Ninja Tactics for Fast Growth: How to Approach Influencer Marketing & Get Results

Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most efficient and oldest forms of marketing out there. Research has shown that it affects 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. Logically, any person will trust a recommendation from a person they trust and respect than to any kind of advertising.

People have stopped looking at companies for recommendations as the most of the world has shifted to social media and instead they are looking at other consumers for recommendations. They are also taking advice from the personalities they are following on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms. All of these reasons are pointing that influencer marketing cannot be ignored and is happening right now. Advertising via influencers on social media opens up a huge world of possibilities for marketers. Through influencers, brands can connect and reach consumers more organically, directly and at a larger scale. Any message that is advertised through influencer will be amplified because of the trust and respect they possess in their follower’s eyes.

According to research, Americans are exposed to about 5.000 ads a day. This led to banner blindness, meaning that people are unconsciously tuning them out, plus many people are using ad blockers and paid services just to avoid ad-saturated media. Traditional advertising interrupts the people’s experience and that’s why native advertising works so much better because it’s an enjoyable experience for consumers.

As a matter of fact, Twitter has performed a research that showed that 49% of customers and consumers looked up a guidance from an influencer on social media, and 20% said that a tweet from an influencer motivated them to share their own product recommendation. An information that is very important for any marketer is that 40% of users on Twitter stated they had made a purchase after a tweet from an influencer. By using an influencer to get your message out there, you are lending credibility to your brand and making it so much easier to build trust with potential customers.

twitter influencers

What Is an Influencer?

An influencer is simply someone who has influence over others. A social media influencer is someone who exerts influence over social media. The original form of influencer marketing were the celebrity endorsements, but in this day and age even regular people can become an online celebrity with huge social media following. They are also promoting niches and brands.

A survey was performed of teens in the United States for Variety, and it found that YouTube influencers held 8 of the top 10 spots in a survey of influencers and thus outranking movie stars and musicians.

Why Does Your Brand Need Influencers?

It has been shown that consumers will more often trust a recommendation from a third party than from a brand. Influencers act as the mutual friend who vouches for your brand. When you properly utilize influencer marketing, you will greatly increase your social media exposure, drive traffic to your website, and get sales on your products through influencer recommendation or review. Outbound marketing is becoming less and less effective, which puts influencer marketing in the spotlight as currently one of the most effective and fastest ways to attract more clients and customers. Getting to an influencer before your competitor does and striking a deal with them can make a huge difference in the success of your brand.

A study done by McKinsey found that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising”. You can leverage the huge potential of word of mouth recommendations via influencers that their followers already respect and trust.

The world has shifted to social media and your brand should follow as reports indicate that 70% of brands will increase their social media spend this year. You can easily connect with consumers via social media and learn about their experience with your service or product. Social media is no longer an alternative to traditional media, is become an equal rival. Consumers are expecting brands to talk with them and seek entertainment and information rather than brands just selling to them.

Influencer marketing costs are currently an arbitrage, meaning that is cheaper than it is actually worth. If you get on it know, you’ll reap the benefits that later will most definitely be evaporated when everybody else realizes the potential of it. There’s a huge supply of influencers in every niche and market, but only a few people are utilizing them, which means that the cost of using an influencer in your marketing campaign I below its real value and that you’ll get a huge ROI.

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INFLUENCER MARKETING TRENDS

Trends have shown that 82% of people are more likely to trust and follow a recommendation from a micro influencer. This means that you should be focusing on finding smaller influencers and not only rely on big influencers to promote your brand. Big companies tend to go only for the most influential people in their market and ignore micro influencers, but that is not always the best route. You’d be surprised to see the results that a campaign from a smaller influencer can bring. It would be a good idea to try to find influencers that actually like or use your brand to make their endorsements and promotions real so their followers truly trust what they say.

micro influencers

If you want to have an edge over your competitors, you might want to build an influencer relationship management team as you should be treating them as well as your customers. The team should be doing outreach and build the relationship with influencers. If your goal is to work with the best influencers in your niche, then you’ll have to really carefully build and nurture the relationship with your influencers.

Something to keep in mind is that an influence might be even more valuable to an influencer than a big check from you, simply because an influencer is as valuable as the influence they have. If you have your own influence built around your brand and can bring that to the table, then you can offer an influencer the opportunity to tap into your networks and grow their influence even more. As your own influence grows over time, you’ll notice influencers will be contacting you for an opportunity to collaborate so you both can gain much from the deal.

