As a business owner, you strive to grow online, increase your competitive position, engage your audience, promote your offerings, and ultimately generate leads. Clearly, this is challenging. However, you are also a consumer, and as a consumer you often get annoyed with the commonly invasive, spammy pop-up advertisements are thrown at you when all you want to do is read up on a new product of interest. So, is there a path to follow that accommodates the challenges while minimizing the interruptions and spam?
One path that can address both of these is known as influencer marketing. In this post, we will be providing a brief series of lessons as to how influencer marketing can potentially add incredible value to your business.
First off, let’s define an influencer.
In our definition, an influencer is an individual that has built a substantial following on social channels and blogs, and whose opinion regarding certain topics is so well grounded and respected, they are viewed as an authority within a specified industry or niche by their audience.
Today’s consumers would much rather do research on their own and get informed on a brand, product or service by someone they trust (i.e. someone that has influence) rather than listen to a company boast about themselves. Thus, influencer marketing is the act of leveraging the influence of these industry leaders to enhance the exposure of your brand.
Someone doesn't become an influencer overnight. It is not a light switch. It takes a sustained effort, with a high level of visibility over months or years sharing valuable insight that ultimately creates trust with their audience. Thus, an influencer is heavily invested in the asset they've created. It is valuable!
Here's some of what an influencer has the ability to impact:
Not only do they have an ability to impact their own audience, they canhave a great impact on their audience’s network as well (which constitutes a whole other untapped resource in itself).
So, how can this help your business? Simple,they have built and established trust with the audience you seek to connect with. If you are able to gain access to their audience, you can immediately reap the benefits that the influencers have taken years to build. Keep in mind that influencers don't simply hand over their audience to anyone. You need to build relationships with them and it is critical to form relationships with those that are a good fit with your brand.
The first, and probably most obvious, factor for determining a good influencer-brand “fit” is industry relevance. Keep in mind that you do not need to have an absolute match in niche or target audience, but a degree of relevance is required for there to be a value gain from your collaboration.
The second thing to look out for when deciding if a certain influencer is a good “fit” for your brand or product is audience compatibility. You must have a solid understanding of how your audience behaves:
Keep in mind however, your audience will play a major role in determining your choice of influencer, but so will the influencer’s. More specifically, their followers must be compatible with your offering; it must appeal to them, and potentially solve a pain, need, or interest they may have.
The next element to focus on is influencer activity. It is important that an influencer is regularly active on his/her social channels and blog, seeks out involvement in conversations, and responds to audience comments and questions.
The fourth element when seeking for an appropriate “fit” is engagement. It does not matter how large of a following an influencer has, if their audience is not engaged, their message will have little effect and collaboration will be pointless. Remember, influencers do not force themselves upon an audience like a company’s elaborate advertisements.