The popularity of the internet coupled with social media created a new breed of people who are authorities in their respective domains. Such individuals have developed deep knowledge on a subject and have a huge fan following in their social media accounts. These individuals are called Influencers and the art of getting such people talk about your product or service is called Influencer Marketing. Now that is the most simple way I could have put it across to you.
Before we delve into the depths of Influencer Marketing you need to first know if it is at all useful and if it fits into your marketing strategy.
Examples of Influencer Marketing
ProductHabits is a very new blog started by the industry veteran Hiten Shah of CrazyEgg and KissMetrics fame. Hiten has subtly used one of the Influencer Marketing techniques by embedding an Influencer’s testimonial before asking you to download his book.
Instead of asking you to download the book straight away this Small Testimonial from Brian Balfour acts as a subtle booster for people to download the book. Brian too will encourage his network to visit this website and download the book, since it adds to his Klout. This is a win-win situation for both.
Hollywood celebrities are endorsing Fashion Brands with a small Tweet. The Fashion Brands leverage the huge followers of the Celebrity and when compared to traditional print media or Television, this tweet is far more affordable with almost equal mileage. Which means that even new and smaller brands can now consider celebrity endorsements that can overnight elevate their brand status.
As per Dailymail, Twitter endorsements by Khloe Kardashian costs $8,000, Charlie Sheen $9,500 and even jailbird LiLo $3,500. Now, this is surely within the reach of new upcoming brands.
Apart from Hollywood or your local cinema celebrities, Influencers are now more readily identifiable from every domain via various influencer marketing programs. You can get endorsements from Marketing Gurus to Educational Leaders, to Cloud Experts, to Travel & Food Bloggers, to even Stock Traders.
When it comes to comparison of mileage and cost vis a vie Social Media Advertising, the impact, and reach of an Influencer is far more, and the cost far less, than just pushing your ads on the native social platforms. The Influencer marketing not only adds the oomph to your brand but also ensures a very targeted distribution of your campaign.
If you consider that Influencer Marketing makes sense, continue reading.
Influencer Marketing Strategy
Not all Influencers are commercially available for endorsements and reaching out to many of them still remains difficult. Those who are not into commercial endorsements need a relationship building by the brand and a buy-in of their product and service by the Influencer before they will endorse it. None the less, the efforts taken in convincing such influencers will always bear fruit.
Influencer marketing can also be strategised along with micro-influencers. If you are selling a shaving cream, you may choose to go for micro influencers who will not only spread your message and brand at a very minimal cost but may also end by buying your product. I call it 2-in-1.
If you have at least 5K Followers in your Twitter account, or a similar number on your Facebook or Instagram, you can qualify to become an influencer yourself. Micro Influencers are generic and do not provide a niche follower base. So you need to consider this fact in your marketing strategy.
If you have at least 5K Followers in your Twitter account, or a similar number on your Facebook or Instagram, you can qualify to become a micro influencer yourself. Micro Influencers are generic and do not provide a niche follower base. So you need to consider this fact in your marketing strategy.
As per Digiday, 47% of online consumers use ad blockers, giving brands and businesses, even more, the reason to put their dollars behind influencers. Influencers are the ones holding everyone’s attention.
Influential bloggers can knit your brand within their story to make it even more convincing for the readers. The trick here is not to make the brand mention appear like a forced advert or an affiliate link. Even if it is a simple tweet from an influencer, the message should appear very natural and not like a disconnected conversation.
Influencer Marketing Implementation
The first thing to strategies is your choice between Influencer or Micro Influencer.
If you plan to implement Influencer Marketing, you need to first identify at least 100 Influencers from your domain. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. Comment and like their blog posts on a regular basis. Subscribe to their newsletters, and then start responding them from the newsletter emails. Ask authoritative questions or doubts, send your appreciation quoting a particular context of their article, or send a generic appreciation. I found the
I found the Nudge tool quite helpful in providing me with intelligent insights about my relationship strengths with the influencers. Once I have built a strong indicator, I can be blunt enough to ask them for a Tweet, Recommendation, or a mention in their blog.
Check this article from RazorSocial on how to find Influencers from Twitter. If you have identified your 100 Influencers but do not have their email ids, do not worry. Check this list of tools that can provide you with an accurate email address of your chosen influencers.
Now that you have the email address of your Influencers, I would suggest using a tool like Mailshake to start reaching out to them. You can consider sending them emails directly from your Gmail account too, but here are some of the inconvenience you are going to face.
- You cannot send them bulk emails which will offend them.
- Sending them 1 email at a time will be too time-consuming.
- If they do not respond to your email, you are surely going to lose interest and stop contacting them.
Let me not endorse Mailshake further, but it is surely is a good and affordable tool for reaching out.
If you are planning to reach out to micro influencers then you need to target very big numbers. That cannot be done with the strategy advised above. You will need a platform that has a connect with a large micro influencer network and that can help you in creating a campaign that will be endorsed and distributed by these micro influencers.
In both the cases if you have a little more budget and would be keen to use a comprehensive Influencer Marketing Platform, I have compiled a list of such tools that can be leveraged effectively. Most of these tools have on-boarded Influencers and Micro Influencers, provide a rating mechanism and an influence score. Such tools have integrated outreach facilities, including email templates that can be replicated for your reach out campaigns.
Influencer Marketing is part of Growth Hacking. You can learn more about growth hacking techniques here.
You can also find top twitter influencers using tools like RightRelevance and Onalytica. Read this guide to working with Instagram Influencers from Entrepreneur. Connect with top YouTube Influencers using Peg. Check out the top influencers on Linkedin.