INFLUENCER MARKETING BEST PRACTICES

Influencer marketing should be just another strategy that you are using to improve your brand reputation or to get more customers. This type of marketing is great for extending your reach and specifically targeting customers with your message. You can piggyback on someone else’s fame and follower base to segment your efforts in a way that was not possible if you would do it through your social media platforms.

Another way to collaborate with influencers is to boost credibility with their messaging on your own channels. You can do this by getting them to participate in posts and content that you post or share on your platforms.

social media platforms

When you first spot an influencer that you’d like to engage and collaborate with, you should start reaching out through content they are sharing. Chats on Twitter are a great way to do this, plus you can participate in conversations they are leading. If they are running a blog, you should read and comment on their blog posts as that shows that you are reading their content. After you’ve built some initial rapport, you need to create mutual value and not just focus on the value that influencer can bring to your brand. Creating a lasting and strong relationship requires that influencer also derives value from promoting your brand, not necessarily only in a form of money. You must figure out what is the value you can bring to the influencer and give him the perceived benefit of your partnership.

Influencer should be an obvious fit for your niche and ideally, you should find someone who’s content has a similar look and feel to your own. Also, having an appropriate and similar tone for the way you want to present your brand will make it easier for you to collaborate without creating a displaced feel in either’s social media posts.

WHERE TO LOOK FOR INFLUENCERS

 

Monitoring Social Media Channels

Brand advocates are one of the best influencers you can have. They are actively talking and mentioning how much they like you and what they write aligns with what your brand is all about. You can browse through your social media mentions about your brand to find advocates and influencers you didn’t realize you even had. Social media monitoring is very important as it allows you to spot people who advocate for the niche you are in. For example, someone may post a lot about fitness gear but not mention any brand in particular. You’d want to engage with them and try to expose your brand to their audience.

Google Alerts

You can use Google Alerts to create alerts for keywords referring to your brand to quickly find people who are writing content on topics in your niche. You can also create alerts for the mentions of your brand name so you can easily spot any potential advocates who are already in place.

google alerts

Identify The Hashtags

By researching the hashtags that particular influencers are using, you can quickly tune into all of the conversations revolving these hashtags and subjects. When you find influencers that you think are a good fit, just put them in a list on Twitter so you can follow them more effectively. You can also use tools like HootSuite to organize your Twitter channel. Don’t forget to thoroughly research the hashtags on Instagram as well!

hootsuite

Blogger Outreach

Is thought that bloggers are the most powerful influencers and this report from Technorati shows that 86% of influencers also run blogs. If you target bloggers, then you’ll find that they are almost always active on different social media platforms which just adds up to their influencing power and reach.

A simple way to find potential bloggers is by searching for blogs in your niche on Google and checking their blogs to see if they are writing posts about the topic that you are interested in. After you have a list of relevant bloggers, you can examine their social media information (such as their monthly unique visitors, the number of likes they have on their Facebook page, the number of followers on Twitter, etc.). There are several good tools that you can use to avoid manual sorting and finding information, and some of the best ones are Buzz Stream and BlogDash.

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HOW TO COMPENSATE INFLUENCERS

Compensating influences financially is not the only option, but it can be. Even if you are not giving them any money for their promotion, you can still make them feel rewarded and appreciated by doing some of the following:

  • Shout outs – you can share a post they wrote about you on your social media channels and that will get more traffic to their website or social media profile. Any kind of shout out, even a simple tweet, will do wonders.
  • Giveaway or discount – giving them a great product from your brand or a discount on your service will make them feel rewarded and motivate them to continue talking about you.
  • Financially – sometimes you’ll have to go with offering them money, but make sure beforehand that a promotion will come across as sincere and not just something they have to do because they were paid.
  • Commission – for more important influencers that are bringing you a lot of sales, you can even give them a commission from the sales for the customers they bring your way.

CONCLUSION

As you can see, influencer marketing is very useful and it can boost your brand and sales in a way that traditional marketing just can’t, and all of that just for a fraction of a cost. You’ve seen where it best fits into your overall marketing strategy and how you should incorporate this new and powerful way of reaching your target customers and consumers.

Micro influencers might be the best bang for your buck as it provides a good balance between reach and relevance. But, whatever strategy you decide to go with, be sure to explore all the options that influencer marketing has to offer.