Social media has made lives easier for entrepreneurs and companies. Or has it?
As more people are launching their brands online, the competition grows steeper by the day, hence the need for more creative ways of promoting products and services. Ask any marketer what the real challenge is these days, and they will most likely tell you it is capturing new audiences. That’s an important step in marketing. You have to attract an audience, who ideally will become your customers.
Well, you can promote your new lipstick line or your hiking gear to your Facebook friends, and you can probably get a few inquiries if you’re lucky. It’s hard to market your products on your own because people will naturally think you’re just saying good things about your products so that you can sell them. Frankly speaking, the average consumer is blind and deaf to overt brand promotion. Even you don’t pay attention to commercial breaks, right?
Before you can attract an audience, you have to win their trust first. How do you do that? Well, you can wait for people to come to your shop to buy your products and hope they tell other people how good your goods are. That takes years.
The faster way is to work with someone whose opinion is trusted by a large group of people. That someone is called an influencer.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is simply a Facebook user, Instagram personality, or YouTuber with a large number of followers or subscribers. Anyone can be an influencer. A celebrity may be an influencer. A seasoned blogger who is an expert in his niche is an influencer. A mom who posts cooking videos on YouTube and has built significant subscriber base is an influencer as well. That’s because her subscribers trust her. Her audience tune in to her for unbiased advice, tips, or opinion.
However, average people with much less follower count than celebrities or bloggers are becoming an important part of the game. We call them micro-influencers.
That cooking mom with over 25,000 subscribers may well be called a micro-influencer, and she has a more intimate relationship with her audience than a superstar with over a million followers.
So what is influencer marketing?
In a nutshell, influencer marketing is having influencers promote your brand in creative and meaningful ways. When an influencer features your brand, he is in effect promoting your brand overtly or implicitly to his audience. It can be as overt as asking his audience to try the product or as passively as simply wearing or using your product without telling his followers to try it. This works because consumers don’t want to hear from you about your brand. They want to hear from people they trust, and it so happens that they trust that guy or girl who’s wearing your T-shirt or wearing your perfume line.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
More people get to know your brand.
More people talk about your brand.
More people tend to buy your products because they see someone they trust using it.
The influencers do the talking for you. You don’t have to promote your brand.
You can take advantage of an influencer’s post about your product.
But first let’s get to know how to use influencers for marketing. Remember that influencers create content for their audience. Thus, they may well be called content creators. They’re probably not the best writers or the best photographers out there, but their content resonates well with their people. Now, there are millions of content creators around the world. There could be hundreds or thousands of people you can tap in your niche. But can you reach out to the right ones?
Finding the right influencers for your brand
Two thirds of marketers have difficulty finding the right content creators. The challenge is finding the relevant people with organic followers. That means their content matches your brand and their followers are real people, not paid users and certainly not fake accounts.
This is where influencer marketing tools can help you. Human judgment alone cannot precisely identify the right people for the job, but a software can help.
Connecting with influencers
Once you’ve made a shortlist, it’s time to think how to use influencers on social media to broadcast your brand to a larger audience. In most cases, you will have to make the first move. You don’t have to message them with an upfront offer. You can start subtly, like sharing their posts on your account or commenting on one of their posts. This old approach takes weeks or even months, because you have to build rapport with them.
Influencer marketing platforms, however, expedites the process of connecting with influencers as long as they are already on the platform. Many influencers have signed up on platforms to meet brands so that they can earn compensation and expand their audience as well. And they are ready to work with brands.
On linkr, for instance, all you have to do is set up a campaign brief and tell us what you need, and our platform shall do the matching for you. You can then start communicating with your selected content creators to start working on your campaigns.
Whether you’re meeting influencers on a platform or somewhere else, one thing you need to remember about working with them is it’s not supposed to be a one-off deal. While single campaigns are okay for certain situations, keeping influencers for a long time is better for sustained brand awareness and trust.
Communication and compensation are two important keywords to remember when keeping good relationships with content creators. You should communicate with them as often as possible, especially during setting up campaigns, on important times of their lives, or on days when the cooperations pay off.
You should also compensate them for their creative work. There are different ways to compensate influencers. You can send them gifts or freebies. You can sponsor products for a period of time. You can send them a reasonable fee for their work.
Measuring the results
Any type of marketing should be analyzed and measured to see if resources are being funneled into useful initiatives. More importantly, you want to see if what you’re doing is working. Assessing your marketing campaign provides you necessary information that will guide your future strategies. For instance, you can fine-tune an influencer marketing campaign to make the process more cost-effective.
Measuring the results of your influencer campaign is not that easy. Beginners often make a mistake of simply looking at likes and follower count without looking at more important metrics, such as unique visitors, interactions, and conversions. linkr makes monitoring the success of your influencer campaigns easier.
Are you still wondering how to use influencer marketing for your brand? Get started with your first campaign today. Sign up for free now!