With the option to skip ads and mute the TV, it’s next to impossible to get Millennials to listen. However, there is one one thing that always grabs their attention: influencer marketing. These are people that they follow, like and tweet about. They run blogs and YouTube channels that have viewerships that blow some of the biggest corporations out of the water. They’re like celebrities, but more accessible. They frequently give their followers an in-depth look at their life, making them less like fans and more like friends.
Many of them got their start on platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram, as well as their blogs. They talk about their interests or provide vlogs (video blogs) of what they do each day — wondering how these people make money? The answer is simple: corporate partnerships. Many of these influencers have thousands, if not millions of dedicated followers, which provides them with a fantastic platform to speak about products or brands.
Companies will reach out to them and offer a free product, service or payment in exchange for a shout-out in videos, posts, etc. This gives brands the chance to reach audiences they otherwise would have a hard time reaching. But before you go Googling the most influential bloggers, there are a few things to take into consideration.
Know Who You Want to Talk to and don’t be a Poser
If the influencer you choose to work with doesn’t compliment your brand, their audience will pick up on the insincerity and dismiss the call to action. Authenticity is critical, and if the viewers don’t trust you, you are wasting both time and money. Therefore, there are a few things you need to ask yourself when conducting your search for the perfect influencer:
- What audience do you want to target?
- Do your research when it comes to finding influencers who are in your area, budget, etc. Look at everything from blogs to hashtags!
- Does your brand match your influencer’s brand?
- Does this partnership come off as authentic?
Do Your Due Diligence
Once you have found your influencer, the questions don’t stop there. Before committing to anything, you must assess the situation and determine whether or not you can realistically accomplish your goals with this particular influencer.
- Use an interaction tracking tool to make sure that their followers are engaged and respond to the influencer’s calls to action.
- Do the influencers seem sincere in their relationship with you? Are they doing this recognizing that this will be a mutual relationship, or are they only going along with it for their benefit?
- Are they consistent in their posting? If not, how can you trust that they will be reliable?
Value Relationships with Your Influencers
Influencers continuously get requests to partner with brands, and if one has chosen to work with, you remember to appreciate them. Here are a few things to think about when entering into a relationship with an influencer.
- During your campaign: mention them on your brand’s channel like they are doing on theirs. Retweet them, share their blog posts, maybe even have an introduction blog post about who they are and why they are such an excellent fit for your brand.
- After: go above beyond and keep up with them even after your initial partnership ends. If you see that they have a great opportunity or something exciting has happened to them, say congratulations. Maintain your relationship with them, and they will always look at your company fondly and be open to working with you again in the future!
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
If you are a smaller business, think about going after some local talent that is a natural addition to your brand. Here’s how to find what you’re looking for:
Search hashtags like #bostonblogger or attach your location to a word related to your company’s product or services such as #bostonfoodie or #bostonrunner.
Once you find an influencer, ask yourself:
- What would make them want to work with you?
- Do they love your brand already?
- Are they looking for monetary compensation?
- Could you give them a discount code for their followers to use, and in return, they would receive a cut of the profits?
Whatever you do decide to offer them, make sure that it is a good enough incentive that would make them want to talk about it consistently. If your company isn’t ready to move ahead with influencer marketing, think about turning to people already on your team. The people working for you are built-in advocates. They know the company inside out and will hopefully be willing to share content, give ideas about the types of content you should produce, and even participate in doing so.
Make a Game Plan
You’re almost there! Once you have your influencer on board, there are a few more things to go over.
- How long will the campaign last?
- What types of posts would you like to see from them?
- If they are a blogger or YouTuber, come up with ideas for blog posts or videos that revolve around the product or service that also makes sense for their platform.
Speak to their audience in their language, and they will be much more likely to listen.
As we talked about earlier, people are very aware when you are trying to deceive them. One of the most important things that you need to make sure happens with each piece of content is overtly stating that this, in fact, an ad. Having this new audience trust both you and the influencer is necessary if you want this campaign to work. Remember: the audience is opting-in, and if they don’t trust you, they will tune you out.
Get in on this marketing trend ASAP. Influencer marketing is a form of native/organic advertising, and it can improve your SEO tremendously. Whatever you do go with, be sure to get to know your brand’s needs as well as the influencer’s before making any decisions.
- 8 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Lead You To Success: http://bit.ly/2k2BFHY
- 7 Tips for Seeking Out and Seducing the Best Influencers to Love Your Brand: http://on.inc.com/2aC5PSa
- How Brands Can Reach New Audiences With Micro-influencers: http://bit.ly/2kHuNlk
- Considering Influencer Marketing? Think Internal First: http://bit.ly/20SgLLI
- The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting: http://bit.ly/1qVQeZs
- 10 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing is the Next Big Thing: http://bit.ly/2kHnZUx