According to The Shelf, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people (even if they don’t know them personally) over promotional content that comes directly from brands.

It's time to consider how you can get influential people to talk about you.  

What Is Influencer Marketing?

“Influencer marketing is a marketing style that focuses on using influential people to share a brand’s message with their chosen audience.” Social Chain.

Primarily, influencers act as a mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers. An endorsement from an influencer has the power to drive traffic to your site, amplify your message across social media platforms, and even directly sell your product through their recommendation.

Audience First

Since your ultimate goal is to convert your website visitors into customers, it’s only logical to build your marketing strategy around what interests them. This means first focussing on getting to know your audience and then anticipating how they might react.

It will also help you figure out which influencers your audience will follow and the type of content they engage with. Checking out appropriate blogs, articles, tweets, YouTube channels and forums will also provide valuable insights.

Then Influencers

We know that people are more inclined to value the opinions of other people (in this case influencers) instead of those of a company because they are considered more genuine. Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is deciding what kind of influencer will best serve your specific campaign.

There are many factors to consider when choosing your influencer such as the tone with which you want to convey your message and the image you want to portray for your brand. Depending on your niche, you may require an influencer that has the ability to get your audience to take action.

In deciding upon which influencer or perhaps influencers best suit your campaign objectives, you must be clear about what those objectives are. What reach are you after? Is driving traffic to your website important? Or perhaps you wish to strengthen your social media presence? 

**Followerwonk is a brilliant tool from Moz. It allows you to search for keywords in Twitter user bios to find those with the most authority and largest reach.

Influencer Marketing in Practice

Take Apple as an example. When Apple have new products to launch, the first people they talk to are those who want to listen. The people who actively opt-in to hear their message.

These innovators and early adopters and care deeply enough about Apple to give up their time and watch a whole keynote presentation purely focused on Apple products. For Apple, it makes much more sense to talk directly to influencers who care, rather than push a message out to the mass market directly.

After the annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) has finished, Apple knows their message and news about their new products will reach the masses through content produced by journalists and social influencers.

When you think about marketing your business, try to think about the innovators and early adopters within your target audience: Who sincerely cares about the problem your product or services solve? Who can you speak to that will really listen?

Understanding why influencer marketing can help you drive sales and increase your brand awareness isn’t enough, you need to know how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy to complement both your on and offline efforts.

Here are 5 influencer marketing ideas to give you a little inspiration:

1. Discount Codes and Affiliate Marketing

If your goal is to specifically drive sales, your campaign needs to incentivise both the consumer and the influencer. Encourage the consumer to purchase with an effective call to action accompanied by an exclusive discount code, make it too good to refuse.

Influencers love passive income. Adding an affiliate link to enable brands to attribute sales directly to their campaign and pass on commissions earned from sales as per the influencer arrangement can really get the influencer behind your product/service.  

It’s important to remember though, Affiliate Marketing only works when the influencer and their audience is a good fit with your brand and there is a lot of engagement on their social platforms.

Discount Code

2. Ambassador Roles

Similar to celebrity endorsements, long-term ambassador roles have the potential to transform a brand's image.

If you have trialled influencer marketing before and discovered a particular influencer who really resonates with your brand and target market, why not engage them in a more long term campaign and see if the momentum builds from the original engagement.

A real plus with working with long term Ambassadors is that during the collaboration period, the influencer will not promote competing brands. It also appears more authentic and genuine when an influencer supports a brand that they actually love over a period of time, rather than a week of the one off campaign.

3. Competitions and Giveaways

Collaborating with an influencer to host a competition can be very effective in increasing your brand awareness, exposure and reaching new followers and potential customers.

A competition gets everyone involved, engaged and quite often, people make a purchases anyway, even if they don’t win for fear of missing out!

Competition

4. Social Media Mention

Influencers are super savy with their social media platforms and only mention brands, products or venues that they genuinely love or have a working relationship with.

To be featured on and influencers social media platform, it is best if you reach out to them first (email is best) and introduce your brand and how a collaboration might look.

It's worth thinking about gifting complimentary products and experiences in exchange for the mention or post. Ensuring the influencer has everything they need to fall in love with our brand will pay off for you.

As social media is a loud and chaotic space, its already tough for brands. A social media mention from an influencer tends to have the best results when paired with a complete collaboration (blog post, YouTube video or multi-platform campaign) to help it stand out from the crowd.

5. PR Stunt

A PR stunt can be a risky exercise as there is no guarantee your activation will generate the coverage and achieve the intended goals (brand exposure, email sign ups etc.) Having said that, if executed by the right team and at the perfect time, it can reap some big rewards.

Coverage is essential in a PR stunt. Its crucial that you research your audience and curate a list of target influencers who are a perfect fit for your brand and your campaign message. This will enable you to include them in the PR activation and increase your reach.

pr

Influencer Marketing isn’t just for big companies. If you know who you need to influence, and in what areas, and also what influencers fit your brand, then it can be a very effective way of increasing your online visibility, exposure and most importantly sales!

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