Influencer marketing is all the rage at the moment, with as many as 82% of brands admitting they’re using this technique to reach a wider audience, said a recent report from Takumi, the makers of the app that connects social influencers to brands.
This is not a new phenomenon, it’s something that has been happening since the beginning of media, it’s just the focus has shifted to influencing ‘celebrities’ on social media rather than those who’ve made their fame on traditional channels.
As tempting as it may be to approach the people with the largest number of followers, research from Takumi has found that in fact it’s micro-influencers, not celebrities, who generate the greatest amount of engagement for brands.
Indeed, the influential American business magazine, Forbes, agrees with this sentiment and has created its own influencer formula for marketers to follow:
Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers
In Part One of our series on how to use influencers for marketing we’ve come up with our own top tips on how to select an influencer, build a relationship with them and offer them the kind of content they’d be willing to share.
How to select an influencer:
- Check out the influencer’s target audience: Make sure their audience aligns with yours. Choose influencers based on their ability to connect with your target audience.
- Do your homework: Find out what the influencer’s motivation is for blogging/Instagraming, tailor your content to benefit both your business needs and their audience’s wants.
- Choose someone with expertise: It’s not enough for somebody to have a large number of Twitter/Instagram followers. They must have expertise and credibility which is applicable to your target market.
- Find someone with a strong voice: Look for influencers who are not only popular, but also have a strong/authoritative voice within your target market. Look to see if they frequently answer questions on their Instagram posts or even have an active and popular blog.
How to build a relationship with an influencer:
- Be personal: Send them a catchy and personalised email asking them to collaborate with you. Keep it in mind they probably receive hundreds of these a day, so make yours stand out. Keep it brief & to the point.
- Meet them in person: As with any business relationship, they work best when you know each other on a personal level. Invite the influencer for lunch or into your office, get them to meet your team. This will help to foster a deeper relationship with them and enable them to buy into your business/brand.
- Offer a partnership: Incentivise your influencer by offering to collaborate with them. For example, let them have editorial control over a joint campaign or financially incentivise the relationship (if this is the case you must be transparent about this arrangement).
- Repurpose the content you co-create on your site: This becomes a win-win situation for both parties. You get fresh and relevant content for your site, they get access to your audience, increasing their reach and audience size too.
Give them content they will want to share:
- Be exclusive: Influencers gain their reputation for being at the forefront of trends. Think about what you can offer an influencer to make them stand out. Give them unique content or a money can’t buy experience that they can brag about.
- Tap into their expertise: Ask them if they will do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on their social media channel about your industry or products that they’ve been given to sample.
Benefits of influencer marketing:
Brands that have used influencers have reported that they’ve experienced greater brand recognition, an increase in number of followers and even reported a higher click-through rate leading to an uplift in sales. Don’t take our word for it, here are just some of the stats out there:
- Businesses make on average $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
- 59% of businesses believe in influencer marketing so much, they are planning to increase their spend on it.
- 51% of marketers believe they get better customers from influencer marketing as the relationship began with trust in the influencer.
- 60% of teens are more likely to believe and buy from YouTube stars than movie stars.
- Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers have higher engagement and interaction with their followers than those with more than 10,000 followers.
- Micro-influencers on Instagram get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per post than those with more than 100,000 followers.
- Sharing content through an influencer is found to increase conversions by at least 3X and as much as 10X
- 44% of social media savvy women say their buying decision is influenced by a trusted blogger
Psst: If you want to know where to find an influencer – these sites are the best places to start looking: