With every tweet, Instagram photo and Facebook post, the digital world is becoming a far more cluttered space. In turn, customers are cutting to the chase and going straight to trusted sources to get to the bottom of things: new trends, innovative ideas and trusted advice on what to buy. The power of influencer marketing is strong and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But the question remains – how can you, as a business, cut through this digital clutter and straight into the arms of the right influencer partnerships?
In line with this, here are five tips to cut through the clutter and kick off your influencer marketing efforts – PRONTO!
It’s often thought that celebrities are the ultimate influencers but truth be told, power is NOT always in numbers (or how many Twitter followers someone accumulates over time). In fact, going niche with your influencer partnerships can really pay off. Not only do these bloggers heavily target your customers, they also get your customers. They nurture relationships with their audience, leaving no customer behind. Ultimately, they also remain more loyal to YOU. It’s reported that 72% of influencers share additional posts about their sponsors for free well after the end of their contract. We call this the ripple effect. It’s no wonder that 54% of consumers also believe that the smaller the community, the bigger the influence. Now, we aren’t saying you should run after the smallest fry in town but aligning yourself with influencers that really get your brand and your customers is far more valuable than throwing out a sponsored post to an audience that’s large but also largely untargeted. Let’s just say, you won’t be paying Justin Bieber to promote your cloud software anytime soon. Your influencer marketing efforts will be successful if you can align yourself with quality bloggers that really convert to sales or at least inbound interest.
Influencer marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all kinda situation. Each influencer requires her own strategy. You can uncover this very easily by analyzing someone’s content and seeing what resonates with their audience. Once you’ve uncovered what works, give the audience what they want! If the blogger takes killer foodie photos that get serious Pinterest action, go for a visual content approach. If the blogger captivates her audience with long-form content, go for a rich post that dives deep into your subject matter. If vlogging is her thing and she has over 8 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, you best be taking advantage of that highly engaged audience.
Getting your brand featured on a blogger’s site is half the fun. But sharing that high quality content with your already-existing customers is equally lucrative. After all, you chose the influencer because she resonates with your audience. Chances are your customers would be equally engaged and excited to see the partnership in action. There are many ways you can share the love: creating email campaigns, publishing blog posts to cross-promote their content and of course, sharing the content on your social channels. Sharing the blogger’s high quality content not only makes you look good, it also shows you care about the partnership and are excited to work with them. That brings us to our next point…
If all goes well with the partnership and you’re happy with your return on investment, you should keep that awesome relationship alive. For starters, if you get in the influencer’s good books they will continue to evangelize for you well beyond the end of the partnership. Whether you want to work with her again or not, keeping the relationship alive will pay off in the long run. Support in the form of engagement and shares means you will be maintaining more than just fans, but allies as well.
There’s another kind of influencer marketing in town but it just doesn’t get enough credit. Your best customers are also thought of as your ‘brand evangelists’ because they live and breathe what you do and they’re ready to spread your awesome message far and wide (and for free, no less). So give your evangelists exactly what they want…awesome and shareable content. After all, if they love your brand, chances are their friends will too. And that means new leads for your business! Take Daniel Wellington, for example. The watch brand asks customers to tag their watch pics with #danielwellington for the chance to be featured on their Instagram page, boasting over 854,000 followers. They curate one photo per day and trust us, there are many to choose from. What’s so awesome here is that Daniel Wellington found a way to get their customers to create quality content for them. We’re all for that because it comes across as genuine and relatable. Besides, what social media aficionado wouldn’t want to be featured on a wildly popular Instagram page?
The digital space is a noisy one. How do you cut through the clutter and grab the attention of your customers? If you have any unique influencer marketing strategies, share them with us in the comments!
Lauren is Co-Founder of TheShelf.com, an influencer marketing platform that enables brands and agencies to connect with the most relevant influencers. They currently serve businesses in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, food and family space.