If you use Instagram, you’ve probably seen influencers promoting brands and products. Influencer marketing is increasing day by day. So in this article, I am going to share a comprehensive guide to influencer marketing.
Classical advertising is dead. Over the past decade, we have seen the rise of social media influencers. They’re not just relevant to celebrities anymore. To compete for user attention, brands have scrambled to create partnerships with relevant influencers in their industry.
Navigating through influencer marketing strategies properly will help you reach out to a wider audience than would be otherwise unattainable.
But there is a question – how to find the right influencers and connect with them? Influencers are everywhere. You can find relevant influencers in whichever business you want. Here the role of guide to influencer marketing comes into play.
Influencers push your business forward to dominate the niche. What’s more important, they also have armies of followers who will buy from you willingly. But only if their influencer will suggest followers do that.
In this guide, you will get all the necessary information that you need to know about influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing: What It Is All About
Influencer marketing is all about cooperation with niche-related influencers to promote your brand, service, or product. It is one of the most powerful ways of brand promotion that exist.
You might wonder who an influencer is?
The person can be considered as an “influencer” when he/she meets the following two requirements:
- They have a strength of words – people listen to them and take actions
It won’t be hard to guess that the root of the noun “influencer” is the verb “influence”. It means these experts persuade their followers to take action.
- They have lots of followers across social channels
The second attribute of a real influencer is the number of followers. But don’t delude yourself by thinking that people follow influencers just for fun.
Nope. Influencers share interesting, useful, engaging, and unique content that enriches other people with important information.
Keep in mind that the number of followers varies depending on the niche. Some influencers may have a few thousand followers and that would be a huge rate for that particular niche. However, if you dig deeper into other niches, you will see that some influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers.
For instance, Neil Patel is one of the biggest influencers in the world of Digital Marketing. He has 394.2K followers on Twitter.
Meanwhile, a famous entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck has 2.3M of followers on Twitter.
Now, just imagine how many people could hear about your brand if you had business relationships with influencers.
Are you curious about how to start your influencer marketing activity?
Keep on reading then.
How to Begin Influencer Marketing | Guide To Influencer Marketing:
If you think that it would be enough to get in touch with an influencer to start your influencer marketing campaign – you are wrong. This process is quite comprehensive and requires an in-depth analysis beforehand.
To make your influencer marketing scenario work, your goal should be to turn influencers into your brand advocates. That would be the first signal of doing organic influencer marketing.
What does organic influencer marketing mean?
Organic influencer marketing has one significant feature – you don’t pay influencers to promote your product. Instead, influencers promote your brand just because they have a wonderful relationship with you.
Take, for instance, GloriaFood, which is a free online ordering system for restaurants. Their product is so reliable & trustworthy for thousands of restaurant owners across the globe, that it attracted the attention of Hogan Chua, an entrepreneur helping people & businesses to create an online presence.
Hogan created a video of how to create a restaurant website using the GloriaFood solution. Given that he has over 90k YouTube followers, the video attracted a lot of attention to GloriaFood and their freemium service.
Right before diving into running your campaign, let’s see why organic influencer marketing is important.
Importance of Organic Influencer Marketing
You don’t need lots of facts that prove the effectiveness of organic influencer marketing. It is well-known information that influencer marketing works brilliantly. Nevertheless, to dispel your doubts, here are three ways on how you can benefit from it.
You get free access to a wide audience
David Airey is one of the top influencers in the graphic design niche. He has over 53K followers on Twitter.
It took years to become as famous as David Airey is. He has built his reputation and earned all these influencers working hard. Likely, you don’t need to repeat this way by yourself. Instead, you can build relationships with this influencer and access his audience.
Eventually, you will be able to promote your product or service free of charge. For example, you have released a new design tool. And you want to help the audience know what types of charts people can create using this tool. With the help of David Airey, you can let more people know about it. As a result, you’ll get more potential customers.
The audience prefers to trust real people
If you analyze consumer behavior, you will see that people tend to avoid reviewing ads. They don’t like some businesses coldly promoting their products.
Instead, people prefer to trust other consumers who have already experienced the product on their own. Thus, when the influencer suggests their followers consider your product or service, they will listen to their opinions.
The power of persuasion
Obviously, organic influencer marketing is all about the power of persuasion. Influencers use the following psychological techniques:
- Social proof (people tend to trust those individuals who have lost followers)
- Liking (if people like an influencer, they listen to this person more willingly)
- Authority (any influencer is a professional in a certain field – people like true professionals)
There are more psychological techniques that influencers use.
Now, let’s see how to start with your influencer marketing campaign.
Your first step should be creating a list of target niche-related influencers to reach out to. And here is a step-by-step process on how to do this.
Find your target audience
It has been already stated that if the person has a huge army of followers, it doesn’t mean that you have stumbled upon a niche-related influencer.
Let’s say you happened to get in touch with Jeniffer Lopez who has 44.9M followers on Twitter.
She has a really huge army of followers. Unfortunately, your influencer marketing campaign won’t make any sense if your business is not related to the music industry.
What conclusion can you make?
Don’t take the number of followers too seriously. This factor is not the one you should prioritize. Your goal is to find niche-related influencers, even if they don’t have millions of followers.
