The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing
You are striving for that big moment.
That moment that will change your career, your business, your life forever.
That moment when you create that perfect video, write that soul-lifting headline, or get that massive endorsement for your product or business.
Marketers and business owners are kept up at night trying to concoct that perfect recipe for virality, to be the next big thing on the internet.
But what if you could connect with someone with a much larger audience than you, someone who is considered an authority in your industry or a related niche? What if you got that big endorsement that we all dream of? And what would you do if I told you that in the history of marketing it has never been easier to get that endorsement than it is now, no matter how large your business is.
Rethinking Classic Marketing Strategies
Whether we are small business owners, marketers, or bloggers, we need to rethink our definition of what makes someone influential and then we have to figure out how to use it to our advantage.
The rise of internet and social media influencers has brought Influencer Marketing to the fore, brands using others’ influence (like they always have) to sell products or ideas.
The days of TV ads are dwindling as businesses are realizing that consumers don’t make their buying decisions based on ads, however, we still trust people and we trust “influencers” perceived or otherwise, even more.
So does it work?
Let’s look at some stats.
- 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands. (Nielsen)
- Almost 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer. (Twitter)
- Participants aged 13-24 were twice as likely to evaluate an influencer by their social presence and follower count as older audiences (Twitter)
- Businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing (Tomoson)
Finding and Connecting to Your Awesome Influencers
Jay Baer has said that “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”
This means when you are looking for your niche’s influencers, don’t get sucked in by the sexy numbers. If someone has hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers that is great but only one part of what you need from your influencer.
Really narrow down your audience, nail it so you know exactly who your brand needs to target. Once this is done you need to find the Bloggers, Tweeters, Youtubers and Instagrammers that your audience follows.
Then set out exactly what you are looking for in your influencers.
What kind of Influencer do you need? – There are influencers of all types, from the industry authorities, the casual informers or the hardcore activists, what does your brand need and more importantly, which would speak the loudest to your audience?
What common interests should you and your Influencer have? – Pick a topic or niche that your ideal influencer shares about on social media. This will provide a common ground for when you reach out to them.
What type of reach does your Influencer have? – Are you after an influencer with heavy web traffic? With tons of social media followers? Do you care whether or not your ideal influencer has a blog? Is your brand very visual and in need of an influencer active on Instagram and Pinterest? Dive deep here!
How often does your Influencer communicate with his/her audience? – Let’s say the influencer you find is a blogger, the frequency with which he or she posts high-quality content is an important factor to keep in mind.
Now that you have a better idea what your ideal influencer looks like, you have to be patient and strong with yourself; don’t take the first one that “sort of” fits the bill.
To find your ideal influencer you can:
- Monitor hashtags
- Set Google Alerts for keywords about your desired niche
- Various Google Searches within your industry
You might already have a good idea of who the influencers in your niche are. Regardless it will be helpful to follow these steps and you might be surprised to find you have missed a few.
Get In Touch With Your Influencer
Once you have found a few prospect influencers it is time to ready your pitch and figure out what exactly you are asking of them. Figure out your angle and what you could offer them. The initial point of contact could happen in any number of ways but the 2 strategies I recommend are below.
1. Pitch an Article
This strategy is obviously for influencers you have found that have their own blog. This is a relatively strong entry point as you are providing the influencer value while hopefully introducing yourself and your brand to them in a positive and indirect way. It comes with the added bonus of being able to reach out to the influencer’s audience without ever actually asking them to promote your business.
2. Pitch Your Story
This is a similar slant to the above idea but is all about offering your unique or interesting story as interview content for your target influencers. This could be via a podcast or just over email for a text interview. Short of meeting in person, speaking on someone’s podcast can really launch a relationship into orbit which makes it easier to make a more formal ask in the future.
Another common tactic is compensating the influencer. You can give them free product to review or offer them discounts in exchange for promotion. Additionally, you could give them a commission based deal where they can earn something for each client they send your way.
Go Meet a Celebrity
Your moment is not far away.
Many of us we have always dreamed of meeting our favorite movie star or athlete.
Now you can do just that on behalf of your brand. It can start with a simple RT or Mention on Twitter and then watch where it leads you.
Identify what you want from your influencer and then get out there and start interacting, you’ll be surprised by the quality of the relationships that you can make online.
Caleb Cousens is the founder of SocialMediaWizard.com, where he teaches readers how to optimize their social and online marketing activities, and where you can download his free Ultimate Blogging Resource.