Today’s online world is rife with connections. These connections are fostered in many different ways including:
- Social media networking.
- E-mail newsletters.
- Websites and blogs and
- Search engine optimization strategies.
There is one more type of marketing which can help almost any business organization and this is known as influencer marketing. Here is how you can capitalize on this innovative and interesting way to boost your brand recognition and business.
Where do influencers live?
In most part, influencers live in the world of social media networks. It is therefore natural for you to start by identifying which social media network suits your business purposes perfectly. Once you have identified Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social network to be the most suited for your purpose, you will have to monitor the conversations that take place within this network to find out more about the influencers as well.
You could also monitor different blogs written by people who talk about the topics that ally with your business in a natural manner. For instance, a fitness blogger could be a natural fit for your nutritional supplement or weight loss product business. Or maybe a blogger who writes about technology could be a very strong influencer four your E commerce store that sells travel gadgets.
Check out online forums and groups that are dedicated to a particular subject and you are sure to find an influencer or two.
Select the right influencers
Once you have made a long list of the people who are influencing conversations, you need to then start pruning the list. You should select influencers who:
- Are aligned with your business views.
- Engage in regular conversations with their fans and followers.
- Are credible.
- Show the ability to persuade people into taking relevant action.
Influencers are not ‘advocates’ and ideally, you should find an influencer who is popular because he or she gives unbiased and fair opinions. When you look at the content that such influencers generate, then you will get a very good idea whether that content impacts the decision-making process and therefore will also impact your brand or business.
You should also look for influencers with the ability to get to the people who live in proximity to your business. Whether it is a local or a global business, you need to have people walking into your stores or visiting your online shop. If location based customers are important for your business, then you should look at influencers who can influence this geographical population.
Quid pro quo
Typically, the relationship between a business and an influencer is give and take. Your initiatives to reach out to them and involve them in your campaign should also entail the answer to the question of what they can expect in return.
For instance, if you are a bookstore owner, and you want to involve a writer who can act as an influencer and get people to visit your bookstore, then you may want to look at ways and means by which you can promote the writer’s work as well.
It is also important for you to remember that authenticity should be the basis of this relationship. The digital world is pretty unforgiving and followers of your brand and followers of the influencer will cotton on to sales pitches which are based on empty incentives rather than true value.
There is a lot of collaboration on content and your business and the influencer(s) should be able to make space for ideas and thoughts on each other’s content.
This is a critical consideration when it comes to influencer marketing simply because you will need to find influencers according to your business goals. For instance, luxury Brands have tied up with graffiti artists, tattooists and even street performers – this may seem like a very unlikely partnership in so many ways.
However, this partnership has been forged because the luxury brand wants to promote a certain brand image for a particular product line. So, similarly you need to identify your business goals very accurately in order to determine the correct influencers as well.
Create a strategy
Influencer marketing is definitely going to help a business or brand provided you have a clear-cut strategy for the same. This strategy has to start with knowing your target audience and knowing who they listen to. You can certainly automate some aspects of this strategy, but you really need to treat it like a relationship building exercise that will result in creating a pool of influencers who can tie your business/brand to reliability.
Look at the competition
It is quite possible that your competition is using different kinds of influencer marketing in order to get ahead. It is therefore useful for you to look at social media conversations that your competition is engaging in and figure how you can play the same game and enhance your market share.