How to Do Influencer Marketing Like a Pro
What does Swarovski, Louis Vuitton and Guccihave in common? Apart from the fact that they are all luxury brands, which is obvious, all these brands tried influencer marketing and emerged as pros. Gucci hired top social media influencer and graffiti artist, Trouble Andrew, to take over Instagram and Snapchat during Milan fashion week. The idea was a big hit and helped Gucci infuse zany street-side designs in their label.
Many brands and cloud based startups have tried their hand at influencer marketing to rope in more shares, views, and engagements than they could manage otherwise. It is not surprising to see Gucci taking help from a graffiti artist today, but it was not always the case. Luxury brands are warming up to influencer marketing these days but initially it was only favored by small businesses.
“Influencer marketing is a boon for small business companies with limited funds and resources. Even local businesses, if they do it right, can reach up to hundreds of people without spending big bucks. There are scores of reviewers and bloggers who write about different niches – be it fashion, law, or cars. The trick is to find one that can get maximum attention for your brand,” explains Gerrid Smith, Founder and CEO of Black Fin, a niche digital agency that helps clients find influencers on social media and cash in on latest trends related to their industry.
So how do you find and reach out bloggers and influencers who can help you reach intended audience within your budget? Here’s an in-depth guide to get influencer marketing right.
Find the Right Influencers
When finding influencer for your brand, define the type of influencers that would solve your purpose. For instance, are you looking to build brand recognition or spread a word about an upcoming contest? Do you want to use influencer reach to promote an upcoming line or an event? Depending on your need, define your budget and then select an appropriate channel.
Most brands use bloggers to create content for them but a lot of influencers these days don’t have a blog. However, they have amassed thousands of followers on Facebook FB -0.04%, Instagram and other social media sites. They are known as social media influencers and micro-influencers and provide a good reach. Some of the best resources to find these influencers are FameBit, FohrCard, and NeoReach.
Ideally your budget for influencer marketing should be half (could go even lesser) of your social media advertising budget. So for instance, if you are planning to spend $3000 on paid social, you can budget roughly $1000 to $2000 for influencers. For around $2000, you can hire bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, Tweeters, or Snapchatters and ensure you have a presence on all leading platforms based on your brand.
A word of caution though: never select influencers based on their numbers or their ‘cool’ quotient. They must match your brand personality. You don’t want your brand promotion to come across as too salesy or less authentic. Also, look beyond the number of followers some influencers have. Some influencers have a large following but low engagement rate.
Provide Real Value to Influencers
Many brands mistakenly believe that influencers are available dime a dozen and would agree to anything in exchange for exposure. However, influencers have lots of resources these days to find lucrative offers and wouldn’t promote your brand if they feel their audiences won’t like it. A lot of proposals go unfulfilled on FameBit because the product sucks or the offerings are not that great.
Industry influencers are already quite well recognized and have a fair following without any brand associations. According to a study by Crowdtap, 44 percent of influencers said that they prefer working with a brand, only if the opportunity is relevant to their audience, it provides a unique experience to them or they personally like the product.
Take a leaf from Firmoo’s influencer marketing plan and learn how to provide real value to influencers. Firmoo offers free eyewear to bloggers, plus free shipping. In return, they ask for an honest review on their blog. They are especially clear about that. But the best part is, the bloggers don’t have to suffice with any pair they might not like. Firmoo provides over 180 choices of eyewear of different styles that influencers can choose for themselves. That shows massive respect for bloggers.
A lot of small business companies stick to one or two methods of influencing. For instance, B2B companies stick to affiliate marketing and link sharing through various blogs. Fashion companies stick to Instagrammers and food brands to Pinterest or Buzzfeed Food.
While it is important to understand where your audience is and identify the influencers your target audience is likely to follow and the type of content they like, it is equally important to go beyond the usual and experiment with all types of content. The Gucci example mentioned earlier is a good example of this.
From lookbooks to GIFs, from mentions to funny Vines, there are plenty of ways to make sure your brand finds a way to look as creative and as interesting as possible. Don’t worry about your brand being boring or your industry too formal; try out different ways because nothing is sacred these days.
If you like chocolates and try out recipes that are about chocolates, chances are you have come across Chocolate Covered Katie. Swanson, a health supplement seller, invited Katie to share a recipe on their blog. Chocolates and health supplements? A surprising combination, but Swanson has a lot of bloggers guest blogging for them on various linearly related topics.
From finding the right influencers to establishing long term relationship with them, these tips will help you make the most of your influencer marketing campaign. Learn to do it right and you will have more success than paid advertising through this method. Though it may sound clichéd, learn to think out of the box. People don’t want to see the same type of posts and same messages over and over again.
Article written by John Rampton. John is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector.