You’ve probably heard the terms “social media influencers” or “Influencer Marketing” before. However, you may not be familiar with what these terms are referring to, why it’s important and how it relates to YOU. So, we put together a little introductory guide to help you get a better understanding of Influencer Marketing! (That’s just how much we care!) Read on for Influencer Marketing 101!
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is advertising to or collaborating with influential individuals who have an influence over A LOT of potential customers. An influencer is highly active on the web and on social media platforms. They usually have a large following of people who listen to their recommendations. Influencers drive people to buy products they love and often become brand ambassadors or promoters.
Why does your business or brand need Influencers?
Do you want highly targeted exposure to the right kind of customers? (The answer, by the way, is “yes!”) These days, customers trust reviews more than they trust brands. Word of mouth spreads across the internet and if someone they know is spouting out criticism, it is likely they will not trust that brand.
Traditional marketing methods like print ads and billboards are failing now. The rise of the internet and social media has proven that people really want to listen to other people. With all of the information in the world at their fingertips, people like to research first.
Tapping into this new method of marketing is crucial for businesses everywhere! Finding the right influencer and collaborating with them can bring more followers, more engagement and ultimately more customers. And the best part of the influencer? Their followers already TRUST them. Anything they say, do, or buy… their followers will want to follow suit!
What can influencers do for you?
Now it doesn’t matter if the influencer has 10 million followers… if they are not in your industry or have any business talking about your product or brand… their followers will not listen! It is important to find the RIGHT influencer for your brand.
Influencers can generate more content for your product and advertise it to their followers. They can post contests that will generate buzz about a new product. They can also influence the buying decisions of their followers.
The opportunity doesn’t end with the influencer! Each one of their followers also has their own network of friends and family that they speak to. And yes... customers, just like influencers, are all still PEOPLE, and people love to give their opinion!
How to get started?
RESEARCH! Find your true audience. Stalk your social feeds and check on your insights or reports to try and narrow your audience down to ONE specific ideal person. This person represents who your customers are. Find out what their traits are, their likes and dislikes and what they like to read or see. The more you narrow that down, the more specific your ads can be and it will be easier to find the influencers that you want.
Find Influencers! An easy way to get started is finding out what hashtags your audience likes to use most. For example, if you are a restaurant based in Orange County, look for hashtags like #ocfoodies or #orangecountyfood and see what the “Top Posts” are for that hashtag. You will be able to find influencers who have large followings. If your business is still small, then start small first! Reach out to Micro Influencers who have a smaller following of 5K to 10K. It will be much easier to get these people to take notice of you than someone with 500K followers. Once you generate enough buzz among the “smaller” influencers, the larger ones will take notice!
Reach out, collaborate and start relationships! It may seem daunting at first to just reach out to a stranger, but just be honest, personal and kind. These people are passionate about the same things you are, so they should be interested in what you have to say! You could send them a message as simple as…“Hi [name], I really love your Instagram account! I own a restaurant in Orange County, and I think you and your followers would love to check it out! Please accept this free meal coupon to try our food some time!”
Maintain engagement! Now that you’ve reached out and hopefully gained some new reviews from influencers, make sure you are maintaining your engagement! Like and reply to every comment, welcome new followers and engage with other influencers on their accounts. The constant conversations on social media shows your followers and future customers that you care and that you are available to talk when it matters!
Want to learn more? You can find more tips and tricks like these here.
If you would like to talk to us about how Influencer Marketing could help YOUR business, feel free to reach out! We’re nice to chat with… we swear!