How to Get Started with Influencer Marketing for Your Business
You may have heard a thing or two about one of the latest trends in marketing: influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, a business partners with an individual who is admired and well-respected by his or her followers, usually on a social media platform like Instagram or YouTube.
That person promotes the business’s products or services to increase brand exposure. Think celebrities and athletes endorsing shoes or jewelry on TV, but instead of TV, it’s social media, and instead of celebrities and athletes, it’s real people.
For instance, if your business is an organic skin-care line, then having an influencer who endorses beauty products may be a great way to reach your audience.
Does influencer marketing make sense for your industry?
Before you decide to try influencer marketing, you must ask yourself: “Is influencer marketing even right for my business?” Influencers usually work best for brands in industries like fashion, travel, food, health, and fitness, as well as in lifestyle categories, like travel or gourmet food.
If your business doesn’t fall into one of those categories, you may struggle to get a favorable return on investment for your influencer marketing campaign. If you sell specialized equipment, like medical computers or underwater welding machines, no amount of Instagram likes is going to translate into sales.
However, if you do think influencer marketing might work, you need to create a plan first.
In this article, we explain how you can get started with influencer marketing so you can start experimenting with it and potentially reap the benefits.
Set your marketing goals first
Before you start reaching out to influencers and planning for a campaign, you must set some measurable goals, which will also help you define your expectations and ensure that you and the influencer are on the same page.
Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to increase your sales by a certain percentage? Do you want to launch a new product?
Whatever your goal, you must put it in writing. Once you have written a measurable, realistic goal, you can analyze whether social influencer marketing will help get you there. Be sure to focus on one down-to-earth goal, and list a realistic deadline as well. If the goal is complex, break it into smaller steps first.
Consider your social activity targets, too: do you want shares, likes, retweets, or followers?
Get to know the target audience you’re trying to influence
You won’t be able to choose the appropriate influencers if you don’t know who you’re trying to influence.
You can probably imagine your target audience, but have you ever defined it and investigated where your customers spend the most time online? Do they use Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitch, or another social media platform? What types of content do they consume? Knowing the answers to these questions will help guide all of your marketing plans, including whether or not a social influencer campaign may be right for your business.
Some things to consider with your target audience: what is their age, gender, and socioeconomic background?
Check out this guide to get started defining the target audience for your business.
Research influencers in your industry
Now, you must find the influencers who are right for your brand. Not only do you need to find someone whose public image is in line with your brand image, but the person should also be genuinely supportive of your products or services. Could your brand use a video influencer, or would short tweets and text-based marketing be more appropriate?
In general, you want to avoid influencers who promote many brands, since your brand would likely get lost in the shuffle. Look for someone who is professional and who seems to engage with their followers in an authentic way. An effective social influencer should seem dynamic, engaging, and approachable to the audience. The influencer should have some answered questions/comments and be open to feedback.
This dialogue with the audience will tell you whether or not they are willing to go into detail about why your product works for them, and if they’re willing to provide a testimonial.
Micro-influencers may be right for your business; a micro-influencer is someone with 1,000 to 100,000 followers. This type of influencer doesn’t break the internet, but if chosen with demographics in mind, they could provide surgical boosts to your awareness.
Set and manage your expectations
Once you’ve found your influencer, you must share your campaign goals and have an open dialogue about how the influencer can help your brand achieve those goals.
Pick a social influencer who is powerful enough to grab your attention and possibly influence you! If the influencer seems less interested in building a professional relationship with you, and more interested in the payday, then this person may not be the right fit for your brand. But if the influencer is genuinely interested in your brand and your success, then it’s worth pursuing a partnership. A quality social influencer will be enthusiastic about promotion if the product is good.
There are several ways social influencers can be paid that usually depend on a preestablished amount per number of followers.
With the right target market and clearly defined campaign goals and expectations, social media influencers can make a huge difference in your business. Social media influencers cultivate loyal, engaged audiences, allowing a favorable platform for your product.
If social media influencer marketing seems right for your business, the possibilities make it worth a try.
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