Promote Your Brand with The Help of Online Influencers

by | Sep 12, 2016 | Social, Tactical, Web | 0 comments

“Influencer marketing has proven very successful because it effortlessly sneaks into consumer’s lives by way of content – which is basically currency in the online marketing space.”

Businesses need exposure to grow and fulfill their mission. It would be tragic if a business were to fill a major marketplace void and no one knew about it. Today, large and small brands are looking for innovative ways to spread the word about what they’re up to. Some companies have let cameras in on their day to day operations, like in the TV show Undercover Boss, while others are using sponsorship as a way into the consumer’s world as seen in the Big Brother Canada home furnishing by The Brick. The “buy our product” hard sell isn’t as effective as it once was, so companies are looking for non-pervasive ways to reach new audiences. Influencer marketing has proven very successful because it effortlessly sneaks into consumer’s lives by way of content – which is basically currency in the online marketing space.

Influencer marketing uses the influence and audience of a person/brand to promote a company. In other words, an online personality can help a company to increase awareness or drive sales by promoting the latter within their network. Here’s how you do it:

Start by identifying the influencer/influencers you’d want to work with.

The following would likely have an audience worth leveraging and should be considered for such partnerships:

1. BLOGGERS

2. YOUTUBERS

3. OTHER SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

4. ENTREPRENEURS

5. EXPERTS

6. OTHER BRANDS

7. MEDIA PERSONALITIES

8. JOURNALISTS

9. ACTIVISTS/ADVOCATES

10. LOBBYISTS

When you’re outlining who you want to approach, consider partnering with people that are in fit with what your company does. For example, if I owned a local bakery, it would be relevant for me to approach food bloggers, amateur bakers, event planning brands, food/wedding editors, etc. Look for people who you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with.

"Look for people who you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with."

As a bakery owner, my chances of success in teaming up with a local food blogger with a sizeable audience will be far greater than if I were to approach a prestigious chef, like Rachel Ray, to use one of my recipes on a cooking show. I’m not saying securing a gig with Rachel Ray is impossible. Talent and persistence can make anything happen! But the point is to focus your influencer marketing efforts on people that are more likely to partner with you and help you reach the right audience.

It’s also important to work with people that you can genuinely relate to. If the collaboration isn’t authentic, look for one that is. Try to interact with the influencer as much as possible online so that they are familiar with you when you approach them about the partnership opportunity.

How to approach influencers.

The reaching out stage is a hard one because no one wants to feel rejection. If you don’t hear back the first time, it could mean a lot of things, not necessarily that they aren’t willing to work with you. Keep trying! Also, outline others you would like to approach if you don’t get the response you hoped for.

Contact the influencer by e-mail or through social media. A great tip is to connect with influencers on LinkedIn and use InMail messages to reach out to them. In Mail has a far higher response rate than e-mail. Include the following in your message:

• Introduce yourself

• Include where you first became familiar with their work & why you like what they do

• Tell them what you would like to do

• Include why you want to collaborate

• Give them a brief description of the collaboration & how it’ll be mutually beneficial

• Ask them for their rates/press kit

• Let them know of when they can expect a follow up

If you’re reaching out through social media, send it as a message that will find its way to a private inbox, if at all possible. In terms of compensation, you can propose an exchange of services instead of money, but cash is king. The more beneficial your proposal is to the influencer, the more likely they’ll be willing to participate. Strive to make the collaboration as mutually beneficial as possible. If you’re a photographer, you could reach out to an event planner and suggest taking photos of their events in return for the exposure and content surrounding their work. The sky is limit! Get creative and propose something that an influencer can’t say no to!

Types of campaigns.

By now, you’re probably wondering what other types of collaborations to offer. Feel free to try some of these:

1. HOSTING A TWITTER CHAT

2. SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT TAKEOVER: Where the influencer posts content on your account on your behalf.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCT PLACEMENT

4. EVENT HOSTING

5. HOSTING A MEETUP/MEET AND GREET

6. TEACHING A CLASS/PRESENTING AT A SEMINAR

7. INTERVIEW/PODCAST

8. GUEST POSTING

Choose the right promotional tactic for the right influencer and the right audience. Ask the influencer what type of campaign they’ve used and had success with. Campaigns that fit seamlessly into their audience’s experience are going to resonate the most. MDG advertising did some research and proved that 70% of consumers want to learn about ads through content, not traditional advertising. So do this instead!

Evaluate the campaign.

You can always measure the effectiveness of the campaign against what you set out to achieve when you started. Before you decide to do anything marketing-related, make sure to set specific goals. Two obvious things to look at are sales numbers and overall response (reviews, social chatter/mentions). Ask the influencer what people have said about the campaign and what they think about the outcome. Has your company gained you awareness? Are people excited about what your business offers? Did you see a spike in sales? Have you received a great deal more of website hits? Have new partnership opportunities come forth? All these things are important to measure.

In Short.

Marketing is ever-evolving. Therefore, it’s crucial that businesses experiment with new ways of reaching target audiences. Look for influencers - people a lot of influence - in your industry. Contact them with a partnership opportunity that they won’t be able to turn down, and witness for yourself the power of influencer marketing!

Meet the author.

Kristina Dapaah

Social Media Specialist

She’s best described as a ‘latte sipper’ with a knack for social results. When she isn’t scheduling content for a client’s social feed, she can be found blogging from her kitchen table while somewhat listening to a TED Talk.

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