According to Nielsen, the most trusted form of promotion continues to be word of mouth advertising. In other words, when people are looking for a service or product, they are more likely to pay attention when the recommendation comes from someone they feel they can trust.
For brands, working to nurture an outstanding customer experience remains an important part of building these natural recommendations, but working with influencers can also have a tremendous impact.
An estimated 79 percent of people have at least one social media platform. The influencers who live on different platforms can help organizations leverage the opportunities presented to them through social media by getting their name and products out in front of thousands of people at a time.
If you want to build trust, awareness, and interest in your brand, here is what you need to know about influencer marketing that will actually increase your number of leads. Let’s explore how to find influencers for your brand.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a popular user of one or more of the many social media platforms who has built themselves a large following. Some of these influencers might have hundreds of thousands of followers on different platforms. There are even influencers who have millions of followers.
When using social media, these influencers cultivate a close relationship with their followers. Because many influencers started creating content before the concept of making money from blogging or Instagram was even an idea, their followers truly trust them and their opinions. They understand how to leverage the personal aspect of social media and use it to drive engagement. Their followers listen to what they have to say, and therefore these influencers can often impact the buying decisions people make. The influencer might use or otherwise showcase different products or services through their platform, attracting the interest of their followers.
For prospective customers who have never heard of your company, an introduction to your products or brands through an influencer can be a powerful driver of brand awareness and recognition and even sales. Since the recommendation came from someone they feel they can trust, your name will stick out even more. If the influencer reaches someone who has heard of your organization before, their recommendation can be the tipping point that encourages them to make a purchase.
Let’s dive deeper
You will find that influencers typically function within certain niches. For example, some might work within the beauty sphere, demonstrating makeup techniques. Their promotion of makeup products can, therefore, be very impactful. There are also fashion influencers, healthy living influencers, and even influencers that specifically cater to mommy groups.
To work successfully with an influencer, you do not have to seek out the largest presence within your niche. Sometimes medium-sized influencers can offer a more personalized relationship with their followers, and their endorsement can have an even bigger impact on their followers’ purchases. The key is finding the influencer that works best for you. Let’s explore how to find the influencer that will work best for your organization, and how to entice them to work with you to promote your products or services.
How to find an influencer that will help you reach your goals
When it comes to promoting your product, you cannot just select anyone with a big following. Instead, you need to find an influencer that aligns well with your organization and goals. Here’s how you do that.
Look at the industry and niche
Examine the industry and niche that the influencer works in. Customers who listen to an influencer about skateboarding products will not necessarily be inclined to listen to their recommendations about a restaurant. Instead, you want to find someone who aligns well with your target audience.
Think about who your target customer is and what sets them apart from others. Consider their demographics and interests as well as their pain points. You can use this information to start to find influencers that work within your niche.
Look at their audience
Once you find influencers working within your niche, next you want to uncover those who have the right audience. If you sell high-end makeup, you do not want to reach out to a beauty influencer who emphasizes how people can look fabulous on a low budget.
To get a better feel for the audience of your influencer, look into their posts and interactions with followers. See what they typically write about and what their audience responds best to. This will help you better understand this particular influencer marketing platform.
When you see what this particular influencer promotes, consider how well your intended product promotions would fit in with their followers’ expectations. Once you have found a short list of potential influencers that fit with your goals, it is time to move on to the next stage.
Build a relationship with them
Now that you have found potential influencers, the time has come to build a relationship with them. Many influencers do not want to promote products or services that they know nothing about. They know that their own reputation is on the line, so they also don’t want to promote anything that might damage the trust of their followers. Many influencers are also known for posting authentic content, and they do not want to jeopardize that.
Begin first by following the influencer. Engage with their posts and post things that may interest them to encourage them to follow you, too. Once you have laid the foundations of a relationship, reach out to them to let them know that you would like to work with them.
Make it clear how they would benefit from the relationship. Consider compensation and free products, for example, to increase their interest in working with your products.
Create a campaign that works well with their audience
Now work with your influencer to create an effective campaign that will interest their followers and bring you the clicks and leads you want to see.
There are a number of different types of campaigns to consider:
- Having your influencer give a review of your product
- Having the influencer host a giveaway of your product or service
- Ask the influencer to create other content that incorporates your product.
Bringing it together: Understanding Influencers
Influencers can have a powerful impact on the buying decisions of their followers. The organizations that use them correctly can get their name out in front of thousands of people at a time. The key is finding influencers on social media who:
- Are in the right industry
- Have the right audience
- You can build a relationship with
- Create campaigns that work with their audience
Finding influencers for your brand can help you build followers and interest in your organization. If you want to learn more about how to use influencers in your marketing, reach out to us at Ballantine. With decades of experience in marketing, we can help you find influencers and reach your goals.