You’ve seen them for years on social media – particularly Instagram – but it’s only rather recently that they now have a name: influencer.
Why should you care? Because partnering with one or more social media influencers means your product/service can be instantly exposed to their hundreds or tens of thousands of followers.
The Influencer Difference
Here’s an extreme example of what influencer marketing can mean to a company:
You may have heard of Tom’s of Maine, a maker of toiletries that uses only natural ingredients. The company partnered with people known as “micro-influencers,” which are influencers with “only” up to 50,000 followers on any one social media channel. The company approached a few of these folks, who then let their followers know of the company’s give-away contest. The result? The influencer marketing campaign reached 4.4 million possible customers in the campaign’s first three months.
Your takeaway? You needn’t hire model-married-to-John-Legend Chrissy Teigan to share your product/service to her 23-million-plus Instagram followers to see phenomenal results with influence marketing.
Hiring an Influencer
So, how do you find these social media influencers and how do you approach them? Here’s how:
- First of all, you need to have an answer to: “What’s in it for me?” Because they will ask. It took them many weeks, or even months, to get to just 1,000 followers. If they are influencers looking to monetize their social media presence, they probably forked over some money in marketing themselves, and they definitely have worked hours to grow their follower numbers. They deserve some form of compensation.
- If you are small and cash is tight, local micro-influencers may be your best bet. This is especially so if yours is a local brand/service. Local/small influencers also may be willing to broadcast your wares in exchange for a gift certificate to your restaurant (for example) or be paid in product.
- Decide what social channel is best for your brand. More importantly, look at your personas: where do they hang out when it comes to social media? If this is your first foray into influencer marketing, it may be best to try just one channel first.
- Find appropriate influencers. Using a tool such as InfluencerDB can help.
- Consider using your current customers or your own social media followers in an influence marketing campaign. Let it help you reach out and secure contracts with influencers large and small.
Speaking of influencer marketing, if you’re interested in learning how your company/brand can use this social media marketing strategy to its best advantage, contact Jeff Hays, our director of client services. Jeff will chat with you to find what additional social strategies you may want to consider. You also may want to reach out to us for more information.