There comes a time in every savvy business owner’s life when they know they must step up their social media presence.
It should already be a given that you are utilizing, at least one social media platform.
However, even those who are actively engaged in social media may begin to feel that their current promotional efforts just aren’t producing the results that they would like.
If this is you, then it may be time for you to start working with a digital influencer.
The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing for Business
What is a digital influencer?
A digital influencer is anyone with authority in your brand’s niche. However, they can’t just be knowledgeable, they must also have the ability to reach a large audience.
Practically anyone can be a digital influencer. Examples include celebrities, journalists, social media sensations, bloggers and micro-influencers.
Why you should invest in working with influencers?
Your network determines your net worth. This is an old adage that many successful entrepreneurs swear by.
When you align yourself with a digital influencer, you’re giving yourself major cool points. People love to associate with people or things that are popular.
Think back to your high school days. Who didn’t want to be associated with the cool kids?
But I’m sure you’re not so much concerned with cool points, as you are with your financial bottom line.
The reality is that no matter how many times you toot your own horn, it won’t have the same effect as someone else doing the bragging for you.
According to Nielson’s Global Trust and Advertising Report, 92% of consumers trust the recommendation of products from friends and family over the actual brand itself.
But if this isn’t convincing enough, here are some other reasons why you should consider working with an influencer.
- Build brand trust – People don’t trust products, they trust other people. Influencers should be a top choice for promoting your brand because people already trust them.
- Grow your following – It never hurts to get more followers. When a popular influencer gives your brand a shout out, your business is bound to get more followers as a result.
- Advertise for free or at a lower cost – Sure, you may not be able to afford a brand shout out from a celebrity, but you can cut a significant amount of cost by collaborating with smaller accounts.
How to find the right influencer for your brand?
A simple Google search or social media search will put you in contact with a plethora of influencers.
For example, if you’re looking for fashion bloggers, you can enter the keyword “top fashion blogs”, or search for #fashionblogger on social media. Alternatively, you can use influencer marketing tools such as Traackr, Buzzsumo, TapInfluence, or BlogDash.
Make sure you are selective about who you work with. You don’t want to use someone just because they have a huge following, especially if their following is not relevant to your brand, or their users aren’t engaged.
Be smart and strategic. You should thoroughly research them beforehand.
You may ask the following questions before choosing an influencer:
- What are things they like to talk about?
- Are their followers engaged?
- Do their core values align with your brand?
- What conversations do they start?
- Does their social media presence match your brand’s voice and style?
You need to take all of these things into consideration before choosing your influencer.
6 tips for working with influencers
You may already have a few people in mind that you’d like to collaborate with. If so, now is the fun part where you and the influencer can get creative with advertising.
Here’s 5 ideas to get you started.
1. Ad Space
Purchasing an advertisement from your influencer is quick, easy and effective.
You can find examples of this in the fitness world, when fitness influencers promote brands of fitness clothing and protein powders. These posts are usually accompanied with some sort of brand discount.
Check out this recent instagram post from hugely successful fitness trainer Massy Arias.
See how this post seems natural? She is showing enthusiasm, but also lists why she loves this product.
To her, it’s not just another protein powder. It’s organic and healthy for expectant mothers, which also is right now. She’s reaching multiple demographics. Finally, she ends her post with a discount, providing even more incentive for her followers to try the Tru supplements.
2. Blog Post
Blog posts are an excellent way to market your product.
There are many advantages to utilizing blog posting as a marketing option, but perhaps the biggest one is that it increases your visibility as a brand.
If you team up with a credible influencer who has a large audience, chances are your search rankings could go up and may show at the top search results using certain keywords. It’s an SEO dream.
The influencer can cut right to the chase, and create a blog post review about your product. Or they can do a full on tutorial, demonstrating step-by-step instructions of how your product or service works.
According to Inc.com, posts with visual content garner 650% more engagement than posts without.
