Please tell me you’re using influencers for your effective low-cost marketing. You’re not? Let’s get you on the right track. Influencers are the future of brand awareness and brand voice. According to the State of Influencer Marketing, a survey in 2017 shows that “94 percent of brands consider influencers to be a success.” Playing matchmaker with your brand and the right influencer
What’s an Influencer?
An influencer is exactly what it sounds like – someone with the ability to influence the behavior or opinions of others.
In the past, marketing campaigns like “Got Milk” used celebrities as influencers. Today, brand marketers use micro, macro, and mega influencers to endorse their brands and products. Using influencers to reach your audience requires a lower budget than a celebrity influencer or digital media buys.
Seventy-five percent of consumers cite brand awareness as a major influencer in making their buying decision. Influencers are the future of brand awareness to reach the elusive millennial demographic. As you build awareness and authenticity with the help of social media influencers, you can drive up your sales.
So, you’re ready to recruit your first influencer. What do you do now?
- Take a Brand Inventory
Think about your brand. If you had to describe your brand in five words, what would they be? Use those words to guide your search for the perfect influencer.
Forty-five percent of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it. Using an influencer will establish your brand as human and adds to your brand’s voice.
- Start a Conversation
Create a signup page on your website where potential brand ambassadors can sign up. The potential leads you generate will already be familiar and interested in your brand.
A local Utah influencer named Courtney Jane Kendrick explained how the connection between an influencer and a brand sparks:
“Recruitment differs. Most of the time I am contacted by a company, but a few times I’ve contacted a company for a partnership. You talk at length about how your brands can help each other out.”
Remember that your influencer has their own personality and brand voice, so don’t try to change their brand to fit yours. Create a win-win arrangement by discussing and crafting a mutually beneficial relationship.
For example, Courtney received a free hot tub for a year from Bullfrog Spas by agreeing to write a blog post about the benefits of it every month during that year. The posts reached thousands of her audience who saw the benefits up close and personal and the sales for Bullfrog Spas increased.
- Build it into Your Marketing Budget
You might be thinking: “Free hot tub? I can’t just give away stuff for free!”
Don’t worry. Compensation and payment structures are unique to every brand-influencer partnership. Part of creating a mutually beneficial relationship is setting up the terms together. Some established influencers already have rates for advocating brands, but the standard rate for influencers depends on their following and experience.
Here are price ranges per single post on Instagram:
- Measure Success
Erika Montgomery, CEO and chief publicist of boutique PR firm, Three Girls Media, said, “It’s important to remember that PR is a slow and steady approach. Don’t expect to see results overnight. Building brand awareness and name recognition takes time, but it provides a solid base for your business to build upon the future.”
Consider using analytics for how many likes, comments, new follows on your own brand social media profile. Instagram business insights can measure growth, and you can even ask your influence for reports on social media reach.
- Look Ahead to Stay Relevant
Explore social media to find the next wave of social influencers, matched to the right territory and to your brand image. If you don’t know who is getting hot, ask your audience.
Conduct surveys and focus groups to find out who your audience is watching and why. Find out the topics of their genuine interest and use your influencer to tap into those interests.
The average millennial follows between 4 and 8 influencers that promote various brands. If your brand isn’t using influencers to drive up awareness and sales, you might be a step behind your competitors. Start the search now for the right influencer for your brand.
Written by Elsie Powley.