Influencer Marketing 5 Tips to get started

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The digital space is constantly evolving and to stay competitive entrepreneurs, small business owners, and marketing teams at bigger companies need to re-evaluate their marketing strategies continuously. In the past few years, we’ve seen significant changes in how companies are marketing their products. These changes range from participation on new social networks, new technologies, and the increasingly popular content marketing.

However, too many companies are creating content that is not especially useful or actionable. Customers and followers are becoming overwhelmed with content that doesn’t provide value or becomes random noise. These problems can be worsened by changes made by Google and others in the way email is delivered to potential customers in the industry. There’s no doubt that content marketing is difficult to execute depending on the modern-day digital scenario. That’s whereinfluencer marketing can help.

Popularity of Influencer marketing has reached to the front of many marketing strategies and will continue to be an essential marketing tactic in 2017. While larger companies are already relying on influencers, start-ups and small businesses should also be in the influencer game. However, influencer marketing has become more sophisticated recently to include not just headline grabbing celebrities, but also other types of influencers. These trends recommend that it would be smarter for companies to focus on influencers who best engage with their niche target audiences rather than just looking for general household names such as Jeff Bezos, Gary V and Elon Musk. Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Identify which Influencer is right for you

Create a list of influencers who are already well engaged with your target audience. Some might decline to work with you, so make sure you have enough names on that list to give you some options. Find people in your industry that are trending on Twitter, being talked about on Facebook, or have the most followers on Instagram. Identify people who run the most popular blogs in your industry, or even whom your competitors are using as their influencers and build off of those networks. To find a versatile brand influencer, look at their active engagement to make sure that they aren’t just pushing content, but that they are also having conversations with their followers.

2. Reach out to the influencers

Connect to the influencers to get the conversation started. It’s important to introduce yourself and your company and to describe the respective value that a partnership could provide briefly. Also include your preferred method of compensation, whether it’s your product/service at a discounted (or free) rate or a payment. Use clear, friendly language so that the outreach seems personal and not automated. Follow up once every few days to check up if the influencer hasn’t responded, but avoid filling up their inbox with emails, messages, or tweets. Unfortunately, you won’t always receive a response or agreement. When you do, keep the conversation going as you work with the influencer to refine your understanding of how your relationship could work best.

3. Align your influencers on the correct medium

Make sure that your list of influencers is aligned with your chosen channels. This typically happens organically, since you should already be using the platform that your target audience is using. You should be cautious of promoting content on channels that you are not involved in because it can create a disconnect with your target audience. In other words, if you’re already using LinkedIn well and not using Instagram, you’re better off making your LinkedIn presence excellent than you are trying to raise your Instagram presence to be mediocre. If you have just started building your presence on Instagram since you are convinced that your target audience is there, you can still reach them steadily–creating and executing a good strategy will be more difficult, but not impossible.

4. Be straightforward with the Influencer

Whether it is a sponsored post or a video series on YouTube, you should possess a clear vision of how the influencer can boost the sales and reach for your brand and what you want to achieve from such campaigns. Conventionally, the distribution method is guided by the channel. Although it’s common to have one-off sponsored posts across multiple social media channels, tactics like brand takeovers have become synonymous with Snapchat or Instagram Live, and Q&A sessions with Twitter. Influencer marketing should always be implemented with a definite vision, and the method of distribution has the power to direct that focus from a new announcement to a call to action of purchasing a product. While influencers commonly help businesses, don’t be afraid to ask for their advice and leverage their experience to improve your campaigns and tactics.

5. Follow through with an integrated strategy

Once you have signed an agreement with an influencer and the sponsored content has been released, start implementing the action plan around the campaign. You must minutely analyze the traction that the sponsored content is creating, and reach out to consumers that are commenting or sharing the content. Part of your future strategy should be based on the efficacy of your influencer marketing. Finally, keep the content relevant so that you can stay engaged with the maximum number of consumers.

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