When we project a simple square into 3D space, what we get is a body that is capable of expressing new kinds of relationships with other mathematical entities. If we apply this logic to the world of man, we can say that the internet has added a new dimension to our social life. By extending our personality into virtual space, we have obtained a means of interacting with other people that share this space. Some of these interactions occur between virtual entities of similar size – we talk to people who share our interests and views, we congregate in the same online spaces, and sometimes we share the same social circles.
But there are also individuals who have managed to extend their online influence beyond this basic level. These “influencers” are the celebrities of the digital realm. Whether through content or charisma, these people command a substantial following online, which makes them valuable allies for those that wish to spread some kind of message online. It took the corporate sector a while to become aware of this, but once they saw how lucrative these arrangements could be, they started reaching out to influencers en masse.
Today, influencers are a staple of digital marketing. If you wish to know more on how to incorporate influencers into your general marketing strategy, take a look at the guide which we have prepared in the rest of this article.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
An influencer can be a powerful asset for any business, provided they know how to properly leverage their services. And the key for accomplishing this is to work out a marketing strategy that takes advantage of their particular set of skills. At a minimum, such a strategy has to specify:
- Who your target audience is, as this will determine your choice of influencer. Only those influencers who share your particular business niche are worthwhile pursuing.
- What kind of results you are expecting, expressed in terms of key performance indicators. These will allow you to keep track of how your influencer marketing campaign is performing.
Prospect For Influencers
Once you are clear on your goals, you can start looking for influencers who are suitable for the desired result. And to find the right person for the job, you need to do some preliminary research. The more you know about an influencer, the easier it will be to establish a mutually-beneficial relationship. Some of the things you should pay attention to include:
- The size of an influencer’s following. Bear in mind that more followers don’t always translate into better results, and that sometimes it pays to go for less popular options
- The nature and quality of their content. Be on the lookout for sponsored content, as this will give you an idea of what to expect when working with this influencer.
- Their notoriety as an online persona. Some influences have a bad reputation in certain online circles, which can cause problems if your target audience belongs to one.
After you find someone that fits the bill, it is time to reach out and establish communication. Search your target’s social media profiles for contact information, and then send out a message with your offer. Some influencers are more difficult to get in touch with than others, but you can improve your odds of getting a positive reply by following these rules:
- Be polite and professional in your correspondence. While an influencer might have an eccentric online personality, in reality they are just normal people, so treat them accordingly.
- Be honest and straightforward with your offer. Most influencers have a constant stream of offers heading their way, and they don’t have the time to pursue vague business propositions.
- Offer compensation. Failing to do this is one of the most common missteps businesses make when communicating with influencers. No one works for free, so be sure to provide a good value proposition.
If your influencer of choice has agreed to form a business relationship with your company, you can start working out the details of the campaign. Here you need to go into the specifics regarding the content you wish to have produced. Depending on the influencer you chose to work with, these can take the form of strict rules, or more general guidelines. The aspects you need consider include:
- Whether the content in question will be organic, or sponsored. The former is well suited for raising brand awareness, whereas the latter is better for improving sales.
- According to what schedule will the content be published. Some influencers have a “when it’s done” work ethic, and others prefer to keep a regular schedule.
Track Relevant Metrics
The last step you need to take when creating an influencer marketing campaign is to set up a system for tracking performance. Influencer marketing is an investment, which means you need to have it monitored to ensure you are getting an adequate ROI. Some of the world’s top digital marketing agencies use a variety of tools to do this, including:
- Klear uses the unique Klear People Rank algorithm which relies on 100+ social signals to determine each influencer’s authority. The platform is very user-friendly, and it offers a useful overview of each influencer’s activities.
- Onalytica allows you to view 12-months’ worth of data on your influencers, their social discussions, and your relationship with them. You will get access to KPI such as share of voice, share of reach, and volume trends.
Influencer marketing is shaping up to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends. Companies that are willing to harness its potential stand much to gain in the coming era of personality-driven internet. And the sooner you adapt to this new paradigm, the better your results will be.