12 Expert tips on growing your business using influencer marketing

under Experts, Gurus, & Other Mythical Creatures, Influencer Marketing.

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As someone who is an at home marketer, I typically spend my days downing cups of tea while glued to my laptop. Because of this, I get one of those teeth whitening kits every few years. (How does this relate to marketing? I'm getting there...)

I've used those "white strips" before and they're decent, but I wanted to try something different. And I wanted someone's advice before I committed to a product. I remembered a video I had seen from one of my favorite YouTubers about a whitening kit she used a few months ago. She even offered a discount code so I was sold!

This is a perfect example of influencer marketing in action. To find out more are this immensely marking tactic, we asked some experts in the field: How can influencer marketing help grow my business?

 

There is a reason influencer marketing is starting to take a bigger share of marketing budgets.

When done well, it gains you access to an engaged and trusting group of potential customers that look to the influencer for advice and recommendations.  Influence campaigns increase your social reach and if the message resonates with the audience they can become your own loyal fans and followers to market to in the future.

Beyond the social following influencers bring to the table, there is value in the content they are creating for you that you can reuse over and over again. Additionally allowing influencers flexibility in the content can create can get you new ideas of messaging to use or even new ways to use your product that different audiences might appreciate more than what you already have in mind.

Dan Bagby, Seasoned Influence

 

After being in digital marketing for over 6 years, everyone is becoming more and more disconnected. Even with Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter and everyone can see what anyone is up to BUT there isn't any meaningful relationships being built.

That is where being an influencer or authority in your field will allow your business to stand out from the rest.

No matter what platforms come up in the future, your reputation stays with you and that is the foundation to a long-term sustainable business.

Stan Tan, Selby's

 

Influencer marketing is all about reaching new audiences in a targeted and considered way. An influencer holds social sway over their audience, which means that if you can gain their recommendation you're also likely gain the approval of their followers. By identifying and working with influencers in your niche, you gain access a highly engaged audience with little effort. Influencers act like a megaphone for your message, amplifying  and giving it extra credibility.

So how can you take advantage of this? The most difficult part is finding an influencer who matches your brand tone and reaches your target audience. Research how your target audience likes to consume their media and focus on those platforms. For social networks like Instagram and Twitter, follow hashtags and trends until you find someone you wish to work with. Engage with them and, if you're persuasive enough, you'll have yourself a powerful collaborator.

Jordan Harling, Wooden Blinds Direct

 

What is the most valuable and coveted business commodity that every brand is struggling to acquire? The answer is Trust, simple yet powerful, takes years to build, seconds to break and without which there can be no bonds between brands and consumers.

Research suggests that consumers are more likely to buy your product if it is recommended to them by someone they know or connect with. And this is where Influencers play their role. Since Influencers are consumers themselves, your target audience will find them trustworthy. Also, Influencer Marketing is one of the fastest ways to help consumers develop trust.

Here's what you can achieve with Influencer marketing.

  1. You'll be able to reach a wider audience.
  2. Your social media presence will be enhanced.
  3. Your brand authority will gradually increase.
  4. Your messages get conveyed faster to your audience.
  5. You can expect a high Return on Investment (ROI).
  6. With good exposure and credibility, you'll ultimately gain customer loyalty

Sowndarya Kishore, SocialAnimal

 

There are so many creative ways to reach media influencers and get the media to cover your story, product, or yourself.  Here are some things small business owners should do when trying to reach influencers:

  1. Media contacts are living and swimming in the digital platform. It's a good idea, besides pitching to their direct email, to follow media contacts on social media. Most of them have their social media profiles available since they are public figures..
  2. Check out the site https://famebit.com/ . Famebit allows you to connect with social media influencers who average over 2.5 billion followers. You can have YouTube celebs promote your product or service for as little as $100.
  3. Connect with bloggers who cross relate to your industry. There are many free sites that have a list of bloggers/influencers, but my best advice is to start local. Find out who is the most influential blogger in your town, neighborhood, or city. Sometimes geographic similarities is a starting point for a great connection or story idea.

Vicky Llerena, Social Vibes Media

 

Influencer marketing leverages both the power of social media platforms and the extended reach of a borrowed audience.

It's crucial to not only pair with an influencer who could potentially use your product or service in real life but also consider that influencer's audience demographics. While the influencer might be interested in your business, that doesn't necessarily mean their followers will be.

For example, famous YouTube vlogger Casey Neistat is 36 years old, but a majority of his following online is considerably younger. Before investing in an influencer partnership, make sure that your business appeals to both the influencer and their audience.

