It’s now difficult to find successful brands on social media that didn’t work with influencers. We’re confident in saying that right now while you’re reading this companies are actively seeking influencers, people who are trusted authorities in their niches. Finding influencers and involving them in your marketing process is called influencer marketing. Businesses are doing this because data shows it works.
Influencers derive power from their followers’ trust. This trust comes from their authenticity, authority, and relatability. Brands lack these factors. Thus, it’s hard for them to make consumers trust them. They need other people to do their campaigns for them. This is why they look for influencers.
f you’re doing influencer targeting or influencer outreach, one of the challenges is getting social media influencers to be on your side. It’s hard. It takes doing your homework.
- Identify relevant social media influencers.
This is always how you begin influencer marketing. You have to look at the right people in your niche, but not all of them are suitable. For example, just because a guy in your industry is a specialist who blogs weekly and has 250,000 followers doesn’t necessarily follow that you can work with him. First, you have to see if his engagement is good. Second, you have to make sure he’s not your competitor. Third, you have to see if he’s working with your competitors. There could be other reasons why working with him isn’t going to do you any good. Look at these factors. If the coast is clear, well, then dock the ship.
- Examine their social media account.
This is an essential part of influencer targeting. You have to see if their content matches yours. You may not want to work with someone whose content isn’t relevant to your vision. They may also turn you down if your goals don’t match their social media practices.
- Reach out.
Influencer marketing is just unthinkable without reaching out. Nothing will happen if you wait for them to notice you as if you’re some special snowflake that landed gracefully on their lawn while they’re sipping their coffee. No, social influencers aren’t waiting for companies to look for them. They’re professionals. They blog. They have jobs. Maybe they run their own business. They are preoccupied. They won’t notice you unless you do something extraordinary. And oftentimes, you have to wave in front of them and say hi. It’s daunting at first, but don’t be intimidated by starting a conversation. Their popularity and status may make them seem untouchable, but most of them are nice people just like you and me.
- Keep engaging them.
Don’t just follow them. Like their posts. Write comments. Share their posts. Make your feedback stand out by writing with quality, offering your fresh insights, and pointing out salient points in their posts. You’re probably not just the only one trying to win them. Your competitors are trying to court them as well.
Start interesting conversations on their threads. Don’t just post comments for the sake of being noticed. Show your expertise, and you know what, you might just make heads turn. It’s a good way to catch the attention of some of their followers, too. Moreover, it’s a fine opportunity to make an influencer pay attention and tune in.
- Make your social channels interesting.
At some point, your indirect pokes might just turn your potential influencer’s head and make them look at what you got. So it makes sense to have a solid content pool from the get go. It’s easier for influencers to promote your brand if you already have good content at the outset.
- Build your own authority.
You can’t be an expert in your niche, but you can offer information that no other person in your niche has ever offered. Your fresh insights and experiences are valuable not only to your audience but also to authorities in your niche. As you keep building your social media and web content, you become that little hub of information for your followers. When the social influencers you’re courting notice your body of work, they may just refer their audiences to you as a source of alternative or supplementary content.
- Make it easy for them to work with you.
Very few people are that generous that they will spend a day trying to help someone they don’t personally know. Respect your influencer’s time. Be considerate of their resources. Make tasks easy for them. You’re the one asking favors. You need them more than they need you, so make the collaboration as facile for them as possible. Make outlines and plans clear. Prepare the materials. Do the heavy lifting. Remember, this is for your brand, not theirs.
- Don’t be a moocher.
Just because an influencer agreed with you doesn’t mean you can abuse the favor. Remember, influencer marketing involves building relationships. It’s not enslaving your influencer and asking them favors every now and then like an attention-seeking parasite. You see, they are not tied to you. They can sever ties with you when they feel that you’re abusing their generosity.
- Treat social influencers who collaborate with you like your friends.
Influencer marketing fails when you employ it solely as a tactical measure. Disregarding its human component is a plan waiting to fail. It’s marketing. It’s for brand awareness. You just want to increase sails. Sure. But along the way you’re dealing with people. In between your projects, you keep your connection by having meaningful personal conversations, because sometimes it’s not just about business. Respect their personal beliefs and interests. Respect their time.
- Check results.
Eventually, you have to see if working with an influencer is increasing brand awareness and sales. After all, what’s the point in putting much of your influencer marketing budget on this endeavor if it’s not giving you the results that you want. This is when you decide whether you keep marketing with the influencer or put your resources elsewhere.
- Keep the connection.
Supposing you decide to no longer collaborate with the person, keep the connection or friendship. These are people you’re dealing with, and you don’t know how much offense you’re doing by suddenly breaking ties and turning your back on them. You used their time. You used their influence. It’s just proper to still be grateful. It’s not their fault if your influencer marketing strategy failed. Besides, you don’t know when you might need them again.
If there’s one thing we want to impart to you it is the fact that we’ve learned through years of being in this industry. Influencer marketing is a long-term commitment, not an overnight affair. Like most types of marketing it requires time. Let us know if we can help you.