Grow Your Business with Influencer Marketing

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by Sophie Ross

on September 26,2016

How can you gain more visibility for your brand? You may have a domain up and running with SEO elements in place, or you may be about to build an amazing website, and whether you do business face-to-face or strictly online the importance of recruiting Influencers is universal. So let’s get you started on this process, shall we?


What are Influencers and why do we care about them?


  

Influencers are online personalities who have the power to affect the purchase decisions and other behaviors of our target market. So generally, these will be Social profiles and bloggers with large audiences that are pretty similar to or an exact match for the demographic we’re focusing on.


You can imagine that if you’re a local business and an Influencer who writes about great businesses in your city happens to endorse you to his fans, you will likely see a huge uptick in interest. Similarly, if you’ve developed an App that gets a thumbs up from someone with an engaged tech audience numbering 50,000+, expect some downloads and income as a result of his tweets.


How to get started


Let’s be clear – you’re not going to “do Influencer marketing” in an afternoon (unlike our superfast DIY website software!). This is a long, steady buildup to what will pay you huge sustained dividends if you take the time to do it right. But now is the time to start, and if you break the process into baby steps you will see the payday.


Scope out the scene


Identify who really is an accessible Influencer for your brand. If you’re going for Jeff Bezos you’re probably going to fall short, so pick people with whom you have a better chance. Things to consider:



  • Follower base – big is good, but there is such a thing as too big. Millions of followers can often mean a broad audience with unfocused and irrelevant interests. Katy Perry is not going to help you sell auto parts. Even if she wanted to, her recommendation might not be perceived as an informed endorsement.
  • Relevance – as hinted above, a highly-interested niche audience is going to make you more sales than a giant pool of disinterested folks
  • Engagement – Do your prospective Influencers personally comment on the posts they share? Do their audiences reply, retweet, and appear to take action based on the Influencer’s endorsements? Tools like BuzzSumo and PeerIndex can save you some time in your research.
  • Accessibility – using the 3 attributes above, now group potential allies into categories based on difficulty, ultimately picking the Influencers who provide the best chances for success


Build some credibility


Start following your Influencers with all of your Social profiles, share their content, reply to posts, and ask thoughtful questions. Comment on their blog posts, and start following the people your Influencers follow. But don’t just stalk them, keep sharing other good content. If you’ve chosen the right level of Influencer you will get the occasional “thank you”, retweet, or reply. Once you’re seeing those signs of success it’s time for the next stage…


Approach


Ask them what they think of your User Guide, video, Whitepaper, How-to, blog post, or any other creative you have. You may get a result with no additional prodding. 

But if not, and the timing seems right, then be straightforward with what you’re attempting. They won’t appreciate feigned friendship but Influencers do understand how the game is played. Be respectful and focus on what you can do for them. You may have to compensate them for their assistance, but this can be anything from a freebie, to coffee, to a guest post on your blog – in some cases it may take money. 


Capitalize on success


When you finally get some action don’t let it fade quickly. Re-post your Influencer’s endorsement to your own audience, and schedule it for repeated exposure over time. Be sure to thank the Influencer for the review or mention. If it’s appropriate get a quote on your website as a testimonial! 


Grow the relationship


You’ve put a lot of time into gaining this credibility so continue what has been working. Take things a step further by providing your Influencers their own coupon codes to attribute sales made from their efforts, and even set them up as affiliates if you can – that way they know every action can put money in their pockets.

Identify new candidates based on what you’ve learned about Influencer behavior so far in your vertical, and continue the process.


You can see that with the investment of time and effort you can amplify your content, offers, and overall brand awareness to new audiences that are highly engaged and ready to take action!

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