Peer recommendations are playing a much larger role in purchasing decisions and, consequently, the pertinence of influencer marketing is growing. Given the importance of peer recommendations and the popularity of social media, a commonly asked question among marketers is: How do we find influencers for our brand? To get started with this, follow these basic guidelines.
1. Influencer Must Be Relevant To Your Target Customers
There are millions of social media users posting daily about the brands and products they love. You want to choose influencers based on the niche content that they produce—content that is highly relevant to your brand. In order to find the best influencers for your brand, you will need to ask yourself: Who is this influencer’s audience? How does this influencer brand themselves? Does this align with my brand’s target customers and messaging? Customers follow influencers on social media because the influencer embodies a self-identity or lifestyle that reflects a higher-order value proposition for the follower. When choosing your influencers, make sure that your brand and your influencer’s brand aligns.
2. Influencer Must Be Authentic
The reason consumers trust influencers is because they view them as authentic sources of information. Therefore, the more sponsored content an influencer posts, the more their authenticity is diluted. Influencers in popular industries may work with many brands. But the best ones do this subtly. Continue to keep this in mind once you are ready to leverage your influencers, even if you are the only brand that your influencer works with, soft promotional touches drive the best results.
3. Your Influencer must be active and post frequently
The more active an influencer is on social media the further your brand name will be spread. There is a distinct correlation between how often an influencer posts and the rate of return visitors. It often takes multiple “touches” for a prospective customer to turn into a customer. Look for indicators that an influencer is active on social media, check their number of likes, comments and how often they post. The success of your brand’s reach depends on how effectively the influencer engages with their followers.
How to Connect With Influencers
Now that you’ve defined a list of potential influencers, you will need to develop these partnerships. To ensure a strong start to these relationships, follow these three tips to get you started.
1. Reach Out Directly to Influencers
Brands often rely on the agencies that they work with to drive communication with influencers. However, 79% of influencers would rather that brands reach out to them directly. While it’s tempting to create a template for mass outreach, it’s best to personalize each pitch.
2. Get to Know Your Influencers
Take the time to get to know the influencers you reach out to so you can better understand their following and what they are looking for out of a partnership. Part of the outreach process is proving to the influencer that your opportunity is relevant to their audience.
3. Keep Track of Your Influencers
Create a spreadsheet to help record your influencers’ information. This will help keep track of their contact information and help avoid any mistakes. The majority of the time, you will be able to find their contact info on their profile.
Social media influencers are the modern-day word of mouth. When you find and leverage your best influencers, you reach not only their audience but their audience’s network as well. Influencers with a loyal and engaged following can increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your product pages.