Every industry has influencers.
Blogging, marketing, stock marketing, affiliate marketing, health, fitness… Anything you can think of.
These are the people who teach us the right ways to do the things.
We follow them, we consider them the trendsetters, we trust their advice, their diet plans, their daily routine and the books they read.
In short – we try to emulate them.
As an influencer, people want to be like you, eat like you, read like you and work like you.
Wouldn’t you love to be one of these influencers in your industry?
I had the same dream when I started my blogging career in 2011. I wanted to be someone who can influence people, who can inspire them, ignite their hidden powers and show them the right path to become a successful person in their field.
With time, I have reached a point where I can say that I am an influencer.
Having more than 60,000+ readers in a month on my blog, 20,000+ followers on my Facebook page, 10,000+ subscribers and 4000+ people in my private Facebook group, I can say that I am an influencer.
Becoming an influencer is all about the mindset.
Once you know your goals, becoming an influencer is not that difficult.
Note: It takes 2-3 years to become a perfect influencer in your industry.
Here I am going to share some personal tips that can help you to become an influencer in your industry.
1. Make your presence everywhere
Pay Flynn says, “Be Everywhere.”
This is one of finest suggestions you can ever get from an entrepreneur. Try to be everywhere. Write blog posts on different blogs (like I am doing now), get into podcasts, video interviews, submit slides, attend meetings or whatever the option is there to meet with your prospects, just be there.
Gary Vaynerchuk is another live example. This guy is everywhere. This guy has changed the definition of word “Hustle.”
He keeps on hustling.
There is a complete psychology behind doing this. When we see any brand everywhere (TV, hoardings, newspaper, etc.), we conceive it as a brand.
Exactly the same applies to you. When you are everywhere, people consider you as a brand.
2. Get into interviews
Interviews are one of the best ways to influence people. Either get into text interviews, podcasts or video interviews, just try to get featured on some good websites.
People love to read real life stories because they can relate it with their own life and be motivated to do something better in their life.
MyBlogU is a great platform where you can find some blogs in your industry and get featured on them by sending them an answer to a few questions.
Otherwise, you can go to Google and search about the interviews of other people from your industry.
Search – “Your industry name + interview” in Google.
E.g., “Blogging + Interview.”
You can perform this search query with any terms.
Once you get those blogs, send them an email to interview you on their blogs.
Show them the quality of your blog posts, your other interviews, your presence or any other authoritative proof to convince them to have you on their blog.
By doing this, you can interact with their audience and gain more trust in the industry.
3. Maintain your social profiles
Many people call this a time sucker.
But if you use it in the right way, it can be a big asset to build your business.
Be humble on your social media profiles and try to help as many people as you can. If you are on Facebook, you can join some authoritative groups on Facebook, which can help you to gain the real exposure and more trust.
Here are 3 Facebook groups in the internet marketing industry I recommend to join.
- NicheHacks.com Private Mastermind Group
- Premium Tricks by IFTISEO
- Blogging Cage VIP
4. Read industry specific books
Books are the real friends.
They can shape your career if you use them in the right way.
Back in 2011, I was struggling hard in my career. I was a newbie, and I had no job.
All I had was a vision to become a successful blogger in upcoming years.
When you are a newbie, finding a mentor can be very hard. Because either they are looking for some professional guys who can help them to build their business or they charge some money to become your mentor.
Unfortunately, we don’t have anything when we are a newbie.
So books can help you find the path.
I started reading a lot of books related to the industry and some motivational books to stay on track.
Start picking some good books recommended by the experts in your industry and read them very carefully. The best thing about books is; you can gain author’s years of knowledge in just a few dollars.
So learn the basics of your industry from books and keep on increasing the level of books.
Recently I bought a book called, “You Squared.” This is just a 34 page book having 17 almost blank pages.
So I can say this is a book of just 17 pages.
This book cost 2200 INR ($32) in India, but the wisdom I got from this book was beyond imagination.
5. Attend industry specific seminars/meetings/masterminds
I personally attend a lot of seminars. Earlier I was attending local seminars in India only, but last year I started going international and attended 4-5 awesome seminars in various countries.
