The most integral part of any influencer marketing campaign is the research involved in finding the right person to bring on.
Why influencer marketing? To put it simply, influencer marketing bridges that inhuman gap between brands and consumers with a very human connection.
When done correctly, it can create a lasting impression among your consumer base that’s next to priceless.
Don’t take my word for it, though:
– 47 percent of online customers use ad block technology. The way to reach them is to provide content they want from people they trust.
– 8 in 10 of the most influential people in teen audiences are YouTube stars. That number keeps growing every year, pushing traditional celebrities further down the list.
– 81 percent of marketers who have used influencer marketing judged it to be effective.
– 51 percent of marketers believe they have better relationships with customers from influencer marketing – due to the relationship beginning with trust in the influencer.
So, we know influencer marketing works – and works well.
How do we approach and begin building lasting relationships with influencers?
1. Understand that influencers are brands
The power of influencers rests in their “brand voice.” They’ve established a loyal and evangelistic customer base by being authentic and truthful about their brand.
It’s important you understand that certain influencers will only be receptive to certain brands. And, more importantly, only certain influencers will be beneficial to your own brand.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving probably wouldn’t bring on Ozzy Osbourne as their spokesperson.
So, once you understand an influencer’s brand, you can then tailor your approach accordingly. Namely, you must approach influencers with a brand-to-brand partnership mentality in mind.
2. Attract influencers with group interviews/roundup articles
Again, influencers are brands – they need to work to keep their brand alive and their followers flourishing.
One of the best ways to play off that need is establishing a credible group interview or roundup post.
This is a win-win scenario, and that’s why it tends to work itself out. Your brand gains credibility, while the influencer gets fantastic exposure to a wider audience.
Worried you might not be able to attract the right influencers? Maybe your blog isn’t getting enough traffic for them to even bother with you yet?
These problems correct themselves by getting a single influencer to agree with the interview.
Then, it’s a domino effect.
For instance, if you get Guy Kawasaki to agree to your interview, once word gets out, like-minded influencers will come flocking in. It’s in their best interests to be a part of an interview like that, so you won’t have to do a whole lot of recruiting work after the first.
3. Give the influencers free products/services
I know, unless you’re a charitable person, no one likes giving away their work for free.
But, it isn’t just giving it away. These influencers – if they like your product – will use/speak about your product to their fan bases. That kind of advertising is priceless.
Take Beats by Dre, for example. In 2012, they gave away free pairs to the top athletes that would be performing in the Olympics. Those athletes then wore them during their warm-ups and preparation sessions.
By doing so, Beats got their product in front of the eyes of millions of people around the world without ever having to pay for an ad spot. From there, it just trickled downward. Lil Wayne even hopped on the wagon and had a pair of diamond encrusted headphones made that cost $1,000,000. You can imagine the kind of stir that caused.
Again, before Beats just went around throwing their headphones out to celebrities, they did their research.
They understood their influencer’s brand and acted accordingly. Now Beats are worn by thousands of celebrity influencers just because of the attractiveness of the movement.
4. Become their online asset
If you want to establish a long-lasting relationship with an influencer, you’ve got to give them some love, too. This tip focuses mainly on the online portion of their presence – Namely, their blog.
By becoming an active, critical eye for their blog, you’ll create a trust and reciprocal work ethic that they’ll be forced to recognize and appreciate. I’m not talking difficult or life-altering methods here. Just simple, constructive feedback.
Things like checking if their website is slow, finding typos, broken links, outdated content/sources, etc. These are the simple kinds of feedback that an online influencer will be grateful for.
One of the most favorable methods of attracting an online influencer’s trust is by link sharing. You’ll hopefully have your own blog, with content being created on a healthy basis. Don’t be a hog with all of your SEO power.
Share the link juice. Give them some boosting by linking their blog to your content, and let them know about it. This is a priceless asset you’re providing on their behalf. They’ll likely refer back to you without any direct approach being necessary on your part.
5. Money talks – Hire the influencer
Again, these influencers are brands. Make no mistake, they are a business. This is how they make a living.
So, once you’ve identified your influencer and the platforms you need them to advocate your brand through, now is the time to engage with them.
Like I said, this is a business, so most influencers are relatively receptive to requests for brand engagement. Most will have their contact information in their social bio and are willing to give you an approximate cost for their services.
You then have to provide the content, products, services, etc., that you need the influencer to advocate for. The rest is smooth sailing. It isn’t necessarily the most tactful way of doing things, but it’s certainly the way most influencers are brought onto projects.
The most integral part of any influencer marketing campaign is the research involved in finding the right person to bring on. You have a brand to stay consistent with, and putting a face behind your company is a bold move. So, make sure you get the right face before you sign them on.
When done right, though, an influencer can ultimately change your entire marketing strategy for the better. You could potentially see your revenue skyrocket in a matter of days by bringing on the right figure.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.