We’ve all witnessed the power influencers have on Instagram and TikTok. But did you know that influencers can power your marketing, too? In fact, they might be exactly what you need to create campaigns that reach further and boost your credibility. According to Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer Report, 63% of consumers between the ages of 18-34 trust an influencer’s opinion over branded advertising. And in the same survey, 58% of young adults admitted to purchasing a new product because of an influencer.
Tapping into influencer potential can have a serious impact on your business’s bottom line. But where do you start? That’s the question Micole Garatti of Fairygodboss answers in her Managing Editor Live 2020 presentation.
Here’s how to leverage influencer relationships and marketing tactics in your marketing strategy.
Leverage Influencers in Larger Campaigns
First of all, “influencer marketing” doesn’t refer to campaigns based exclusively on one influencer. That doesn’t do much for brands, Micole says. “Influencer marketing” refers to marketing campaigns that include influencers. “Don't think about adding an influencer as a one-off piece,” she says. “Incorporate them into the campaigns you're already doing.”
Influencers are fantastic for extending the reach of a campaign. They might write a post on their blog, for example, that connects with an ongoing campaign and promotes a lead magnet, like a webinar. They’ll share their post and your lead magnet on all of their channels, which gives your campaign a much broader reach.
Find, Engage and Communicate With Influencers
North Americans spend an average of two hours and six minutes on social media every day, so influencers provide a huge opportunity to get your brand out there. But to use them effectively, you have to find influencers already embedded in your target audience’s social feeds. “It's really about finding, engaging, communicating and working with the right influencers to realize long-term business benefits,” Micole says.
Start with a Google search of the biggest blogs, podcasts and newsletters in your industry. “Search your competitor's websites and see who's writing their white papers,” Micole suggests. “Search on your industry conferences and events at the local and national levels to see who's speaking at these events.” Sign up for updates from influencer channels and begin cultivating organic relationships with the influencers you find.
Reach out to industry influencers and ask to add them to a monthly influencer newsletter. Share VIP information, company news and product updates with them, as well as prepackaged thought leadership they can share on their social channels. Send them branded swag, too!
Once you’ve developed relationships with influencers, you can reach out and ask them to participate in campaigns or lead magnets. But be sure to pay them for their work, Micole says: if someone is writing a blog post for you, pay them your standard rate based on word count.
Diversify Voices of Influence
You don’t have to go after mega-influencers — micro-influencers (who have between 5,000 and 10,000 followers) actually tend to have better engagement with their following than celebrity influencers do, Micole says. One study she cited found that micro-influencer engagement rates averaged around 6.4% — as opposed to 2.4% for larger influencers.
It all comes down to finding influencers who resonate with your brand, regardless of the size of their following. “When you hire an influencer who has the same values as you, the audience is going to be the right audience,” Micole says. “They're going to be a lot more engaged and excited about your brand.”
Make sure your list includes influencers with diversely sized followings as well as diverse gender, ethnic and racial backgrounds. Be sure to quote influencers from different communities, and tap into underrepresented influencers, too. Set standard payment policies, and pay each influencer according to their work — not their background or the size of their following.
Watch Micole’s full session here.
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