Show your face to your audience, talk with them, laugh with them and hear what they want to say.
Meeting personally builds a strong relationship with your audience. Recently Jeff Bullas was in India where he delivered an awesome lecture.
Although I was not in that Seminar I followed each and every update from Jeff, where I could see people going crazy to meet him.
My wall was filled with picture updates with Jeff, and bloggers here were feeling super awesome to meet their ideal for the first time.
People feel awesome when you meet them in person.
So start attending seminars to build your presence.
6. Interact with your audience
Your audience feels awesome when you reply to them on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or personal email.
If you are running a blog, be active in the comment section.
Keep your eyes on the questions in the comment section. Do your best to solve their queries, because it will help you to strengthen your relations with your readers.
If you are giving a reply on a public platform (Forum, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), it’s going to help many other people as well. So always do your best when you reply on any individual query.
7. Build a relationship with your email list
All big players in the industry always recommend building an email list on your blog.
These are your loyal readers, who want to read every article written by you, who want to receive your updates, who want to learn more from you.
This is the place where you should take every step very carefully.
A person has joined your email list because they liked your stuff and finally decided to follow all your future updates. So if you are not treating them well, they are going to leave you.
If you hurt them, they are never going to come back.
So learn how to build relationships with your subscribers and keep sending them only important stuff rather than pushy stuff.
Once you fulfil their requirements (you won’t be able to fulfil everyone’s requirements), you win the heart of your readers.
They start following you from the bottom of their heart, and you become an influencer.
People are your brand ambassador.
They recommend your blog, your YouTube channel, your Facebook profile whenever they get the chance.
Becoming an influencer is not about pleasing everyone and putting in lots of effort to build your authority. It’s about becoming good with a handful of people, and they do free marketing for you.
Every time they see someone in your industry in trouble, they will recommend your name to them.
I have personally used all the methods discussed above, and I can say proudly that I am an INFLUENCER.
Guest Author: Kulwant Nagi is a professional blogger and an affiliate marketer. He loves to share the tips about starting a blog and bringing traffic. His latest venture is KnowledgeCage.com, which is a 100% targeted blog for “how to” industry.
You left the day job and struck out on your own.
You dared to dream and from the outside the idea looked good. You talked it over with friends and family and they gave you the thumbs up. It made total sense.
At the time….
The business plan was written and that all important brand name was chosen over a few drinks with friends. All good. Now your 2 years in and the cash flow isn’t what you expected. In fact it is less than what you were earning before. It’s just one big struggle.
You’re not alone.
But what can you do? From where you sit it just looks like an endurance race with no joy or end in site.
An inside look
One of the best ways to plan and grow your business is to get an inside look at what other business owners are doing. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lifestyle biz blogger, run an ecommerce website or a traditional type of business. Business is still business.
What strategies are they using to get their message out there?
What goals do they have in place for the next year?
That sort of information is normally hard to come by, but this State of Small Business Report, by my friend Josh Turner has got it all. This industry study, drawn from the survey results of over 1,200 small business owners, can give you a real understanding of the state of small businesses today, and what they’ve got planned for 2016.
The result is an in-depth, eye-opening report, which you can get for free right now:
The state of small business growth
This report will take you into the minds of over 1,200 business owners and show you…
- What motivates them to grow their business
- What their biggest challenges are
- What processes they have in place to generate leads and add new clients
- How they’ve differentiated themselves in their markets – or what they’ve tried that didn’t work
And that’s just scratching the surface.
The information in this report is very telling, and it’s all here for you to use to your advantage in 2016!
An alarming fact
In all honesty, some of this information is alarming. One of the craziest stats in this blog, is that over 80% of responders say that their current lead generation strategies are NOT sufficient to reach their goals.
Fortunately, the data also shows the path to avoiding the pitfalls that many businesses encounter. Josh’s report will reveal how you can use this data to your advantage – go take a look now
This is an outstanding report on the “State of Small Business in 2016″ is filled with some very smart insights to help you grow and scale your business.
I highly recommend you check it out
I have an interview coming up with Josh later this week. So keep an eye out for that. We have a more in depth chat about the state of business in 2016.
