Over the last few years, more and more companies have become quite intrigued with the idea of influencer marketing. The basic principle is an offshoot of your generic “celebrity endorser” strategy. This version is all about focusing your marketing efforts towards eliciting the interest of an influential person or company in your own brand or products. These influencers are generally highly regarded by their followers, and they seem a lot more genuine. If they do promote what you have to sell, then you must be offering a superior product. A real influencer is more than just a paid celebrity endorser.
Of course, you still have to pay that influencer’s services. But you’re paying for their genuine endorsement, and you also receive access to a particular type of audience. So how can you make sure that you’re doing right in your influencer marketing efforts? Here are 3 tips that can help you out:
Find the Right Influencer
What you need is someone who actually uses what you have to sell. This person should be considered an authority in the field and industry, so if they make it known that they’re using your products, then these products must be good. After all, a known expert uses them.
So it’s no longer a matter of simply finding the most famous celebrity in your field. Let’s say you sell electric guitars and you want an influencer. You don’t approach just any famous musician if they’re more famous for using a piano. You want someone who’s actually known to be passionate about the guitars they use in concerts.
You don’t even need the influencer as your endorsers either. You can have them as your consultants, so you can provide them with your guitars and the experts can tell you what’s wrong and what’s right about them. It’s like having your own focus group of acknowledged experts in the field.
By listening to what the experts have to say about your product, you’re then aware of what they’ll be telling their friends on social networks about your products. You can then prepare your responses, while you also work on improving on what’s wrong about these items.
Differentiate between Depth and Reach
Just how influential are your so-called influencers? Most companies take the easy way out simply by counting the number of followers. But just because a person has 100,000 followers doesn’t mean that they have any meaningful engagement with any of them.
It’s like having a teenager having a party and inviting the whole school. Sure, hundreds of people may come and have a good time. But most of them may not really care about the birthday celebrant. They may not even know who the birthday celebrant is.
It’s the same thing when you advertise on a popular TV show. Yes, it’s true that many millions of people may get to see your TV commercial. But how many of those viewers really need or want the kind of product you’re selling?
The same standards must be set for the influencer you’re trying to woo. It’s not enough that they have millions of followers. They must have enough people who are actually influenced by what the influencer preaches. They must have enough convincing power that when they endorse your product, lots of people are actually swayed by the endorsement.
So it’s not enough that lots of people like or are interested in the influencer. Lots of people must actually be under the influence as well. If they’re not, then your influencer is basically preaching to an uninterested audience.
Set Well-Defined Goals for your Influencer
Influencer marketing is a bit too new for many marketing experts, and so they’re all trying to feel their way around it. Lots of them don’t understand how it really works. So it becomes too difficult to achieve real success with this sort of marketing when no one really has the vaguest idea of what actual success looks like.
So what should you do? When you’re in talks with an influencer, you must clearly define to them what your end goal is for your marketing efforts. Then you have to describe with perfect clarity why and how this particular influencer can help. You have to be very clear, and you need to set tangible goals.
So let’s say you want more people to be aware of your brand. So how will you know that more people are now aware of your company name and what you sell? If you’re dealing with an Instagram influencer, you need to set a certain number of views and followers for each post about your brand. You may also set a certain number of followers at the end of each month.
Specify what tags the influencer should use to promote the content about your brand. This can help tie in these posts with the rest of your social media marketing efforts.
Simply put, you can’t be vague about the details regarding methods and goals. The more explicit you can be, the better it is for everyone. Now you won’t have to argue whether the influencer has succeeded or not. The influencers have agreed to the tags, and they’ve also agreed to the standards you’ve set. It’s up to them whether they reach the number of views and gain the number of followers they’ve agreed to.
The same goes if you’re selling a product. You can define just how many sales you get per quarter or per month. In fact, some companies even simply offer a commission for every sale that their influencer sets up, instead of paying them per post.
Lastly, the contract you have with your influencers must specify that they don’t promote your competitors as well. You don’t see Under Armour endorser Steph Curry talk about or wear clothes from Adidas or Nike. Your influencer should understand this too.
It’s true that influencer marketing can be rather complicated. But these simple tips can help you get into the right way of reaching your targeted audience. Find the right influencer, make sure they’re actually influential, and set concrete goals. Taken together, that’s a good start for your influencer marketing efforts.