Gone are the days when digital marketing could work without involving social media. Today, authenticity and organic engagement can drive more engagement with your business than big ad campaigns. Enter the influencer.
Influencers are people who hold a certain amount of authority within their niche. For example, a fashion influencer has a reputation within the fashion world while a food influencer has built their foundation in the world of food or restaurants.
Depending on what kind of business you own, approaching an influencer to help you promote your business can be an effective way to increase your consumer base and audience quickly.
Who is an influencer and how do you get in touch with them?
An influencer is anyone who has a substantial following and influence on the internet. As long as a person has a strong presence on social media – like a large number of followers, people who listen to them and buy the products they endorse, and quality content that brings in more followers – they can be considered an influencer.
Not everyone who has a following on social media is an influencer. While a person can have a certain number of followers on social media, an influencer’s account is designed to reach new audiences while a standard account may not be. So while a person can have 2000 people they know who follow them on Instagram, an emerging influencer could have that same number but be capable of getting those people to buy the products you want to sell.
Influencers hold authority and can sometimes be considered brands in and of themselves. These are also people with whom audiences interact and are more likely to listen to, should they choose to promote you.
You can get in touch with an influencer by :
- Contacting them on social media if they have a smaller number of followers (typically fewer than 5000).
- Bigger influencers will usually provide a link on their social media which businesses can use to approach them for endorsements.
Influencer marketing is not free. Most businesses provide the influencers they hire either with money or with products from their line. Some influencers may also tell you how much they will charge to market your product to their followers.
How do you incorporate influencer marketing into your business plan?
An influencer marketing plan is important if you choose to go this route. While influencer marketing can be lucrative, you need to measure your return on investment and how likely an influencer is to bring you traction before you approach them.
Before you decide on who you want to approach, you need to go through certain steps that will help you in the long run:
- Know your audience: If you do not know and understand the people you are trying to market your products to, they will not likely resonate with you. Marketing today is about developing loyalty by building authentic conversations and engagements. The more you know about your customers, the better you will be at engaging them.
- Build a business plan: Your influencer marketing plan should be a core part of your company’s overall business plan. The reason behind this is that influencer marketing is one of the biggest ways to increase engagements and sell products today. For instance, in creating a gym business plan, think about local and national celebrities or fitness gurus that could help market your business.
- Approach the right influencer: Not only should the influencer you select fall within your budget, they should also fall within your niche. For a small business looking to expand locally, a local influencer would help you gain better traction than a national one. The better you understand your audience, the better you will understand who and what influences them.
- Create good content: Content marketing is key to influencers. Sometimes you will have to deliver the content to the influencer yourself, while at other times the influencer might make the content themselves. Someone who posts a review video on YouTube is an example of an influencer who creates their own content, while someone who shares your YouTube video brings you traction on the basis of the quality of your content. If you are going to approach an influencer who makes their own content, you should check out their previous content to make sure their quality standards match what your brand needs.
- Keep an eye on trends: The influencer you choose will also depend on who is more popular at the time you are choosing to begin your influencer marketing campaign. Someone who has less relevance in recent years will not give you a great return on investment. By keeping up to date with trends, you will know what people are being influenced by and can approach the right person to market your business.
After you have initiated your influencer marketing campaign, remember to keep checking on how much traction your marketing strategy has brought you. An easy way to do this is to make a hashtag specifically for the campaign in tandem with your influencer and track that hashtag to see how well your influencer marketing strategy is developing.
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