We also get into what you can do to win in 2016 and get ahead in life and as an entrepreneur.
Download the “State of Small Business Report” here.
Making your website user-friendly is extremely important to make sure your customers keep coming back.
When UsabilityTools published the results of a case study that analyzed and tested the websites of 8 universities, it became clear that the people preferred websites with clear menu labels and transparent information.
We have all come across a website or blog that simply does not work, or takes forever to find the right thing, and it is honestly a hassle. This either makes us, consumers, want to quit in frustration or swear we will never come back. The official website for the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, for example, is not user-friendly at all. That’s one of the greatest reasons for bad reviews this impressive destination gets from tourists.
Making sure your website is user-friendly is not as easy as it sounds; the key is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes.
A successful user friendly website includes a combination of these elements:
Making your website easy to navigate is one of the most important factors that we have to take into account. Knowing where to go to find the exact product that you are looking for is what all consumers love.
- Making a menu or easy to follow links is important. All crucial information should be easily-accessible through the main menu. Consequence of Sound, an influential music blog, is a really user-friendly website because of the effective menu.
- Adding drop down menus will make it even easier for customers to go directly to what they want.
- Don’t make the menu too long. Pixiwoo blog, for example, has a huge Labels menu that takes a lot of space without being actually useful. Since there is a search bar on the site, there is no need for lists of this type.
- Make sure the links and menus work. Broken links cause frustration and ultimately hurt your website.
- If you carry multiple products in different categories, break them into smaller categories so they can be easier to find.
- Make a separate section for promotions. Customers are always looking for the best promotions and setting up a promotion category will be greatly appreciated. Asos, a popular online shopping destination, gets huge attention through promotions and sales. Since most of its customers are looking for these deals, the website clearly provides them in a separate category.
- Your website needs to be accessible across all platforms; cellphones, tablets, computers and even gaming systems.
- Do your best to make the website look similar across all platforms, so the customers will know where to find the product they are looking for.
- A search bar is a must have. These help customers navigate your website faster than clicking through links.
- Make product pictures linked to their description. This is vital, since some consumers may not know the exact name of a product, but if they can click on the picture, the website should redirect them to the specific item.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to the design of a website. Some claim that a simpler color scheme is best to present your products while others say the more dynamic the more attention it will receive.
- A simple color scheme is favorable when you want to promote your best item, since it will be your focal point. Apple, for example, is known for its simplistic design that makes your eyes focused on a specific section of the website.
- A more dynamic design is used to promote more than one item. Use this when you want to show off your best items all at once. Asos, which was already mentioned above, is a dynamic website that features several categories and items.
- An easy-to-follow theme should accompany your company’s theme colors. A simple trick that gives the entire website a sense of unity.
- Long paragraphs are not always the best, unless they are needed.
- Adding pictures between the paragraphs or explanations is helpful. This helps the visual learners better understand. The Huffington Post, for example, is a very comprehensive site that proves how important visual content is.
- If you have a special offer or promotion going on, make it your focus point on your homepage. This will help consumers ensure they do not miss out on the great promotion.
- Clumped information will never be good. Try to spread out the information as evenly as possible.
- Color choice is just as important as the way you show your content.
- Try to avoid eye straining colors like neon green or yellow unless you really need to use them.
- Make sure the colors compliment or contrast perfectly like black and white.
- Try the F-Layout that serves the most important information where the eyes of your viewers usually focus. This design was captured using an eye tracking camera that shows that consumers favor an F design. It has been proven to be effective, and most successful websites do have this design in fact.
- Make all the pages equally as attractive. Ensuring that all the pages from the homepage to the products page are visually attractive will show unison of a great design.
- Place contact, about, FAQ’s and other similar links where they are usually found – at the bottom of the page. This is important, since every page online has these links at the bottom.
Targeting your content to consumers is a great way to make your website more appealing. To do this, first you will have to do some research, like who is buying your product and is there a time when it sells more? Do you want your product to target other age groups?
- Finding out what your consumers love will help you improve the way you showcase your products.
