In today’s social media-driven world, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are utilizing all of the tools at your disposal to reach your target market, especially when you are a startup trying to make it against the odds. At this stage, social media will be the least complex and time-consuming (unlike SEO) path to product validation, lead generation, and gaining momentum. But posting on social media is not enough — case in point, more than 300 million photos get uploaded each day and you have to find a way to cut through the noise. How do you do it? Cue: Influencer marketing.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on utilizing key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of people, you instead focus on targeting individuals with a large following and ‘influence’ within your target market. These individuals can help spread your message and reach a larger audience than you could on your own. We mean imagine if LeBron James (135M Instagram followers) and/or Cristiano Ronaldo (with his staggering 500M followers on Instagram ALONE) endorsed your product. Your sales would be through the roof!
Now, there are certain prerequisites that do have to be met before you can jump on the influencers marketing train:
- Make sure your product/or service is good enough.
- You are generating quality social media posts with eye-catching captions/images that do a great job of getting your message across. This is what the influencers may like or share and if it’s bad then even the influencers won’t be of much help!
So without further ado, what are the 4 helpful tips to boost your chances of being endorsed by big-shot influencers and getting access to millions of loyal followers?
1. Set clear goals and objectives.
Before you start working with an influencer, you need to set clear goals and objectives for what you want to achieve through your partnership. You will need to ask yourself questions like ‘What is my target demographic?’ ‘Which social media platform should I focus on?’ Which metrics will I be tracking?’ and ‘What is my budget for influencer marketing?’ This will help you measure the success of your future campaigns and determine whether or not they are worth continuing in the future.
2. Do your research.
Now, it’s time to grab a pen and paper and peruse through the target channel for the top influencers in your space. Don’t make the mistake of targeting an influencer that has nothing to do with your product! The goal is not just to get traffic and followers, but quality leads that will become paying customers! A great way to get started can a simple Google search like ‘who are the top influencers in the CRM space?’ and/or the use of hashtags in the search bar followed by analyzing the posts that appear in the results.
It is important to make sure that their values align with your brand. You should also take a close look at their social media platforms to see if their audience is engaged and interested in the content that they are posting. Keep in mind that it is not all about the number of followers that an influencer has; it is also about the quality of their followers.
3. Be selective about who you partner with.
It is important to be selective about who you partner with when you are doing influencer marketing. You should only work with influencers who have a genuine interest in your product or service and who will be able to produce high-quality content that their followers will engage with. If you try to partner with too many influencers, you will spread yourself too thin and won’t be able to effectively manage your partnerships.
4. Start Small.
It is easy to get carried away with the prospect of getting in touch with someone like Lionel Messi, selling him on how your product will change the world, and getting him to swear by your solutions for the masses. But let’s be a bit realistic: It’s a long shot…. for now. Unless you’re a Google or Coca-Cola with millions of dollars at your disposal or have an inside man that can get you exclusive access to these global celebrities, it may be a better idea to build up to larger influencers by starting with the smaller ones. So perhaps start with micro-influencers with 5-10K followers and convince some of them to endorse your product. After success there, graduate to 50K, then 100K, 500K, and so on and so forth.
“Business is not a race. It’s a marathon. So you have to make decisions with the big picture in mind. Ask yourself, ‘what can I get done given where I am right now!”
Why should you be doing influencer marketing?
There are a number of reasons why influencer marketing can be an effective tool for your business. First, when done correctly, it can help you build trust and credibility with your target market. Second, it can be an efficient way to reach a large number of people without having to invest a lot of time and money into advertising. Third, it can help you create long-lasting relationships with other businesses and individuals in your industry.
How to convince influencers to endorse your product?
Once you have compiled a list, reach out to the individuals and provide them with information about your product, as well as any images or videos that you feel would be helpful in promoting your product. Many influencers are willing to endorse products if they believe in the product and if they feel that their followers would be interested in it. In some cases, especially beyond the 100K followers mark, you may need to start offering incentives, such as a free sample of the product or a discount code, in order to convince an influencer to endorse your product.
Pro-tip on offers: Make sure you have a separate document, like an excel sheet, tracking the influencer’s performance so that you can keep them accountable while staying on top of what will probably be different offers for the different influencers. Also, I personally find that the most cost-effective offer is one where the influencer consistently has skin in the game, like a commission for every follower that uses the discount code as opposed to straight-up payment.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool that every business should be using as part of their overall marketing strategy. It’s an efficient way to reach new customers and build trust and credibility with your target market. If you’re not already doing it, now may be the time to start.