In building your content marketing strategy, you’ve developed personas and dossiers and really “drilled down” to identify your target customers, right? (Sidebar: If you haven’t built your strategy yet, stop reading this and go here.)
These target customers are the people most primed to hear your message and most ready to consider your brand’s proposition. They’re the people you’re about to pay good money to reach on various platforms via ads, sponsored content, boosted posts, etc.
Have you considered designating some of that good money to develop a strong influencer marketing campaign that will amplify and supplement your other paid efforts? Here’s why you should and how you can.
WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT
92% of people read online reviews — the digital version of the word of mouth recommendation, which 83% of people trust as the most credible form of advertising or endorsement. In our social world, these recommendations don’t just come from people we know personally — they come from the vast network of people we follow and maybe even consider “friends.”
That’s where influencers come in. Influencers are individuals whose content and reputation has attracted a large following, thereby making them highly influential in a given space. Their opinion is trusted in certain communities. And they can help reach your potential customers where they do the vast majority of their brand consideration: on social networks.
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes — they can be thought leaders in a relevant field (think Gary Vaynerchuk in the world of inbound marketing), a celebrity endorsing a product or service, or just person who generates lots of valuable content around a particular industry or issue (easy example: beauty bloggers).
An influencer’s endorsement can have a big impact on your business. Take Fisher-Price, a highly recognizable brand experiencing a specific problem: low awareness among millennial moms around its new baby products. By partnering with two moms turned social media up-and-comers to bring Fisher-Price products into their social conversations, Fisher-Price was able to drum up interest in a new product and ensure its status as one the hottest holiday toys in numerous outlet’s top products lists.
HOW YOU CAN DO IT
1. Set Your Parameters
Determining the right influencer for your brand strategy depends on what goals you want to achieve. If you simply want to raise awareness, then an influencer for your brand could be anyone with a large Twitter following who has even a loose connection to your brand.
If you need to reach a niche community, seek out prominent members of that community whose values align with your brand’s. Targeting such individuals and gaining their support could garner your brand credibility and attention within that highly specific space.
When searching for influencers, remember to ask yourself these questions:
● Is this person a thought leader within my target audience?
● Do they share and post content that is relevant to my brand?
● Do they share and post content regularly?
● Do they have an audience that looks to them for inspiration or guidance?
● Are they generating any negative content that could reflect badly on my brand if I engage with them?
2. Start Your Search
Influencers might well be part of your network already. Twitter Analytics highlights for every user their “Top Follower” which is usually based off of the size of their following.
Start there. The “Top Follower” already has some established connection to your brand simply by following you. Low-hanging fruit.
But don’t stop there. Use Twitter’s search functionality to monitor keywords and hashtags relevant to your brand and community. Doing this allows you to monitor the conversations around those topics, and thus identify individuals who are most prominent within those groups based off of their tweets’ relevance and popularity.
Alternatively, influencers could also be individuals who have mentioned your brand in the past. Keep track of users who often retweet your content, or who engage in conversations with your brand frequently, as these users have a demonstrated interest in your work. Their loyalty is worth rewarding, as they may be inclined to share your content later on.
3. Use a Tool
Invest in some software to pull standardized information on potential influencers beyond just hashtags and mentions.
Sprout Social, for instance, offers insights regarding the users that are most frequently associated or mentioned with your brand. Target these like-minded folks with super-tailored ad campaigns.
Software allows you to seamlessly pull insights regarding potential influencers without manually search the platform itself. Using one of these tools offers a more comprehensive look at the types of users to target with tailored messaging, and saves you buckets of time.
Now you’ve got a solid place to start finding your brandbassadors. Happy influencing!
Interested in learning more about influencer activation and engagement? Take a gander at our Social Media Guide for Businesses. And, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you have. We live for this stuff.