- Target your products. Not all products are meant for everyone; some are age specific, while others are experience specific. Either way make sure your audience is targeted. Levi’s for example, is targeted towards young, fashionable people who want classy, but modern jeans. Although the brand has a broader audience, this is the group its website promotes on the main page.
- Hot items that sell should be the focus point in times when they previously sold the most last year or last month.
- If your plan is working, do not “fix” it. This is a huge mistake many companies do which is trying to better the website when nothing is wrong with it. Consumers like what they know and know what they like. If you change the format of your website, it may be harder for regulars or new customers to find what they are looking for.
- If you do change your theme, keep track of your traffic and sales with this new design and tweak it weekly until you get the best results.
- Your audience will define your theme and color scheme. A younger audience would be attracted to a colorful theme, while an older generation prefers simpler themes.
Overview: How to achieve a whole new level of website usability
Making sure your website is user-friendly is vital to any successful business. It is not the easiest task in the world, but you can make it as easy as it gets if you follow the helpful tips listed above.
For starters, we have to ensure that navigation of your website is easy. The links and menus must be easy to find and follow. Remember: a dead link means frustration. It’s also important to test your website personally, since you will see small details that you may have missed.
Making sure that people can access it across all platforms is also vital since, today people look at websites on a daily basis on portable devices. The website should be as similar as possible to the computer version, since most of the customers look up items primarily on a computer, and then tend to do further research on their smartphones or tablets. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing for a fact that you saw some items at a certain category on your computer, but they do not show up on your tablet.
The next big item in our list is an attractive web design. This really depends on the products your company sells. For companies that have a main product that is the focal point, it is best to have a simpler theme showcasing the product. However, if your company has many items, then a dynamic design that promotes all your items is best.
Color schemes go hand in hand with the design of your website. The easier the words can be seen on your background the better, since the last thing customers want is having a hard time reading the description. One of the most productive web-design strategies is to use a proven pattern called the F-design, which is easier to read and more attractive.
Lastly, we have to make sure that your company is targeting its audience. This is crucially important, since it will be easier to promote your product to potential customers if you know exactly who your audience is. Younger people are into these modern designs with lots of colors and options, whereas an older crowd prefers an easy to use website with fewer distractions.
It is also important to note that if your current website design works, then there is no reason to change it. Unnecessary changes cause hundreds of consumers to become angry, since they were used to this old format that was updated to hopefully improve traffic to the website. Of course, these are just a few examples of ways to make your website more user-friendly with some information from generalassemb.ly and thenextweb. These two great websites have more information and tips on how to improve the user experience with your website.
The last thing to mention is to give your website a try for yourself. Remember that everyone is a consumer at some point in their life; just try to recall the last time you bought something online. What did you like or dislike? Was there anything you wish you could change? Your personal experiences will help you create a user-friendly website from both the vendor’s and consumer’s point of view.
Guest Author: Stephanie Norman is a professional writer with 4 years of experience from Sydney. Also, she works as web designer and content marketing specialist in Australian Writings, a company that offers assignment help for students. You can follow her at Facebook and Google+.
Couples in love are not the only ones looking forward to Valentine’s Day.
Florists, restaurants, jewelers, e-shops and many other businesses are counting on this holiday to bring their business a significant boost in the first quarter.
To see how significant this day really is, we checked statistics from the National Retail Federation and found out that this holiday brought around $19 billion in sales last year, with average spending of $142 dollars per gift. At this rate Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas so it’s quite understandable how no one wants to miss this business opportunity.
According to Facebook research, users in the US start their Valentine’s Day planning 1 week in advance, but shopping continues to the last minute with 37% of men and 28% of women still planning on the actual day. More than 50% will use their smartphones and tablets to research gifts or compare prices, while 26.1% plan to shop for Valentine’s gifts online. This makes targeting social media platforms and sites an obvious solution to achieve even better results.
If you still have no idea how to communicate your Valentine’s Day message, here are few ideas that will help you spread the love on social media:
1. “Feel” the love
Embrace the color scheme of the holiday at the beginning of February so that red and pink can start reminding your fans that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and they should start looking for that perfect gift. Play with hearts, roses, cupids and other icons and give yourself a Valentine’s Day facelift on all social media platforms.
