People have become smarter, more skeptical, and more savvy in this digital age. They research a brand on their own and judge it by the recommendations from someone they trust.
A single positive review, recommendation or testimonial from a trusted source greatly impacts your decision to buy a product. So you see, social conversations have a huge impact on buying decisions.
In this new social paradigm, influencer marketing is considered to be one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Because influencers have such loyal followers, they have the ability to drive traffic to your campaigns and enhance your brand’s exposure in social media. The reason why this method is so effective is because influencers are trusted for their opinions and they can add credibility to the brands they promote.
An influencer with thousands of social media followers could certainly promote your brand to their audience, but if they are not ideal and relevant to your brand then it will not get you the desired results. Finding the right influencer to work with it the first and perhaps the hardest part of the process.
What Are Your Goals?
Like any good marketing strategy, you need to have a defined goal before you target the influencers for your campaign.
What you want to get out of it?
Do you want to –
- Drive 100K people to your website?
- Increase your mailing list by 20 percent?
- Generate an additional $50K in sales with a new product?
Having a clear goal will help you target and connect with the right influencers.
Your Ideal Target Influencer…
It is best to target an influencer your audience is already listening to. To do this, you have to have a very clear knowledge about who your customers are.
This is the most important characteristic when you are targeting the right influencers for your campaign. Focus on influencers with relevant audiences that match the profile of your target audience.
For example, if your company offers a done-for-you content marketing tool then your target influencers can be someone like Chris Ducker who has a network of bloggers and business owners who can benefit from your tool.
You won’t be getting much traction from influencers in the entertainment or real estate industry.
Read through the influencer’s blog and social media posts and see if they resonate with your brand.
2. Expertise and Credibility
It’s best to find influencers who know your industry well and who have credibility with their audience. Checkout their bio, blog posts, and listen to some of the podcasts they were featured in. This will give you a solid idea whether or not they are a good fit for your brand.
People often mistake influence for the number of followers people have on social media. Don’t just rely on the number of followers an influencer has, monitor the engagement levels an influencer has with his/her network and whether they have the ability to trigger the right brand action for you. How often readers are engaging by sharing, responding, and commenting on the influencer’s posts is a crucial indicator in determining if they have a good engagement.
According to Kyle Wong, influence can be measured by the formula –
Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers (probably refers to engagement)
Relationship with followers could perhaps be measured by the engagement rate.
This formula basically tells us that we need to look into all the elements rather than just looking into the audience size before choosing the influencer for our brand.
Find Your Target Influencer
Once you have a clear idea who your target influencer is, it will be easier for you to find and recognize them.
Step 1: Social Media Monitoring
Monitoring on social media allows you to find your target influencer. Say you are looking for an influencer who is an expert in content marketing, you see him posting and tweeting heavily about different content marketing tools and services. Well, this is someone you want to engage with to promote your campaigns.
Identify hashtags your target influencers are using consistently and tune into a conversation surrounding those topics. Add the influencers to your Twitter lists that seem like a good fit. This will help you to follow and engage with them effectively.
Step 2: Blogger Outreach
Start searching for blogs in your niche when you are looking for influential bloggers. Read their blog posts to find relevancy with your brand.
Make a list of contextually relevant bloggers that fit your requirement, check their SEO stats and social media information to choose the best ones for your brand. You can either do it manually or use blogger outreach tools to automate the process.
Once you have done this, you need to craft an outreach email template that will appeal to them. Remember, influencers are always being pitched for different reasons from your competitors, so your message needs to be –
- Appealing, and most importantly
- Offering to add some value to them and their audience.
Build a Long-term Relationship
It’s time to start building relationships with them. Influencers are busy and are true professionals and they value relationships more than just a business a deal. So consider this as a long-term relationship rather than a one-time campaign tactic.
Market to them just like you market to your consumers, but in different ways. Be considerate and respectful. And if you want to know more about best practices for building a successful relationship with your target influencers, read this post.
Where do you look for your target influencers to promote your brand? Leave me your comments below!