Influencers can be a great option for brands with smaller budgets, and for individuals with a passion for their product or service. When working with these influencers, you can offer a nominal payment, gift your product or barter your services. It just takes thoughtfulness and foresight to ensure that you build up a relationship that benefits your brand.
How To Use Influencers To Build Your Digital Brand
Naturally, influencers are major players in the digital world. They get people interested better than almost any other advertising.
- 30% of consumers under 32 spend time on social media reading peer written content.
- 47% of US readers consult blogs to find new trends and ideas.
- 20% of women will consider buying products supported by their influencers.
The numbers don’t lie, influencers have a lot to offer.
Three Reasons to Use Influencers
With all of the different advertising options available, the question may come to your mind: ‘why use influencers?’ It is a good question.
Third-party influencers who have a strong reputation can add a lot of value to B2B companies and help you with a variety of marketing activities. For example, they can help you increase brand awareness, boost media impressions, engage with ideal customers, and build your social media following.
So why should you use influencers instead of different kinds of ads?
1. Most people use ad blockers
- In 2015, ad blockers were responsible for almost $22 billion lost in total revenue.
- Customers are targeted with ads from every angle, so they are now trying to skip or block out the majority of them.
- Influencer ads will blow past these blocks and reach your customers
2. Most people skip YouTube ads
- 69% of Gen Z avoids YouTube ads.
- While they are forced to watch the first 3-5 seconds, studies have found that they will immediately skip the ad after the allotted time.
- The likelihood of your YouTube ad reaching your demographic is low with those odds.
3. Celebrity Endorsements Aren’t Fool Proof
- According to a 2016 report, only 3% of consumers would consider buying something after seeing a celebrity tote it.
- In fact, consumers were 30% more likely to buy something if a non-celebrity influencer recommended it.
- Your influencer’s reach should mean much less than their relevance and actual influence in your target audience.
Four Ways Influencers Build Your Digital Brand
There are more benefits to using influencers than just avoiding ad traps. These individuals have a lot to offer your brand, these are just the big four.
1. Instant Audience
- Most influencers will already have thousands of followers. These viewers will be instantly made aware of your products just with one plug from your influencer.
- 49% of people say they seek recommendations from influencers before purchasing a product.
- Influencers are seen as more genuine than celebrities. This makes the level of trust from their audience very high, especially if they are part of a smaller, tight-knit community.
2. Expert Content Production
- Your influencer became popular because they knew what they were doing. They’ve had years to fine-tune their content production to make it successful for themselves.
- Using an influencer will give you access to all of their knowledge and expertise which will give you brand credibility among consumers.
- It helps your influencer to work with you to create new content and helps your brand reach a larger audience.
3. Better ROI
- Influencer created content can deliver up to 11x higher ROI than other forms of digital marketing.
- Brands that engage in influencer marketing often see a return of $6.50 for every $1 invested in their influencers.
- This type of advertising is a great option for brands with a limited budget because of the improved returns on their marketing campaigns.
Improved Search Rankings
- Google has continued to update its search algorithms, which has been great for a viewer but difficult for a business. Gone are the days when invisible text, keyword stuffing, and spam comments could give you a boost in visibility.
- With content creation, you can build organic links and leads through material that is engaging and relevant.
- You’ll be able to avoid trying to manipulate Google because of your newly improved reach.
How to Find a Good Influencer
One of the first things you want to do when scoping out potential influencers is to check their engagement. Look for influencers that are highly connected to their audience. These are the influencers that are most likely to inspire their audience to do something.
You’ll also want to monitor their exposure. The size of their following shouldn’t be the most important factor when choosing an influencer, however, it’s still something you’ll want to pay attention to.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the Social Intelligence Summit in Las Vegas. One of the speakers was Penny Baldwin, CMO at McAfee. Her stand-out moment was when she said, “80 percent of the Internet’s impressions are driven by just 6 percent of its users.” – Daniel Newman
When looking for someone to increase your brand awareness, you’ll also want to make sure that they are genuine themselves. An influencer that is constantly pushing products is unlikely to have a trusted following. They may come off as being paid for the promotion, which is not a view you want unless you are actually paying for the advertising.
The 3 Step Influencer Action Plan
If you know who you want to work with, the next thing you’ll want to do is get a plan together to start your business relationship. If you pay for every mention, it will quickly add up.
So get a plan together to work with your influencer instead of having them work for you.
Step1: Make an Introduction
Once you’ve found the influencers you want to work with, usually getting one big name and one smaller, more focused name is a good place to start, you’ll want to get in touch. There are several different ways to do this, and each one will need to be tailored to your influencer.
You could send an email. When doing this, you should compliment your influencer on something they’ve done recently to show that you have a genuine interest in their work.
You can also share your similar interests through a quick email. Perhaps, something like this:
I noticed that you shared a post by (name) on Twitter about “Title.”
I have a similar post that (same name) just shared on “Title.”
Here’s the post: [Link to post]
Just thought you might enjoy this post as well.
– Your Name
I also recommend doing the following:
- Share the influencer’s content on your own social media profile or posts.
- Post a review of one of your influencers products on your blog.
- Share a quote from your influencer on your social media.
- Leave a real and worthwhile comment on your influencer’s most recent post.
- Meet up at a networking event.
How you approach your influencer will really be determined by the individual. Your ‘big’ influencer may not monitor all their comments but might go to industry conventions. Your ‘small’ influencer may be more likely to notice a thoughtful post on their page.
Whichever technique you use should always be helpful and supportive. Everyone likes to hear nice things about themselves, and sharing your thoughts could be a great way to be noticed.
Step 2: Be Genuinely Helpful
You should always hope to have a mutually beneficial relationship with your influencer, even when you’re trying to leverage their social media success.
Making a habit of sharing your influencer’s tweets or Facebook updates is a nice way to tell your influencer that you’re looking out for them too.
Your influencer is doing you a big favor by featuring you. They may not need you to repost things, but by doing it in a genuine desire to help (no surface level smiles here) you’ll be able to create a relationship that can be taken to the next level.
Step 3: Prove Your Worth
At some point, you will have to prove your worth and the value of your product to your influencer. You’ll have to show how your product can solve your influencer (and their audience’s) problem.
This will still be an individual task. Your product will most likely impact your influencers and their audience in different ways. Take the time to figure out how your brand will be beneficial on more than just the surface level.
There’s no way to guarantee that your influencer will work with you (unless you’re willing to pay for a recommendation), even after you’ve followed these steps. Influencers are busy people too, and also have their own brand to look out for. Thus, it is important to do your research, look out for ways to be helpful, and always be ready to present the benefits of your brand.
Building a business relationship with an influencer can be a great benefit to your brand. By passing up ad traps, you’re more likely to get real exposure with your audience, and your influencers will already have a large audience to share with you.
A little courtesy and some genuine dialogue can go a long way towards building up a strong relationship with a great influencer.
Are you an influencer? If so, how do you like to work with brands?