Start by downloading free design application Content Creator with dozens of beautiful, love-inspired templates that can help you create special Valentine’s Facebook Cover photos or a Twitter Header. Use them to communicate your most important Valentine’s Day offer, as that will help your business stand out and show you have something special to offer for the holiday.
2. Talk about love
Create social media posts that will engage your fans in a conversation about their Valentine’s memories or plans for that day. For optimal engagement, try to come up with original questions and present them in a fill-in-the-blank format that encourages conversation. If possible, try to get the slightest bit of personal information from fans as it could help you draw attention to your Valentine’s Day offering.
If you want to save time but maintain visual harmony, develop layout templates for this type of post using the Content Creator app. It will help everything look more professional and polished. For example, if you want to have several Question Posts, use simple backgrounds and script fonts on all of them, as that will help your fans, during the Valentine’s week, to spot and recognize your posts easily. Make sure that you place your logo on designed posts, as that will additionally increase your brand recognition and let fans know who is asking the question.
3. Have fun with “love”
Remember that this holiday does not just celebrate romantic love but also love for friends, family, pets, nature or even yourself. So why not have a “Love a deal?” sale and attract attention to your business during Valentine’s Day week, even if you have nothing romantic to offer.
If you are designing a banner ad to promote this type of sale, remember to create an order in the way you arrange your text. Greater size indicates greater importance so use one size for the main copy and another for additional copy or call to action. As your text should be adapted for smaller mobile screens, do NOT use extremely thin or overly embellished fonts but simple sans-serif fonts that are easy to read.
Always have a clear call to action that is positioned at the end of the message or at the bottom of the ad. Don’t forget to follow through, as the ad must be linked to a landing page that looks and feels like your ad.
4. Help the ones that you love
Telling people to buy your product may look a bit pushy, but including your product in a gift guide that helps people with inspiration is a much smoother way to showcase your Valentine’s offer.
Try to stand out by being specific with your gift guide, so create a list for targeted audiences (for example “for men who like to look posh” or “for women who like to explore the world”) or a specific price point. Since titles of these gift guides can be lengthy, try to choose a photo with a lot of empty space.
In this way you will avoid clutter and communicate your message clearly. Start by uploading the photo to Content Creator where you can crop it, adjust brightness or contrast with available filters and then choose one of the available Valentine’s templates to communicate the title of your gift list.
Make sure you preserve the level of visual interest and not place text over some important part of an image, but rather follow a natural flow and make the best out of the available space.
5. Mingle with the singles
If you have a bar or a club there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use this opportunity to celebrate the ones that are not in a relationship.
Throw a fun mixer for singles and celebrate the whole “Cupid is Stupid” idea in style. If you want to design a social media invitation, remember to limit the number of fonts to two or maximum three. Chosen carefully they will not only separate certain parts of your text but will actually compliment each other.
If you are using Content Creator try pairing decorative fonts such as Bilbo, Dynalight or Grand Hotel with serif fonts such as Trabajo, Stanislav or Libertinage. Decorative fonts are fun and effective but you should use them mostly when their strong personality helps communicate a casual and relaxed tone of message.
6. Give from your heart
Valentine shoppers are looking for products that will make a perfect gift, so showcase your on-trend products and combine them with an offer that will engage visitors and peak their interest.
The attention of indecisive shoppers can be captured with information about your returns and refund policies while your coupons, discount and sales will push them over the edge to become customers. To bring attention to the massage place your text on a background that will not be too distracting and accentuate your design with Sale templates you can find in the Content Creator app.
Be sure that the message is concise and easy-to-digest so that it can be understood in a matter of seconds. If you need to additionally reinforce your brand, place your logo in the corner of the photo where it will make a quiet but consistent statement without being too distracting.
7. Send your Valentine’s wishes
Acknowledging Valentine’s Day is a way to make your business more personal. You can keep it short and sweet with a simple “Happy Valentine” or you can extend your message to include thoughts about love or relationships.
If you want to stand out from the crowd avoid having dominantly red or pink colors in your post but choose a darker background that will make your design stand out.
