Since its emergence, marketing has always been evolving for the better. Marketers are exploring new ways to boost business growth by utilizing advanced marketing tools which are the result of changing technology. Each era has seen its own generation of marketing methodologies. Marketing has grown from reaching customers door-to-door to reaching their fingertips, all thanks to continuously evolving technology.
One of the most effective methods of digital marketing which has emerged off-late is Influencer Marketing. Businesses, small, medium-scale, and large, utilize this new form of marketing to boost business growth.
What is Influencer Marketing and Who is An Influencer?
As the term suggests, Influencer Marketing is about influencing a group of target customers to win their trust on a specific business. Enterprises collaborate with influencers to engage their customers, with the primary aim being spreading brand awareness and increasing conversions.
An influencer can be anyone who has a substantial number of followers and so possesses the power to impact purchase decisions due to his or her influence.
According to Jess Estrada, digital strategist, blogger, and influencer:
“Influencers are people with significant networks (followers, readers, etc.) who can speak to a broad range of products and services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor.”
Is Influencer Marketing More Effective Compared to Other Marketing Channels?
Influencer Marketing is gaining huge popularity not only due to its effectiveness but also due to its affordability. Even a small business can gain from the benefits it has to offer instead of waiting for funds to accumulate to finance their marketing campaign.
The below image clearly depicts that influencer marketing is considered as more rewarding than other channels.
So, if influencer marketing is so fruitful for your business, let’s look at the step by step way of utilizing this novel way of digital marketing to transform business results.
– For ease of understanding, this post has been divided into two parts:
A. Find and Engaging with The Right Influencer
B. Utilizing Them to Increase Brand Awareness
A. How Do I Find the Right Influencers and Engage with Them?
1. Finding the Right Influencer(s):
The first step is to find the right social media influencer which has considerable influence in your business niche or on your target customers. It is not obligatory that a celebrity can only be the right influencer for your business. There are smaller influencers who have a huge group of followers, in hundreds of thousands though not 1 million.
If you are a small business, you can find influencers with a number of followers ranging from 10k to 100k. Once you have finalized on the type of social media influencer, based on the number of followers, you wish to collaborate with, it’s time to find the right one.
Following are two of the major ways through you can find the right social media influencer:
- Popular social media platforms: Be alert to brand mentions. Social media monitoring or listening tools, including Hootsuite and Simply Measured, can help you trace influencers who keep mentioning about you or your business segment. They can help you find influencers who are talking about you. For instance, if someone has posted kitchen tools and you deal in them, then you can collaborate with them.
- Hashtag Search: Searching for hashtags relevant to your brand can help you in finding influencers who are apt for your business niche. For instance, you can easily find influencers by searching hashtags related to your brand and find influencers who are using them, as shown in the image below. You can then collaborate with them for spreading your brand awareness and improving conversions.
2. Connecting/Engaging with The Influencer:
The next step, once you have finalized on a few influencers for your brand marketing campaign, involves contacting the influencer and collaboration with him/her. Approach them in a personal way before mentioning about your campaign. Start following them on social media and make meaningful and genuine comments on their posts to show your appreciation. If possible, share their posts.
3. Draft a proposal:
Create a winning proposal once you have assured yourself about the influencer by following their posts. You should include the following in your proposal:
- Who you are?
- Which channel or platform helped you find them?
- Why you are contacting them?
- What is your offer?
- How they can contact you further?
At this stage, you need not go into the specific details of your offer. However, it should have substantial details to elicit a response.
For a 5-star proposal, don’t forget to include a call-to-action at the end of your email.
As social media influencers receive a huge number of messages on a daily basis, it may be possible that your message may not receive a timely response. After a couple of days, send a follow-up mail to know about their thoughts. Remember, you may have to send 2-3 follow-up emails, but don’t let that discourage you about this innovative way of marketing.
B. How Can I Implement Influencer Marketing to Transform My Business Growth?
Now that you can found an influencer for promoting your brand, it’s time to look at what needs to be done next.
1. Design a Marketing Campaign:
Once you and your influencer have agreed to a proposal and have joined hands to work together, it’s time to run a planned marketing campaign. Following are the steps you need to follow to design a campaign.
- Establish the purpose or aim of the campaign – Increased Sales, Brand Awareness, Leads, Engagement, or Followers?
- Any specific products/services you want to especially cover
- If the influencer is having huge followers on more than one platform, decide the platforms you will utilize to run your campaign on.
- Decide the frequency of your posts.
- Arrive at the time period, if any, for running the campaign
- Analyze similar campaigns run successfully by competitors
2. Empower Your Influencer:
Once you and your influencer have mutually decided the various aspects of your marketing campaign, it is time to infuse creativity into your influencer by giving them the desiderata to move ahead. You should trust that your influencers can totally understand their audiences and what makes them engage more. This lets them create content impactful and authentic content which can influence the target customers.
Influencers have unique talent to depict your brand naturally into their posts. This makes it important for you to give them the creative freedom they need to engage the audiences and attract them towards their business.
3. Ensure Availability:
Always be available to your influencer to solve their doubts or queries regarding the functioning or use of your products and/or services. This helps them understand your product better and present it in the right light. Your response depicts your seriousness and encourages them to make more efforts to promote your brand.
4. Revise Content:
Giving creative freedom to your influencers doesn’t imply that you leave the reins totally in their hands. You should regularly check on the content they are sharing with their followers to promote your brand or achieve your campaign goals. Analyze how your content fits into the larger picture. Keep an eye on how your campaign is progressing. Take a note of the questions asked in the comments and whether they are responded to.
Though the influencer knows the best and has complete knowledge about your niche, it is important for you to keep a tap on emerging issues or updates related to your specific industry. This way you get to not only reach out the target audience at the right time but also judge the effectiveness of your influencer.
5. Weigh the Outcome:
Once the campaign has been run by your influencer marketer for the time period, decided at the time of framing the campaign, has elapsed, it’s time to measure its effectiveness and outcomes. Analyzing certain influences or results you achieved during the campaign can help you arrive at a clear judgment. Following are some of the considerations to be made to measure its outcome:
- Posts that performed the best
- Posts that didn’t achieve the expected results
- Engagement levels achieved for different posts
- Comments received on posts
- Conversions/sales received during the campaign period
- Increase in the total number of followers on that specific social media platform
- Website visitors received through links mentioned in the influencer posts
Based on the outcome of the campaign, you can decide whether to continue with the influencer or to find a new one to run a campaign after a few days.
Provided you collaborate with the right influencer, you can achieve success with your influencer marketing campaign. Always work with mutual respect and have an appreciation for the efforts they are putting in to promote your business. Even after the campaign has been completed, stay in touch with them and offer them freebies as this will inspire them to mention your brand in their content.
Have you ever considered running an influencer marketing campaign for your business? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.
Ankit Patel is a Marketing/Project Manager at XongoLab Technologies & PeppyOcean, which are offering top-notch web and mobile app development solutions globally. As a hobby, he loves to write about new & upcoming technology, mobile & web technologies, business & marketing, and development & design tools. His articles have been seen on TechTaget, SmallBizDaily, JaxEnter, Social-Hire, TorqueMag and many more platform.