This is demonstrated beautifully by bloggers at The Crafting Chicks. Their post about Disneyland is effective because not only are they plugging the brand, but they’re also giving tips that will help the consumer save time and money.
It’s not enough to simply talk about a product. A reader must come away from your blog feeling more informed than when they initially arrived.
3. Social Media Takeover
Social media takeovers are becoming increasingly more and more popular, especially with the addition of Facebook Live and Snapchat.
It’s also a great way to promote engagement with both loyal customers and new followers.
Have an influencer take over your account, posting pics and answering questions from your followers.
A great takeover experience is fun and will leave a lasting impression on your followers.
One brand that has done this well is Capital One. They teamed up with popular influencers and had them post their favorite meaningful memories. Each post was accompanied with their created hashtag #walletstories.
Now if you look at #walletstories, you see plenty of other posters joining in on the fun. Users feel inspired, and Capital One gets more engagement. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Who doesn’t like to receive free stuff? Giveaways are always a fan favorite!
If you want to maximize your exposure, team up with multiple influencers on the same day.
Choose a product you’d like to generate some interest for, and have them mention that they’ll be giving away the product for free to one lucky person.
To be considered, users must use your branded hashtag or post about your brand. This is a cool way to introduce a new product, while generating social media buzz.
Tech influencer Andru Edwards recently teamed up with Xbox One S to do a giveaway. In fact, Andru is constantly doing giveaways to his 43,000 followers.
Twitter is a great place to do a giveaway for multiple reasons. Whenever people search for the hashtag #giveaway, they’ll see yours and instantly be directed to your page.
Also, followers can like, respond and repost any tweet they see that interests them, providing even more of an opportunity for brand visibility.
Everywhere you look, you see vloggers and bloggers giving their opinion on products and services in a variety of industries. Throw your name in the ring by teaming up with an influencer, who specializes in your industry.You pay them to review their product, and in return, they should give you a glowing review.
Be sure to work with people who are genuine, and not just out looking to make a buck. You want influencers to speak naturally, and not sound like they’re reading from a script.
They can only do this, however, if they are genuinely excited to use your product.
Beauty vlogging YouTube sensation Jeffrey Star demonstrated this with Kylielip kits.
Not only does Jeffrey speak passionately about the product, but he’s just plain entertaining to watch. He gives specifics about why Kylie lip kits rock, and also provides a clear demonstration.
In just a few short days, his product review video produced over 1 million views. Do you think Kylie is happy about that? You bet!
6. Gift The Product
If you’re looking for exposure, you could always gift a product to an influencer in your niche.
It’s important to note that since you aren’t paying this influencer, then you should have zero expectations about them mentioning your brand.
This is why it makes sense to target influencers who have actually used your product, or something similar, and posted about it before.
If they really love your product, the likelihood that they’ll be raving about their free gift is ultra high.
Beauty blogger @teamlouise_ is a huge fan of Kylie Jenner. We know this because she posts about her many times on her IG feed. She recently mentioned that she was enjoying her new lip liner from Kylie Cosmetics. She hashtags the product, and also directs people to her blog.
Do we know that this product was gifted to her? No. But that’s exactly how it should be. An advertisement shouldn’t scream gift because, let’s face it, that’s a bit tacky.
A well-promoted product should seem effortless. Regardless of if it is a gift or not, Kylie Cosmetics is gaining mass exposure. Louise will likely be receiving a free product any day now, if she hasn’t already!
There’s one last point that needs to be addressed.
While it’s imperative that you educate influencers about the product, you should take the time to build a genuine relationship with them, and allow influencers the space to be creative.
They bring a tremendous amount of value, and may have interesting ideas about how to advertise your product.
Like any other relationship, they should be treated with respect. You want the experience to be mutually beneficial for all.
Have you used a social media influencer before? If so, comment about your experience below.
Guest Author: Pauline Cabrera is a digital strategist based in Toronto, Ontario. She help bloggers & businesses get noticed online using effective internet marketing strategies combined with web design, SEO + email marketing.