How about you, what are you planning to do this Valentine’s Day on social media? Do you believe that social media and Valentine’s Day are a match made in heaven? Let us know in the comments below!
Guest Author: Aida Gadzo is a Social Media Strategist at contentcreatorapp.com. She helps small and medium businesses master the “what”, “why” and “how” of producing and delivering engaging digital and social media content that will activate audiences and drive sales.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Content Creator.
The influence of social media is present in nearly every aspect of your lives…
Especially when it comes to business, where it is arguably changing the game each day. In the past, companies could use their influence to convert potential consumers through paid ads or some other marketing strategy. Social networks have changed all of that, which is best evident by the recent emergence of influencer marketing.
People no longer turn to companies to inform them about what they want or need. They look to other people, people whose influence and expertise regarding a certain industry is valued among the users. Take for example, YouTube vloggers. They have millions of followers, their videos have hundreds of millions of views, and companies are lining up to collaborate with them. And it’s not just YouTube. It’s pretty much the same story when it comes to Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
As you can see, the focus has shifted to individuals, and people respond better to being addressed directly, as opposed to being served some marketing strategy by a faceless company. This is definitely the era of influencers, so let’s take a look at 11 ways you can make influencer marketing work for you in order to attract more visitors and boost your conversion rate.
1. Put your audience front and center
Since your ultimate goal is to convert your visitors into paying customers, it’s only logical to build your marketing strategy around them. This means you should literally focus all of your efforts into getting to know your audience first and anticipate how they might react. It will also help you figure out which influencers they would follow and the type of content they would prefer. That would also include checking out appropriate blogs, articles, tweets, YouTube channels, or forums.
People are more inclined to value the opinions of actual people, in this case influencers, instead of those of a company, because they are more likely to be genuine. They are independent third parties, unlike the companies trying to sell them their products.
Here’s what Carter Hostelley, CEO and Founder of Leadtail, has to say about it:
“Building relationships with influencers can be a very effective way to reach your target audience in a more credible manner than simply buying advertising. With that said, “influencer marketing” is not an overnight process.
It starts with knowing who the most relevant influencers are in your industry segment. There are now a number of software tools available to help you do that. My firm Leadtail also puts out reports which are helpful if you’re targeting influencers of the C-Suite.”
2. Decide what type of influencer you need for your campaign
Once you’ve figured your target audience, it is time to decide what sort of influencer would best serve your campaign. There are numerous aspects to consider when doing this, such as the tone with which the influencer addresses the readers/viewers. Depending on your niche, you may need someone who’s efficient at getting them to take action, or a thought leader, or perhaps even an industry insider.
Aside from choosing the niche, the topics, and the number of influencers you want to get on your side, you also need to decide on what sort of reach you are after. Is your goal to use influencer marketing to drive traffic to your website or blog, or do you want to strengthen your social media presence and increase your reach? This one is highly dependent on what you think is best for your brand.
Ted Coiné, CEO of The Extraordinary Influencer Network gives his input:
“Once you’ve identified potential influencers, and you’ve vetted them closely for relevance (there is a lot of bad advice out there, and hundreds of tools designed to help you in this, not all of which are worth much), we’re ready to address your two questions. I’ll start with why it’s important.”
3. Seek out influencers
After you’ve fleshed out the mythical beast that is your influencer, you can take steps toward establishing some sort of contact with them, and the best way to do that would be to pay attention to what’s happening on social networks. If you can manage to get an influencer to act as an advocate for your particular brand, your job is pretty much done.
While this seems simple enough in theory, in reality, you will have to work hard in order to line up your brand with the content that influencers are providing for their audience. Once you manage to pull that off, nearly everything else will fall into place by itself.
There is a flip side to that coin, too. You can use social media to find out which influencers are already spreading word about your brand, so you can fortify your collaboration.
