Social media influencers have become important entities for digital and new age marketers. They wield considerable sway on their followers and make them aware of your brand. It leads to organic search and lead generation for your product. In return, influencers expect monetary compensation, incentives and some even work for free samples of your product.
Sometimes, creating powerful content doesn’t automatically guarantee success. You will still have to put in efforts to popularize it and make the target audience consume it. That is not always easy when you are starting out or you have a small company and a limited budget. You will need to create the right buzz and force people to sit up and take note. How can that happen? Influencer marketing is one good way in which you can grab attention, create brand awareness and also build credibility.
Unfortunately, since the concept is still new, many entrepreneurs and even top level executives don’t understand this new channel of marketing properly and hence don’t know how to determine the return on their investment. It is true that you have to give the influencers with whom you work enough creative independence to make the relationship blossom but that leads to problems. You will need advanced tools and software that can track returns and which can do a thorough impact study on multiple digital platforms that the influencer uses. However, that is easier said than done.
Why is influencer marketing successful?
Probably the biggest reason for the rise of influencer marketing is that it is totally non-disruptive to browsing and doesn’t rudely intrude into your privacy unlike advertisements. The target can pull the messages whenever he wants to and can interact at his own convenience.
Moreover, he can get clarifications throughout the sales cycle and have detailed discussions with other members of the community i.e. other followers of the influencer. This increases trust in the brand and you can easily leverage the reach of the influencer to get hold of prospects who may otherwise be discrete and scattered over a wide area. You will also get links to your website and create a buzz that helps websites to increase the domain authority of your site.
How to have a fruitful working relationship with a social media influencer?
1) Build a rapport with the influencer before approaching him with your offer: You need to select the influencers based on whether their values, style of pitching and the content they create align with your vision and your brand voice. If that is not the case, an influencer may not feel enthusiastic about your brand and only promote it perfunctorily. That won’t help create excitement among his followers about your brand or new product. Once you shortlist an influencer, try to build a solid rapport. Comment on his posts, offer useful insights, get feedback and also share, re-tweet and repost his content. That gives a different perspective to your own followers and fans as well. Having a rapport pre-approach makes life easier for both sides.
2) Create a partnership: Make life easy for the influencer. Apart from the financial compensation that you offer, give him frequent gifts. Sponsor his content and his contests that will help you to capture the attention of the followers whom he is engaging. Make him feel like a partner. He will be more responsible towards the brand. Share his content and posts and help promote his own brand through other channels, if possible.
3) Educate influencers with your brand: Discuss in great detail about your brand, the image or voice that you want to project and take feedback. If you are planning on promotional events, ask for his valued opinion as well because that would give him ownership and get organically involved. Invite them to seminars and send them to industry meets or trade fairs so that he can come back and talk about it with his followers and give you credit subtly. Followers don’t always want to hear about products and their features. They are interested in the everyday aspects of business also.
Working with a like-minded influencer can be a positive and pleasant experience and more often than not brings good results. Hence, you should make an effort to build up a healthy relationship with an influencer you are working with.