Influencers are deemed as an important medium to spread awareness about a business, campaign, product or service. More than 500,000 active influencers are on Instagram alone. With so many options, brand marketers are understandably eager to collaborate with influencers and have them endorse their campaign mainly because their words and image hold a lot of power in attracting a particular niche.
What Influencers Do
Influencers are online figures who have gained authority through their following. They typically have many followers who listen to and believe in what they say.
Your brand has four categories of influencers to work with:
Nano Influencer. Nano influencers are everyday people who happen to have 1,000 or more followers. They’re the kind of people you’ll know about through hashtags because they happen to post about a product you’re interested in, or you’re friends with the person.
They can be useful if your product or service targets their persona. If the follower count seems low for you, consider collaborating with multiple nano-influencers to improve reach for your campaign.
Micro Influencer. Micro influencers are also like nano influencers, but they purposely create content to attract many followers. They can have up to about 50k to 100k followers.
Macro Influencer – Macro influencers tend to be personalities who are “internet famous.” They’re internet celebrities who get approached by big brands to advertise for them. Followers can range from 100k to 20m. They can have millions of followers, but their fame is bound to their online presence. Advertising with them tends to be more expensive.
Mega Influencer – Mega influencers are global household names. They are recognizable people who can range from successful actors, musical artists and athletes.
Influencers are further classified as:
- Social media personality
- Industry expert
- Brand influencer
What are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a powerful way to gain a new set of audience. Consumers trust each other, and an influencer is seen as a trusted voice in the consumer community. Both B2B and B2C companies will benefit from it.
No matter the category of an influencer, they can help your brand in many ways.
Here are some benefits of influencer marketing:
- Increase brand awareness. You can grow your reach and promote brand awareness by leveraging the power of influencers over their followers.
- Connect with your target audience. Since you’re partnering with an influencer whom your target audience also follows, you will be seen as an authoritative figure as well by your target market. You’ll be able to build trust as well as drive engagement.
- Increase your followers
- Gain social media shares
- Earn backlinks. Influencer marketing will help your B2C and B2B SEO strategy as well since it brings backlinks from both the influencer’s website and followers who mention or link back to you.
- Increase leads
- Drive sales
3 Tactics to Discover the Right Influencers
1. Know who you’re trying to reach
Your influencer campaign has to “talk” to the right audience. So it’s crucial to create an audience persona. Before you reach out to an influencer, you’ll need to have a well-defined persona (or personas) because it’ll determine which influencer is the right one to work with.
2. Consider the influencer’s reach, relevance and engagement potential
Your influencer should have relevance and authority, as well as effective engagement with your target audience.
Analyze your potential influencers for these factors:
- Number of followers. The more followers an influencer has, the wider the reach.
- Relevance. See if the influencer posts content relevant to your business. You can also evaluate if the influencer embodies your brand image.
- Engagement rate of followers. The volume or the number of followers isn’t everything. Quantity may not work for your campaign if the followers aren’t driven to take the desired action. Sometimes a micro or nano influencer is more effective because they tend to engage and respond to their followers. They’re also more intimate and niche-focused, so their following may be more dedicated.
- Trust. The influencer’s values must align with your brand’s values. Because you are placing the credibility of your business on another person’s say-so, that person has to inspire respect and loyal following. Trust is the bedrock of your influencer metrics; without it, the follower count and the engagement rate will seem merely bolstered by bots.
3. Do your research
Find influencers whom your target audience follows, or influencers who share your audience.
Look for industry-related hashtags to see which influencer is already talking about products or services from brands related to yours. They will more likely be easier to approach because they already have worked with people in your industry.
Some tools also help you find and evaluate influencers like bloggers, publishers and artists. For example, BuzzSumo has a feature called Find Influencers. It helps identify authoritative authors and creators on Instagram, Twitter and other websites.
How to Get in Touch with Influencers
Once you have an influencer in mind, get to know them and the channels that they’re active in. Slowly interact with them and avoid being too sales-sy. Instead, like their posts, leave comments and show how much you appreciate their content through DMs.
But always do business privately, so send a private message. Never comment that you want them to endorse your brand or that you want to send something to them.
Check their profile beforehand for any business information such as emails or phone numbers. Influencers usually have those details written in their description box or “about” page.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Your business can leverage an influencer’s reach by:
- Having an influencer share content or mention your brand and lead their existing followers to that brand’s website, content or social media.
- Having the influencer be a brand ambassador, this way, they will regularly promote the brand.
Make it easy for influencers to learn about your business by being honest. Make clear what you want them to do for your brand and how the influencer will also benefit from the campaign.
Collaborating with the right influencer will boost your brand awareness and credibility. It’s one of the most powerful ways to use the internet to grow your business. Just make sure to measure the campaign’s success. You can do this by sending them a link with UTM codes or giving the influencer his or her own discount code. With this method, you can easily track users they send your way.
When you still need guidance, use an influencer marketing platform like StarNgage that not only identifies the right influencers to engage but also provides sustainable campaign management. Find out more here!
Itamar Gero is the founder of SEOReseller.com, a digital marketing solutions provider that empowers agencies and their local clients all over the world. When he isn’t working, he’s traveling the world, meditating, or dreaming (in code).