Mark Fidelman, who is a managing partner over at Fanatics Media and Forbes columnist points out the following:
“For Fanatics Media it’s critical that we get to know the influencers because of three main reasons. First, we typically get 20-25% lower rates than the average agency. Second, they are more likely to go the extra mile for us. Third, they’ll help our clients better position the product based on their understanding of the market. Once the relationship is established, everything becomes easier”
Joe Griffin, co-Founder and CEO at ClearVoice shared his take on the matter:
“Influencers are at the top of the heap when it comes to social currency. You aren’t going to gain an influencer’s respect unless you are participating in the same conversation circles, and actually adding value to the narrative. Once you catch their attention, you can begin a relationship by becoming a contributor on their website, and requesting their contribution to yours. We’re all about promoting the heck out of their content when they contribute to our site through both earned and paid social media. The more you can amplify their message, the stronger that relationship becomes, and the more repeatable their contributions can be.”
4. Become a driving force behind content creation
We are not just talking about content you’ll create, but also about content created by influencers and readers alike. It’s very simple: the more content there is out there about your brand, the more visible it is, which means more traffic, better conversion rate, and more leads. Now, there are several different ways you can get influencers and readers to generate content for you.
For instance, everybody is on Instagram nowadays. You can use this to your advantage by uploading images of users using your product to your brand’s official Instagram account. Also, with YouTube vlogging being all the rage nowadays, you can give away stuff for free, or coupons, and receive a mention that way. Take part in Facebook and forum discussions, and publish some of the user-generated content through your official channels. They will love it. Carter Hostelley, CEO and Founder of Leadtail, expanded on his previous comment by adding:
“The next step is to get on the radar of these influencers. You can do this by following, sharing, and referencing them on social media, and getting introduced via your LinkedIn network.
Now it’s time to establish and build a relationship. This comes from helping them first. Make them look good on social media, provide them with quality introductions, use and purchase their services, etc. Overtime, these influencers will be more than happy to recommend and promote your company’s brand, too.
At Leadtail, we’ve also been successful in building strong relationships by collaborating with influencers in crafting truly unique content pieces… since influencers have the same challenge as everyone else in developing quality content”.
5. Realize that paid ads have lost their mojo
There is only so much a person can take in terms of ad exposure before they have had it, and with people’s reliance on TV, internet, and social media, all of which feature ads, that margins are getting narrowed every day. Naturally, people respond to this exposure by getting used to the ads, and tuning them out, which renders them almost useless.
What you should aim for as a marketer is providing useful content for the readers, because that’s the way they are getting their information these days. Instead of having services and products forced upon them through ads, they turn to those brands which are more subtle about their sales pitches and which provide information they can actually use. Those brands are also more likely to have influencers promote their product.
Brett Relander, founder of Launch & Hustle, talks about the importance of that approach in his article 5 Metrics to Measure Influencer Marketing:
“The main reason that an influencer campaign can be so successful is that it rests on the ability of the influencer to obtain buy-in from the audience. Consequently, it is vital that you measure the sentiment regarding your businesses marketing message. Through evaluating the way in which your brand is perceived by your target audience, you will be better positioned to identify areas that may not resonate as well with your target demographic and adjust your marketing message accordingly. Along the same lines, you can also see which messages receive the most favorable reaction, giving you the opportunity to increase awareness around that message the influencer is delivering”.
Ted Coiné shared another crucial bit of advice:
“People don’t trust marketers (do you?). But people trust influencers by definition – that’s what makes them influential. If you want potential customers to buy from you, then you have to get their attention in such a way that they’re open to learning more about what you might sell them. Influencers are the key to that. You tie your brand as closely with your influencers as these people will let you, and mindshare opens up among a whole population of prospective customers whom you probably had no “in” with before. Mindshare leads to marketshare. The why of influencer marketing shouldn’t be much of a question by now.
The how, though, is surprisingly confusing for most of the brands I’ve studied. That’s why there is so little engagement with influencers currently in a brand’s program – they’re on the rolls, but they aren’t doing much for your brand. That’s also why turnover is so mindbogglingly high among influencers – they practically quit as fast as you can recruit them.”
6. Reward your influencers
While you have no legal obligation to do this, a little thankfulness goes a long way. If you have influencers spreading positive word of mouth about your brand, the smartest thing you can do is to give them yet more reasons to talk about it. How? You can reward or compensate them for their efforts.
