Influencer Marketing For Small Businesses: Getting Started
More than half of 18 to 24-year-olds in the United States alone have made purchases using social media. They have become accustomed to it and buy more frequently than ever before. But what’s the reason?
First, it is simple, easy, and quick to buy from social media. Second, there are tons of influencers to guide the purchasing decisions. With that said, shopping on social media has opened up another window of opportunity for businesses.
They can easily leverage influencer marketing to
- Build credibility
- Expand reach
- Acquire new customers
- Launch new products
- Divert traffic to website/app
- And much more.
If that inspires you to get started with influencer marketing, stay right there.
In this post, we will be discussing:
- What is influencer outreach
- How to make a killer influencer marketing strategy
Let’s dive in.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a method for brands to advertise their products on the internet. In this, companies collaborate with influencers or content creators and ask them to endorse or recommend the product to their followers.
Step 1: Establish Your Campaign Goal
A marketing strategy without a goal will not produce tangible results. As a result, it is critical to have your brand goals and objectives in place before you create content, find an influencer, or do anything else.
Some common brand objectives for influencer marketing activation include:
- Launching a new product/service
- Targeting potential customers
- Building a loyal audience base
- Creating an online identity
- Increasing sales of product/service
You can choose a single goal or a combination of these, but having a goal is essential.
Step 2: Choose the Right Platforms
Instagram is undoubtedly the most powerful influencer marketing platform.
More than half of the people around the world use Instagram on mobile. It means the first and foremost thing is to make your website mobile-friendly.
So you need to check if your website is mobile-friendly or not. And for this, there are free mobile-friendliness checker tools online.
However, there are numerous other powerful platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on. But not every platform can help your brand. You must put yourself in your customer’s shoes and determine which platforms they use the most.
Is it Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn? Where do your customers spend most of their time? On which platforms are your competitors most active?
Figure out the answers to these questions and basis that, choose the right platforms for your influencer marketing campaigns. Never ever make the mistake of launching it blindly on all platforms. Filtering is always better!
Step 3: Identify Potential Influencers
Collaborating with the most powerful influencers in your niche is crucial to the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
You must conduct thorough research and spot the influencers who’d help your brand grow.
While you do so, you’ll come across multiple types of influencers, such as:
- Celebrity Influencers- With more than a million followers
- Top Influencers/Macro-Influencers- With an audience size of 20K+
- Power Middle Influencers/Professionals- With an audience size of 20K+
- Micro-Influencers- With audiences size of 1K+
- Nano Influencers- With an audience size of less than 1K
You can decide the influencers you’d want to go with depending on your goals, chosen platforms, and marketing budget.
For easy selection, ask yourself the following questions:
- What can you offer these influencers to motivate them to work with you?
- Who will manage your influencer relationships?
- Where are the best places to interact with them?
- What are their interests? What kind of fanbase do they have?
The answers will assist you in identifying the right influencers, engaging them, and forming a mutually beneficial relationship.
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential influencers for your brand, all you need to get started is a solid influencer outreach strategy.
Step 4: Build Personal Connections with Them
It is essential to get yourself on an influencer’s radar before approaching them. It would be best to interact with them as a person first, then as a brand.
Here are a few tips on how to reach out to influencers and build relationships with them:
1. Follow and Engage with Them
Follow your potential influencers on social media. It will help you understand their ethics, content quality, and style. You’ll also learn who their loyal followers are.
Try to engage with their social media posts. You could leave a comment on their posts or share it on your handles. It would help you get noticed.
2. Comment on Their Blog Posts
Interacting on their blogs apart from their social media profiles is also helpful. You can leave meaningful comments on relevant and informative posts.
But don’t make spam comments just to get their attention. It could harm your influencer outreach program.
3. Mention Them in Your Posts
Try to mention the influencer or include links to their postings on your website, blogs, or social media handles.
It will have a long-term impact on your relationship with the influencer. When you give first, you’re ready to gain a lot later!
