“Influencer” is among the buzzwords we marketing professionals like to throw around. But what exactly is an influencer? And, more importantly, why are they so vital to business?
Influencers – as the name insinuates – are people with the ability to influence. Their opinions impact your client base. The reasons for this vary. Some influencers are celebrities, some are well-known industry professionals, some have huge social media followings, and some are recognizable names or trade association leaders.
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on these influencers – it identifies who these people are and the markets around their capacity for coaxing any given target audience.
If you know influencers personally (or you are one), great! You’ll have no problem engaging in influencer marketing. But, if you’re like most people, you’ll need some help locating those who persuade purchasing power. So, how do you find them?
There are a variety of tools that can help you in your search. BuzzSumo is one used most often – simply enter a generic search term (such as “fashion”) and the site will provide a list of influencers. It generates this list by looking into number of followers, high-performing content, and how often people engage. Many other tools provide a similar service.
That’s the easy part.
But, once you know who your influencers are, how do you get them to influence on your behalf?
The first thing is to remember that influencers are in high demand – you’re not the only one emailing and asking them to promote a product. So, keep things to the point and personal (Dear Blogger isn’t going to cut it). Find an influencer in your niche and read their stuff – if you won’t take the time to become familiar with them, it’s unlikely that they’ll do you any favors.
It’s also highly vital that you look at things from the influencer’s perspective: in short, if they back your business, what do they get in return? If you sell energy bars, for example, you might offer free samples in return for reviews.
Another way to get your foot in the proverbial door is to cultivate a relationship with the influencer. Follow them on social media, comment on their blog posts, offer insight and information, and ask questions.
Persistence is also key. Influencers are often inundated by people who want something from them and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you don’t hear back, try, try again. But remember that there’s a boundary. Emailing an influencer weekly is one thing; emailing them hourly is another. You want them to vouch for your business, not take out a restraining order.
Influencer marketing is important to all businesses, especially those that are small. It’s word-of-mouth for the modern era, but with an endless reach. If you need help with influencer and other types of marketing, contact us today to get started.