You can give them money, although be careful with that one, not because of the cost, but because you want the content they put out about your brand to be as honest as possible, otherwise it just turns into a paid ad, and that approach, as we pointed out earlier, has largely ran out of juice, because users can spot it a mile away.
You can also give away free products, discounts, commission, or share their content on your website and even publicly thank them for promoting your brand. Remember, nobody asked them to do it, so the decent thing to do would be to thank them and respond accordingly.
Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, put it this way:
“The best way to establish strong relationships with influencers is to start by helping them. Share their content. Like and comment on their posts. Re-tweet their quotes. And write 5-star reviews for their books on Amazon. It’s really important because influencers have established not just authority but also massive social followings. So if you can get them to want to share your content as well, you can gain some nice organic and social traffic and engagement with your target audience. One note of warning: don’t ask influencers to do you a favor before you’ve built a relationship. If you follow these guidelines, they will be much more likely to come and speak at your events or participate in your content efforts. And then try to earn their support of your content marketing efforts”.
Yet more advice from Ted Coiné:
“The same thing that would make a top-notch customer service professional would make an all-star influencer program leader as well: empathy, and the honest desire to serve. Want to know what will best motivate your influencers? Ask them! In as many words. Say, “What would make this relationship a big win for you?
Then shut up. Listen. Take notes. And give your influencers what they told you they want! Note that this will have to include financial compensation commensurate with their influence and the services they provide you, but you’re a professional: you wouldn’t do it any other way.
Simple, yes, but extremely rare. If you can pull this service-first habit off, you will have your industry’s most influential influencers eating out of the palm of your hand for years to come. In fact, their friends will line up around the corner to join your program.”
7. Think of influencer marketing as seamless advertising
As opposed to traditional advertising, which is focused solely on selling the product using not-so-subtle techniques, influencer marketing is more efficient because it places the brand, or a product, within a more organic context. The brand promotion is still there, but it’s not the only thing being offered to the readers. They are also provided with actionable and useful content they can read and apply the information they’ve received to solve their real-life problems.
Overall, it’s a lot more pleasurable and natural experience for the readers. It does require for some extra effort on your part, but it’s worth it, because you will earn their trust for real, and not through some convoluted marketing ploy.
8. Get involved right now
And we’re not just saying this to get you riled up, either, because influencer marketing is the fastest-expanding method of turning visitors into customers, according to marketers. Its growth is faster than that of organic search. Email and organic search have been around for a while, which means if you are looking for a way to aggressively, yet naturally expand your influence, influencer marketing would be your best bet, which means you need to strike the iron while it’s hot.
This, of course, doesn’t mean you should neglect organic search and email. In fact, you should use them, just as you would use every other method out there which can help you elevate your brand’s recognition.
9. Don’t be afraid to be wrong
We are not talking about overcoming your fear of making a mistake. We are talking about the wide margin of error you are allowed when it comes to influencer marketing. Let us elaborate. According to research, influencer marketing is currently the most cost-effective marketing strategy there is, with marketers being able to generate revenue that is several times larger than their investment.
This means you have room to experiment and figure out what works best for your brand, because you are very likely to at least break even. And if you succeed, you will have a bigger budget at your disposal, which opens up even more possibilities. This is the best time to get in on it.
10. Use influencer marketing to boost your SEO results
Although Google has changed its algorithms recently and shifted their focus to seeking out high-quality content, SEO is still a viable option. So in addition to creating content for your brand, you need to get both influencers and readers to participate in the process of content creation. The biggest brands in the world rely on user-generated content and social media mentions heavily, because it makes them more visible on Google. You can do the same for your brand.
11. Keep track of everything
One major advantage of digital marketing over its analog counterpart is that you can keep track of everything and use all that information to develop and fine-tune your marketing strategies. Not only can you immediately access every single post, share, or like, but you can analyze every single aspect of influencer marketing using software such as Google analytics, which is free, yet amazingly powerful. You can even monitor the demographic aspect of influencer marketing, and time of day/days of the week which have been the most fruitful in terms of visitors and shares.
Guest Author: Antonio is a New Jersey-based hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s writing for Edugeeksclub. He will be happy to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter
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