Unless you have been living under a rock, you may have heard all of the recent fuss over influencer marketing on social media. These influential individuals could be journalists, bloggers, or even celebrities who heavily sway a potential customer’s buying habits – generally through social media.
The idea behind influencer marketing is to build up your brand’s presence and build relationships with popular individuals (influencers) within your niche. These individuals will then (hopefully) share your products or services to their audience, or simply give your brand a shoutout. As these individuals have a lot of trust built up behind them, this can be a massive sales-driving opportunity for a new and upcoming business.
Most of us have been affected by influencer marketing without even knowing it. I know I have made purchasing decisions based on what I have seen influential people sharing on Instagram. However, many entrepreneurs may not be actively trying to market to influencers on social media – meaning they may be missing out on a lot of potential.
Social media has expanded exponentially in the last few years. In fact, a recent study by Market Force Information concluded that social media spending will increase to $30 billion in the next five years. This growth in social media has also caused influencer marketing to skyrocket with it. As these tactics continue to work together, there is a lot of potential for you and your business to dive in and succeed.
“Influencer marketing at its core is about developing a real relationship to ultimately champion your influencers to market with you.” – Amanda Maksymiw
So how exactly can you get started in influencer marketing? Here is a quick 3 step guide to help get your feet off the ground:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
The first step in any new marketing endeavor is to identify what groups your products or services will cater to. Are your products and services targeted towards benefiting individual consumers or large scale businesses? These are important questions to ask, because there are many different options when it comes to managing customers. Understanding who your target audience is the first step in succeeding in influencer marketing.
2. Find The Influencers in Your Niche
Now that you have identified your target audience, it is time to find who is influencing their buying habits. This is the grittiest part of the whole process, because it can be tough to find the perfect influencer for your brand. Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to go about this step.
One of the best ways is to identify what social media channel your customers are most likely to use, and simply use the search feature of that program. You can search relevant keywords or hashtags. This will allow you to find people who may be reviewing or talking about products that are similar to what you are offering.
Try it out. Do some digging, and come up with a list of five or ten influencers you would like to target. Now that you have a list, let’s move on!
3. Build a Relationship With Your Influencer List
Now that you have a list of influencers, it is time to get yourself in front of them. Otherwise, they may not even be aware of you or your brand’s existence. It is time to leave a lasting impression on them. You will want to send them a personalized email, introducing yourself and your brand with a beautiful pitch.
Within this pitch, you should include exactly what you want them to do. Do you want them to review your product? Write an article on your website? Give you a shoutout? Be specific, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
“Great marketing is all about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling.” – Gary Vaynerchuck
Keep in mind that nothing in life is free. Therefore, you may want to make a deal with these influencers. Perhaps offering to send them a trial or sample of your product for free, asking them to review it or talk about it in return. This one-time sacrifice could ultimately bring in hundreds or thousands of new leads and sales.
Overall, influencer marketing is a great opportunity for a new brand to gain some traction. It is important to give this a shot, and remember – don’t give up. Just because one influential person did not want to help, doesn’t mean the next one won’t. Use criticisms to perfect the perfect pitch, and get yourself noticed.