With that, you’re one step closer to your influencer marketing campaign.
Step 5: Create A Compensation Pitch
Influencer marketing greatly affects your brand image. Setting confusing and unclear terms may hurt your brand’s reputation.
So, here are a few things you must think about when creating a pitch for an influencer:
- The duration of the influencer’s work
- The degree to which the influencer has control over the brand’s image
- The monetary conditions of exchange
- The terms and conditions for the influencer if you are providing free merchandise
- The agreement with the influencer so that they do not harm or disrespect the brand’s image, vision, or identity
- The involvement of influencers with other brands while working with you
- The average expected engagement rates for daily, weekly, fortnightly, and other intervals
- The guarantee on the following factors: authenticity, transparency, honesty, and creativity
If you carefully figure out all of it, you are sure to make an offer that the influencers can’t refuse.
Step 6: Draft A Compelling Email
After deciding on the compensation model, it’s time to hop on a discussion with your selected influencers.
All you need to do is create a compelling, win-win proposal that they won’t be able to refuse.
Consider the following when crafting your pitch email:
- Introduce yourself and mention some of their recent posts or work. Show your admiration for their work before explaining why you’ve reached out to them.
- Make it a point to state your partnership’s goals and expectations clearly. It will assist your potential influencer in understanding what they must deliver.
- Mention what you intend to give them. Essentially, you must provide them with a reason to consider your proposal.
- Emphasize how the collaboration will benefit them. Discuss how the opportunity relates to their niche and expertise.
- Don’t forget to include a strong call to action. Request a one-on-one meeting or phone call with your potential influencers to discuss further.
Step 7: Follow Up With Influencers
A strong first email is a great place to start. However, influencers, especially good ones, are usually very busy people. It might happen that your potential influencer will not respond to your first email.
But, that does not imply that they are uninterested in your offer. To get their attention, you must send them a series of follow-up emails that often show up in their inbox. At the same time, don’t flood their inbox with emails one after the other. Allow them some breathing room.
It will help you stand out from the crowd and you might even get replies faster You should wait a few days after your initial email. Send a follow-up email, if you don’t hear back from them. Allow another 3-7 days for them to respond before your next follow-up.
Step 8: Evaluate The Whole Process
When you complete an influencer marketing strategy campaign, seeing the brand mentioned or being given a social media shout-out can feel like a victory. But, you’ve achieved true success only if you’ve met your influencer marketing objectives.
Keep track of and measure your results to see if you’ve met your goals. You must have certain metrics to measure your success. It can be the engagement, shares, or comments, but yes something that you can count on.
Keep track of the numbers for each of your influencer marketing campaigns. Later on, you can analyze and learn what worked and what didn’t. When you prep up for the next influencer marketing campaign, you can utilize these insights to your advantage.
Step 9: Nurture Your Influencer Relationship
Don’t ruin the relationship by leaving as soon as you’ve got what you want. In other words, completing one campaign doesn’t mean you’ll bid farewell to your influencers. You should stay in touch with them for future campaigns.
Keep commenting on their blogs and social media posts so that they know you’d want to work with them in the future.
If you nurture the relationship, you may have found an ambassador who will continue to raise brand awareness and drive engagement.
Nobody wants to feel used, so thank them and demonstrate how much you appreciate their participation.
Get Started With Influencer Outreach
Influencer marketing might appear as another popular trend created by a generation smitten with smartphones.
But, the practice, on the other hand, is not new. People have been trusting people more than brands for a long time now.
And brands are leveraging that trust to acquire customers, promote their products, increase brand awareness, and achieve other business goals. If you’ve not started influencer outreach yet, it’s high time you do it now. The steps listed above will assist you in identifying the right influencers and making the most of your collaboration.
Have you tried out an influencer marketing strategy? What were the results of your experiment?
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Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch – a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever-growing internet landscape. He keeps sharing his knowledge and experiences on the RankWatch blog and likes making creative products that can help in the automation of mundane tasks. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.
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