How to tap into the power of influencer marketing and its communities

Written by Hayley Paterson


Getting your brand seen by your desired target market could be considered the ‘holy grail’ of PR by some – and it’s crucial for your reputation and budget that you get it right.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a booming budget to achieve it, it just underlines that you need to understand what it is your brand represents.

That’s where influencer marketing could come into play for you.

ENGAGEMENT

Influencer marketing is a way of focusing on influential people that give value to your brand, product or service. On social media, it can be crucial in helping your marketing activity when raising brand awareness and increasing engagement.

You want an influencer who is relatable to add credibility to your brand. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be the face and do the ‘hard sell’, but it could open the door to opportunities and a target audience that your everyday advertising and marketing strategies might not be able to reach.

VALUE

People can often be put off by brands trying to sell its customers something all the time. As consumers we know it needs to be done, however, your audience wants value over ‘sell, sell, sell’.

They want knowledge and understanding of what your brand is, what you’re trying to sell and how it will improve their lives. With everything at their fingertips, consumers are savvy and do their online research before even looking into your product, don’t assume otherwise!

And that’s where influencers could really work for you. For example, if you are a print company, your influencer could offer their community the knowledge and insight into printing practices or developments within the industry you represent rather than doing an ineffective ‘buy this product now’ skit. The more knowledge to hand, the better and more authentic the output.

PERSONABLE

Influencers offer a face for your brand, they’re an easy ‘go to’ that’s approachable and not necessarily sales-related. They can offer your key detail and messaging to their following in a personable and friendly way.

We’re not saying here that all brands are scary, inhuman salespeople who don’t care for their customers’ needs. What we’re highlighting is that if you want to explore influencer marketing, it’s important your brand gets the right person, or people, involved in helping to sell your product to prospective customers in the best possible way.

For example, if you’re a home appliance maker brand, get an influencer who offers their followers interesting and engaging tips on topics of interest such as decluttering, everyday cleaning or sustainable tips whilst using your products.

It’s a powerful way of engaging, a ‘softer sell’, gets social conversation going and should encourage your influencer’s following to enquire about your products.

RESEARCH

Once you’ve identified that you want an influencer to market your product or brand, it’s time to get the right person on-board and that means doing your research.

Is your brand particularly keen on blogs? Or does the interest lie more in creating visual content across social platforms from Instagram to YouTube?

Or, all of the above?

List out what you need and what you think will sell your brand in the correct way. Whether that’s the right type of content or influencer profile, sit down and map out what you want your influencer to achieve. For example, they might be a bigger influencer on Instagram as opposed to Twitter – so, utilise that knowledge and focus on the most engaging platform.

RELEVANCE

Start following influencers’ journeys too. See what they post about, which brands they already feature and see what gets the most engagement from their content. What are their followers talking to or asking them about? Is what they’re saying relevant to your brand?

If so, reach out to the influencer, fire up a conversation, ask them about potential partnerships and find out rates.

Finally, we can’t stress enough that it’s so important to pick engagement over reach when it comes to social media. Don’t go for a 40,000-followed account if they’re only getting a handful of comments or likes. That’s a huge red flag, can often be a costly mistake and goes against what an ‘influencer’ can and should achieve.

Don’t dismiss those with a much smaller following if they’re relevant to your brand. If they are personable, have a great tone of voice and ultimately have the influence to get others talking about you, that’s your calling card to get talking to them!

Influencers are becoming more and more… well, influential. It’s important for brands to consider this movement and utilise an influencer’s power when it comes to marketing.

Many are doing so already, make sure you don’t get left behind.

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