To understand who your target influencers are, you should know your target audience for one hundred percent. For this, make sure you have created a buyer persona.
Find the right influencers
Assume that you know who your target audience is. You are aware of who you want to sell your product to. Now, it is time to figure out influencers within the niche.
Before you dive into exploring influencers, it is strictly important to know that influencers are not equal. There are three categories:
These people have just started to gain traction. They don’t have a wide audience of followers. They would work with you more willingly.
For example, the team at classic game site Solitaire working with these micro-influencers to promote a feature where you can personalize the cards in their solitaire game. They found these influencers were effective and were able to work within their budget.
This category of influencers has a pretty solid number of followers. They can make an impact on your business. You can try to build relationships with influencers from this category.
This category represents true celebrities within the niche. As a rule, it is almost impossible to get in touch with them. They are always busy. However, if you have an interesting proposition, you might get lucky.
How to find the right influencers?
First of all, you need to know places where influencers dwell. Let’s review some of them.
Google can suggest a bunch of marketplaces where you will be able to explore niche-related influencers. The idea behind marketplaces is to connect influencers with businesses who want to get their business promoted.
For instance, Hype Auditor is one of the marketplaces that suggests Top 1000 Instagram influencers across different niche categories.
Conferences and summits are one more place where you can find influencers. The question here is how to find conferences?
Start with taking one niche-related influencer and finding conferences where this person participated. For example, Neil Patel is one of the most recognizable persons in the Digital Marketing niche. Type his name in Google. Then, right-click his image and “Search Google for Image”.
Afterward, add the search query “conference” next to the image.
Finally, rip the benefits.
c) Curated lists
Organic influencer marketing is quite popular these days. Many business representatives look for niche-related influencers to promote their products as well. Some of them create lists of influencers afterward.
You can find these curated lists by yourself. Go to Google and type the following query “top [your niche] influencers”.
Skip through the results and find those influencers you feel would make sense to connect.
Connecting with influencers
Finally, you have reached out to the stage when you need to get in touch with influencers. The good thing is that there are many influencer marketing platforms out there. Remember that organic influencer marketing requires time to see the first results. You will have to be patient and work on attracting influencers’ attention.
Influencers are busy people. They don’t waste their time on things that don’t deserve their attention. Therefore, you need to find an approach here.
Start with giving some value to influencers before asking for something back in return. Here are a few ideas to help you:
Show your engagement with their online activity
Influencers create content constantly. They send the message to the masses via content. It can be blog posts, videos, podcasts, visuals. Any form of content is widely used by influencers to share their thoughts and ideas.
Since influencers are busy people, they take their time seriously. Any influencer works hard to create a high-quality piece of content to impress the audience. However, it doesn’t mean that these busy people spend tons of hours writing posts.
As a rule, influencers have a budget. It allows them to hire freelancers who would work with content. Nevertheless, influencers don’t shy away from using free services and tools that would help make content visually appealing.
For instance, they know that infographics have a higher level of engagement compared to ordinary written posts. Thus, it is a wonderful opportunity to use free infographic templates instead of paying extra money.
That’s why influencers want more people to read, watch, or listen to what they produce. Hence, if you help them out, they will appreciate it.
Start with following them across social channels. Become an active member of their community. Don’t shy away from leaving your comments, shares, likes, etc. Help them grow the reach of the content they create.
The best and the most important part of this activity is to share your own thoughts, ideas, likes/dislikes regarding what influencers cover in the content.
Moreover, if you see that your target influencer asks for help – help them for sure!
Become more than an ordinary follower
One thing is to leave the comments, the other thing is to add value to what influencers create. Thus, discover the latest projects influencers have run and offer your help.
Other than that, you can invite them to be featured across your marketing channels. For example, if you host a podcast, invite niche-related influencers to be guests there.
Create partnership build on a win-win basis
When your relationships with influencers become stronger, you can move forward with a suggestion to cooperate on a win-win basis.
What can you do together?
You can do a blog post swap by creating content on each other’s blogs. Also, you can write a guest post as coauthors. Record a video or join a webinar. Doesn’t matter. The matter is that you cooperate.
Adding value to organic influencer marketing
Organic influencer marketing must bring positive results. But how to measure the value you get from the influencer marketing campaign?
If you are obsessed with numbers, there are two ways for measuring an organic influencer marketing value.
You can either provide the influencer with a coupon code to track the number of sales or work with Google Analytics to measure the amount of referral traffic you drive from the influencer’s website.
Despite the numbers, the real ROI of organic influencer marketing should be measured with a psychological effect. The way it influences your target audience and how people want to deal with your brand.
You are already aware that the power of influencers is to make people follow their pieces of advice. Therefore, if you notice that your brand gets exposure across social channels and you see the rise of followers – it happens thanks to the activity of the influencers.
The goal of ROI in terms of organic influencer marketing is the lasting effect that you will have eventually.
To Sum Up
Organic influencer marketing is a powerful weapon if you know how to use it right. It can help you build awareness for your brand drastically.
You have just got familiar with everything necessary to know about influencer marketing. Follow the pieces of advice suggested in the guide and rip the benefits of your future partnerships with influencers.
If you think this post lacks some information, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.