However, when you find that magical partnership, cultivate that relationship. Having an influencer provide genuine feedback regarding your product is the modern equivalent of face-to-face recommendations. It provides exposure with a high ROI for generally very little investment compared to traditional sponsorships."

Shelby Rogers, DigitalUs

 

With social media becoming increasingly pay to play and algorithm updates making it trickier to reach customers through brand pages, influencer marketing has become more important than ever. Influencers have the unrivaled potential to reach highly targeted audiences and use their own authority to build trust and loyalty for your brand. And the numbers show it works: business earn an average of $6.50 on every $1 spent on influencer marketing.

To capitalize on influencer marketing, you'll first need to determine your approach: will your brand work with several large-scale influencers or enlist a legion of micro-influencers? How will you incentivize them? Do you have tools and techniques for managing your influencers, such as trackable links, dashboards, and reports? How do you define success? The fantastic thing about influencer marketing is that it's scalable: even the most basic approach, such as distributing complimentary products for reviews, may see great results, but getting sophisticated with your strategy and data can skyrocket your ROI.

Kirstie Jeffries, Annex Cloud

 

My short answer is influencer marketing is a concept that can be applied to a wide variety of businesses, from B2C cosmetic companies to B2B software company. What ends up differing is how one decides to setup an influencer campaign, which ends up being very dependent upon the buyer persona - who are you trying to influence, the desired KPI - what outcome do you want, and then based on that information the more granular items of network selection (Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc.), categorical match, and ultimately creating a concise pitch that delivers as much value as you're comfortable providing to an influencer.

Once you have answered those questions, running an influencer campaign is actually quite simple, with many networks and agencies to choose from - it becomes a simple numbers game and trusting the process you created to reached the desired outputs based on the upfront labor inputs you created.

Joe Sinkwitz, Intellifluence

 

Influencer Marketing can introduce you to new audiences and gain your brand goodwill and credibility, if you don't make the obvious mistakes.

Apply the same marketing fundamentals you apply anywhere. Focus on influencers that resonate with your target audience and don't be compelled by shiny big names with an undefined audience base. Track results. Repeat where successful and abandon where measurable results aren't available.

Gen Z reacts negatively to ads. By 2020, they'll be 40% of the shoppers in the US. Half of them won't use Facebook this year. Use influencers to reach them - but remember they feel authenticity and loathe commercialism. Let the influencers guide you on how to speak their language.

Gil Eyal, HYPRBRands

 

Aligning yourself and working with the right influencer not only helps to put your brand in front of your audience, it does so in a way that actually resonates. When you convey your message via an influencer, your audience is actively listening, trusting and more importantly; likely to takeaction. This is reflected in the data, which has found over 90% of people trust recommendations from other people over brands.

Combine this with the fact influencer marketing can be more cost effective than traditional online advertising and it becomes a no-brainer.Rather than working on a $5 CPM on Facebook or YouTube for example, brands who work with influencers can negotiate based on clicks, purchases or exchanges products for collaborations. Which is why brands who do work with influencers are seeing an average of $6.85in media value for every $1 that they spent on paid media.

Amy Baker, Content Career

 

We use influencer marketing as part of our digital marketing strategy for Instagram (363k followers), and it's our favorite platform because we get the most engagement out of it. Our target audience includes fashion oriented people who attend music festivals and enjoy electronic dance music.

We engage in influencer marketing in a variety of ways. We find popular accounts who meet our criteria for selection, and we engage in a conversation to gauge whether or not it's a good fit.

For us, the most important element of an influencer package aside from cultural fit, is the overall reach of their account. We measure our return on investment based on the number of impressions we receive, how much referral traffic we get, and of course - how many sales come as a result of the campaign. Aside from influencer marketing, we also do a lot of giveaways.

Typically, we give away festival tickets. We encourage our fans to tag five of their friends and share the contest, which helps our page grow exponentially.

Brandon Chopp, iHeartRaves

 

One often overlooked benefit of working with influencers is that data from their "followers" can be leveraged to strengthen market research and impact bigger marketing decisions. Understanding your target market is crucial in any industry and an influencer campaign of any kind will produce extremely valuable data on a target market.

The key is to be able to analyze this data to for future decisions. Marketing teams can even reach out to micro-influencers to research how niche communities react to different types of messaging. While only a secondary benefit, understanding how certain markets react to your messaging will ultimately support business growth in the long run!

Jacob Dayan, Community Tax