. Today’s consumers care about social proof more than ever.
Before customers buy a product, they need validation from sources like Google Reviews, Trip Advisor, and Amazon’s review system. Because influencers are trusted sources, they are able to promote products to a large audience.
Interruptive marketing is dying
While interruptive marketing still has its applications, it is now most successful as a reminder, rather than a tool for building brand recognition. Instead of interruptive advertising that attracts new customers, you retarget warmer audiences that are already interested.
Consumer behavior has changed
Nowadays, people are more concerned about their social status than in the past, and that has a direct impact on the social capital that your brand offers them. People want to research brands to make sure the brands fit their personal image or identity.
You can take advantage of excellent content creators
Influencers are people who make a living from creating and sharing content. They know how to create content that people will find interesting and want to share. By partnering with them to promote your brand, you’ll be able to utilize their creativity and content creation skills / save your team some time on creating content.
Increased backlinks & reputation boost
When people with a lot of influence talk about you and link back to your site, it will make your site look more trustworthy to search engines and people. This will help you rank higher in search results and make people more likely to visit your site. With the right approach, you can go from being unknown to becoming an influencer.
You can increase your brand awareness by finding ways to get your brand in front of more people. This can be done without having to build each individual connection yourself.
Forming partnerships with other companies is not only less expensive, but also more effective than traditional advertising, according to numerous studies.
Building a large and engaged email list can help you connect with more people who are interested in what you have to say.
The “Oprah” Effect
An influencer can introduce you to their audience, making you a trusted expert.
Influencer marketing is scalable
When you have an influencer promoting your product, it becomes simpler to find more partners.
Influencer marketing is long-lasting
If you advertise when it’s cold, the person will click off the page as soon as they see it. If you invest in a relationship, you will have them for years.
Influencer marketing relationships
There are two ways that influencer marketing can happen. The first is when the influencer contacts the brand, and the second is when the brand contacts the influencer. An influencer and a brand start working together after a business relationship is established. Together, they create content.
And content isn’t restricted to social media content.
Influencer content can include:
- Social media posts
- Guest posts
- Live streaming
- Account takeovers
- Partner webinar appearances
- Virtual summit appearances
- You name it!
Transactions are typically one-time paid placements, while partnerships are ongoing relationships between an influencer and a brand. -Influencer marketing can either be transactions or partnerships. Transactions are usually one-time paid placements, while partnerships are ongoing relationships between an influencer and a brand.
When you work with an influencer, you agree on a style of content to produce together and pay them for that service. You may agree to post three times over the course of a month for a pay of $500.
Although partnerships are more difficult to establish, they can be very profitable if you have the right products.
By collaborating with influencers and setting up unique affiliate links, you can split the revenue from sales at a predetermined percent.
Influencer marketing in practice
In 2018, American Express partnered with photographer Casey McPerry for a Small Business Saturday Campaign. He published a series of posts that drew attention to small businesses and created a positive image for American Express as a company that is supportive of its community.
Burger joint Groundhouse Burger teams up with popular L.A. Instagram influencers to promote their L.A.-based burger brand.
Chandler Bolt of Self-Publishing School
Chandler was successful in getting more than 30 well-known individuals to participate in his virtual summit, which led to him gaining over 60,000 email subscribers and earning $700,000 in total revenue. Hosting virtual events with Chandler as an influencer can really take your events to the next level.
Crosshair uses micro influencers to connect artists with a new, digital-first PR approach. Crosshair uses an algorithm that matches types of music with particular influencers in order to promote indie music and pay those influencers for their work.
Influencers Should be Your #1 Target
Inbound marketing is connecting with potential customers who haven’t heard of your business indirectly. Here’s five reasons why it pays to win new leads through an influencer (with supporting stats by Hive):
1. They Have Huge Reach
Just a small sliver of social media users have a large impact on the internet. If you want to quickly increase your number of followers, try to win the advocacy of a key influencer.
2. They Have Built-in Trust
An influencer’s audience is more likely to trust their advice and be receptive to their content because they are human. This means that more people trust an influencer’s endorsement than they do either ads or branded content.
3. They Help You Keep up with Current Trends
There is a lot of content on the internet that is not useful, but people who are influential tend to only endorse information that is good. This is how they got their audience to trust them in the first place.
You’ll be up to date with the latest trends in your industry if you pay attention to what people are saying. No wonder 74% of marketers rely on Influence Marketing.
4. They Give Your Content Direction
If you don’t have a well-developed audience, it is difficult to know what your customers really want from your content. If you want to boost your conversions by 3-10x, you should pay attention to the kind of content your industry is interested in and make sure your content meets their demand.
5. They’ll Help You Trail Blaze
Most people would rather learn about a product through reading about it, rather than through advertisements. However, if everyone is saying the same thing, people are less likely to believe it.
If you want to become an influencer, you should start by creating original content that gets people talking. You can also partner with other influencers to help get your name out there.
What to Look for in an Influencer
Even though Katy Perry and PewDiePie have large followings on social media, they may not be the best influencers to help promote a business unless the business is closely related to pop music/fashion or video games.
Before you contact an influencer, it is important to know what your goal is for influencer marketing. Make a list of different approaches you could take, categorized by what would work best in different situations. That way, if you ever need to change your strategy, you can easily find a different approach that might work better.
Here’s some questions you should consider:
Worth Sharing Content and Promotion by Influencers
It’s not just about looks.
If you want to target influencers, you need to start with content that is high quality and worth sharing. If you don’t have a lot of good content to start with, you probably shouldn’t try to get influencers to promote your stuff.
Ideal Influencer Profile
KISSmetrics has a great way of finding the right influencers by first making a model of the perfect influencer (similar to a customer persona).
Before you reach out to any influencers, you should have a good idea of the genres, niches, and topics that you want them to specialize in, as well as the personality types that you are compatible with. This will help you identify influencers who will be a good fit for your business.
After that, you should make a list of your top prospects. You can use influencer targeting software to find prominent people in your target niche. After you have a good understanding of their existing content, you can then begin to pitch them ideas for new content that you think would be a good fit.
If you want to target a specific influencer, it is important to research them first. This way, you can create content that is more likely to appeal to them on social media.
1. Influencer’s to Impact My Business
When you know what your goal is, it becomes much easier to do influencer outreach. Basically, you should look for influencers who will help you achieve your desired goal, even if they don’t have a lot of followers.
Perhaps you are hoping to increase brand awareness and engagement. In this case, you would look for someone with a large number of followers who would be enthusiastic about promoting your content.
2. Influencers in a Variety of Different Mediums
You don’t want to be limited to one social circle, so it’s important to have connections with influencers in different areas.
An example would be a prominent blogger who is not as active on Twitter as another influencer, while a big name on YouTube might not have much written content to offer.
3. Influencers in My Corner
It’s possible that a big influencer is already using your services and it would be beneficial to reach out to them.
buzzbundle is a tool that can be used to search for keywords across all social media channels. post planner is a tool that can be used to track what is being said about you on facebook. follor.me is a tool that can be used to track what is being said about you on twitter. pinalerts is a tool that can be used to track what is being said about you on pinterest.
Advocacy from someone does not necessarily make them an influencer. You need to earn the goodwill of people who have a lot of influence and are followed by many people who trust them.