5 Key Steps for Effective Influencer Marketing
While the concept of influencer marketing might seem new, it has been around for years. The recent increase in popularity can be attributed to a combination of the rise of social media as well as reduced credibility of traditional advertising with younger demographics. All the top web development companies understand the value of a good influencer marketing program, which is why we wanted to share our 5 Key Steps for Effective Influencer Marketing.
After all, if you are going to take the time and energy to engage in a task for your business the results should be effective.
What is Influencer Marketing?
The term ‘influencer marketing’ is defined as marketing where the focus is on influential people rather than the standard target market. The individuals utilized in turn have an influence over potential customers in the standard target market and are the ones who then promote goods and services to that group.
Generation Y (millennials) and Z both have proven to be less interested in engaging with traditional marketing formats but are more likely to follow recommendations from family, friends, and people they trust. That is one reason why influencers have become much more viable over the past few years.
An important thing to understand about influencer marketing is that it isn’t about popularity. People with large social media followings aren’t always influential; they are just popular. Influencing requires the ability to impact others to get them to do something either by changing their thinking or behavior.
Good influencers have a combination of factors that allow them to be effective:
- Reach – The ability to deliver a message to numerous people is critical. Prior to the internet explosion influencers were defined based on the readership of their print publication or number of viewers on their radio or television shows. Oprah is a classic example of an influencer with her book club which has touched millions of people. Now reach is often measured by social followers for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
- Credibility – A good influencer has a degree of trust with their audience and credibility. This can be based on knowledge and authority of a specific subject or simply based on trust of the person. Oprah is a prime example of an influencer based on her success and personality rather than authority on a subject while Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame have authority with home renovation and decoration.
- Salesmanship – Ultimately an influencer must be able to sell your products or services. Depending on the platform or product this can be accomplished in many ways. Some people have an ability to convince others of their point or view. In other cases, they have built trust with their audience enough that the audience now has faith in their recommendations.
5 Steps for Effective Influencer Marketing
First and foremost, any marketing campaign needs to start with clear goals. What is it you want to achieve? How will you measure those results? Which business metrics will you monitor to determine the success of the campaign? Once you have completed that task you can move on to these 5 steps:
- Define your audience – Who is your target customer? From there you can understand who are the people that impact and influence how they discover new products or services, evaluate them, and then decide to purchase or use them.
- Find the right influencers – Not every influencer produces and shares content the same way. You need to find people who can impact your business and have an ability to influence your target audience’s decision-making process.
- Follow the influencers – Once you have found potential influencers you need to follow them, get to know what they do, the topics they write or talk about, things they share, how their audience interacts with them, and questions their audience asks them. It is important to learn if there will be an opportunity to promote your brand.
- Build a relationship – You need to take the time to get to know the influencers you want to work with. This can start simply by following their various channels. As you get to know them you can build trust and then plan ways you work together for mutual benefit.
- Provide guidelines to influencers – It is important to provide guidelines about the type of audience you want to reach, voice to be used, messaging and the like. But, once that is done it is imperative to step back and let the influencer create the content. You need to trust that they understand their audience and the best way to engage and promote to that audience. Creative freedom is often a very important aspect for an influencer when they decide to work with a brand.
Important Tips to Remember
- The goal is advocacy – The best practice for this type of marketing is honesty. An influencer should speak about your products or services not because they are being paid to, but because they want to. That means at some level they either believe in what you have to offer, your company mission, or they find your business interesting and useful for their followers. Otherwise they are just another actor lending their name and appearance/voice for any car or fast food company that pays them enough.
- Focus on interests and passions – Influencers can cross over standard demographic lines because things people are interested in or passionate about don’t fit in a specific age, gender, or other demographic box.
- Influencers do expect compensation – The good influencers expect competitive compensation which is fair because they have spent time and energy to build their own brand. In some cases, free products or services are sufficient compensation for an influencer depending on the value such as when gaming personalities partner with the custom PC builder NZXT and receive a customized computer.
- Always measure results – Each relationship should be tracked from the start to understand how they each translate into leads, mentions, sales, etc. based on what they do. There are plenty of tools out there that can help measure influencer marketing campaigns such as NeoReach.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that influencer marketing is a very valuable tool in today’s world. By leveraging reach and credibility you can connect with your target audience in a different way, which can create awareness and action along with an improved perception. If you are looking to dive into this method, our 5 Key Steps for Effective Influencer Marketing will help make sure that you are doing it the correct way from the get go.
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