The internet is all about connecting people. In order to reach potential customers, your website can’t exist alone on a metaphorical island. Instead, your business and brand must reach out and connect with others.
This is the heart of influencer marketing. Not familiar with influencer marketing? Our guide is here to help you out! Here’s how a professional marketing agency uses influencer marketing to increase your leads and conversions.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is marketing that doesn’t come directly from your brand. Instead, an industry influencer is the one who draws attention from others to your product or service. Every industry has influencers. These are people whose endorsement really carries a lot of weight.
An influencer can be someone famous to almost everybody, such as when Peyton Manning appears in a Papa John’s commercial. Or an influencer can be famous in a more niche market, such as when a famous photographer endorses a camera bag.
Influencers can be more than paid spokesman. In fact, impartial influencers are probably trusted more than any other kind. An impartial influence can be a trusted reviewer, popular blogger or other industry expert who presents the good and bad about a product or service.
The Power of Influencer Marketing
The right influencer will expose your brand to customers who are already interested in your industry. A positive mention can increase brand visibility tremendously. This year 84% of internet marketers are planning at least one influencer marketing campaign. The average consumer today is very marketing-savvy. They don’t necessarily trust brands. What they do trust, however, is recommendations from real people.
Plus, influencer marketing works fast. SEO strategies can take months to develop. A mention from an influencer can result in instant positive attention.
How to Find Influencers
The bad news in all of this? Odds are good you’re not going to get Peyton Manning to be your brand influencer. But that’s OK. An experienced SEO agency can probably connect with at least a few influencers within your industry.
Three factors are examined when considering a potential influencer:
- Context – Does the influencer directly and clearly relate to your niche?
- Reach – How many followers does the influencer have?
- Actionability – Are the followers engaged and likely to take action?
This is a data-driven approach that considers demographics like age, gender and location. Instead of targeting general audiences, the most effective type of marketing zeroes in on smaller groups of people who are most likely to buy.
Finding the Right Social Media Platform
Facebook and Twitter are popular. But sometimes the best influencers for a brand are on other social networks. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest are usually the best places to find influencers in the fashion and cookware spaces. YouTube is where you’ll (naturally) find most video-based influencers.
Connecting with Influencers
After the industry influencers are found, you need to create a connection with them. This requires personal outreach. Usually the direct approach is best. The SEO pro will send the influencer an email or call them on the phone.
Influencers are approached by a lot of brands. You need to offer them something worthwhile. A free product for review purposes is often an effective approach.
After all, the influencer needs content. They can publish a review of your product on their site. Of course, you want to create a quality product in the first place. Only a positive review is going to help your brand.
You can also offer to create guest content. This could be an article about a topic related to your industry that the influencer will publish on their site. While the article won’t push any specific products, simply appearing on the influencer’s site can help increase brand awareness.
The Four Keys to a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
Influencer campaigns combine technical know-how with personal relationships. First, the right influencers must be identified by data-driven analysis. Then, a personal connection must be initiated and developed over time. Here’s a four-step breakdown:
Identify Relevant Influencers
This is done by studying profiles, reading blogs and analyzing industry trends using tools such as Buzzsumo. A truly relevant influencer will have a substantial following of their own.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Your internet marketing agency will work with you to develop a budget, identify possible incentives and clarify your brand’s goals.
Present a Pitch
Approaching an influencer with a cold phone call or an email requires a deft touch. You’ll need to understand what incentives they’ll respond to. Marketing pros can create a the perfect pitch that gets a response.
Using Google Analytics and other tools, influencer impact can be quantitatively measured. Impressions, clicks and audience growth are just some factors used to make sure your marketing stays on the right course.
How You Can Help
Your marketing agency will handle the details of an influencer marketing campaign, but your input is valuable. After all, you already know your industry best. You can help point the pros in the right direction.
Sometimes the most effective marketing is the type where the brand steps back and lets others speak instead. The right endorsement from the right influencer can build trust, increase brand awareness and otherwise drive sales.
Have questions about how to connect with the influencers in your industry? Post them below. We’ll be happy to help you plan an influencer marketing strategy!