Influence Marketing is the oldest form of marketing. The first time a brand used someone of importance to sell a product, dawned the age of it. It works and it will continue to work.
This article will have some strategies for you, but it’s impossible to know exactly what your specific business will need. Use this article as a guide to see if influence marketing is for you. If it is, there is a 6-step process to finding the right influence marketing persona for your business. It’s not an exact science, but if you do your research and patiently select the right people, your audience can grow leaps and bounds virtually overnight.
That’s why so many companies are jumping on the bandwagon of influence marketing, and maybe you should too.
Choose the Right Strategy
Influence marketing is a tool to enhance an existing marketing strategy. If your strategy is not comprehensive and you only rely on influence marketing, your strategy will not work.
The key is to have a balanced approach to marketing. This means putting your message in front of the right people at the right time. The right time is when they are ready to buy.
Sometimes it takes lots of content, a phone call, or an email sequence to get someone ready to buy your product. Figuring that out can be a tough thing to do, but it’s worth it. Trust me.
This article won’t go into too much depth about how to market your specific business, but for now understand that whatever reasons your customers have for not buying your product, you need to address that before you get influencers on your side.
The Ideal Influencer
After you have a solid marketing strategy filled with: content, ads, email marketing, and physical marketing materials, you should think about getting someone to employ influence marketing. There are plenty of ways to find the right influencer for your brand. There are agencies that specialize in finding you the right fit, but the old ways still work. Check out the Influencer Marketing Hub for more information.
Whatever strategy you use to find your perfect influence marketing persona, you have to think about what kind of person identifies with your brand. Are you looking for someone that is over the top or quietly sarcastic? Is this person a male or a female? Are they an expert or a fun personality?
The answers to these questions will narrow it down, but you ultimately have to decide who you want to represent your brand. It’s not just about influence marketing. Your influencer is a person that will have your name attached to theirs forever, so careful planning is a must.
The best brands attract the best influence marketing personas. Nike has Lebron James, Serena Williams, and Tiger Woods. Obviously, these kinds of stars require a large commitment on your part, so make sure you know what you’re capable of.
However, these days it’s really easy to find the right influencer at the right price. If you go on YouTube and type in your product, you might find people already that are endorsing your product. Reviews are everywhere. If you contact the writer or the video creator, they might recommend your product in exchange for just using the product.
Obviously, you get what you pay for, but influence marketing can be as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it. If you can’t afford Lebron James, don’t sweat it. Go on YouTube, Instagram, and look for bloggers on Google. Make sure they are active content producers and they have the kind of brand that is similar to your own.
After you find a few you’d like to reach out to, it’s perfectly ok to send them a direct message or cold-email. If you’re offering free products or perhaps monetary compensation, you’ll have a good chance of landing them as a supporter.
The most important thing is to look for the best-of-the-best in your field. If there isn’t a lot of competition in your area, you might find a good influence marketing persona for a bargain.
Influence marketing should be part of a good long-term marketing strategy. It’s definitely not something you should look into with a limited budget.
If you’re an established brand already, I would use influence marketing to spread the word on your newest products every time you create another one. Letting them get the first crack at it is a cheap way to beta test your product. It’s also a great way to let a large segment of your target market know that something great is coming out soon.
Many video game producers offer beta-tests for a new game coming out. Most of the time the influencers get to try it and look for large issues in the game. They also help fine tune the game before it goes live.
Is Influence Marketing Right For Your Company?
Many industries thrive on influence marketing: Fitness, Supplements, Technology, Gaming, etc. Is it right to say that influence marketing is for everyone? I think it is if it’s on the internet and people want to know about it.
Think about what people are making videos about. Of course, there are subjects that are more popular than others, but just because on 10,000 people watch a video doesn’t mean those 10,000 won’t buy a product. Actually just the opposite.
Smaller niche markets sometimes have the most loyal buyers time and time again. You shouldn’t get discouraged if your audience isn’t booming like the fitness industry. Think about industries like woodworking or knitting. Crafts are great for online businesses. Just look on Etsy and you’ll see plenty of custom gift ideas that you won’t find anywhere. If you sell craft items, you could find a Do-It-Yourself crafting channel on YouTube and suggest that person to highlight some of your products in exchange for a commission.
The possibilities are endless and when it comes to recruiting your next influencer, all you have to do is look where people are already talking about it.
Choosing The Right Influencers for Your Brand
Influence marketing has risks associated with it. This is why you should understand who you’re partnering with. One little misstep on their part and your brand can suffer. One tweet that says the wrong thing can make all the difference, and now your CEO has to make a statement of apology for someone else’s mistake.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure the people you associate with your brand with are trustworthy. Don’t just start reaching out to possible influencers. I suggest looking into their brand.
When you look at the title of this subsection, you might think I’m talking about criminal records, and I am if you have the means to check these things. However, I want to outline a simple strategy to identify good candidates for influence marketing.
- Identify the location of all the content produced by the influencer. Know every channel they post frequently and examine them.
- Watch every video and read every blog. Look for a consistent brand, no curse words, obviously no racial comments or jokes, etc. You’re looking for someone that you know is reputable.
- Make sure they have the values as your brand. They should highlight their values often and make it obvious who they are in every video. They should be authentic and honest at all times.
- Talk to them on the phone or meet them in person. An email is not enough. I would prefer looking them in the eye.
- Identify whether or not they give poor reviews of products publicly. If you know your product will get a good review, choose these influencers above all else. These are the kind of people that have the best rapport with their viewers. Authenticity is the key, and your target audience will appreciate the honesty.
- Identify whether or not they answer questions and continue conversations when possible with their viewers.
Making the Decision
Ultimately, choosing the right person to do your influence marketing comes down to trusting your gut after a great deal of research. Following the steps in the last section is important, but your specific industry might have more nuances to consider. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into.
Being an entrepreneur is all about making decisions based on incomplete information. Even the best researchers in the world have to make decisions when they don’t know what the answer is. Choosing an influence marketing persona is a tough decision, but very doable in a matter of a month or so.
Keep in mind that you should always consult your attorney when allowing others to endorse your brand or products. When dealing with newer products you might want to include a Non-Disclosure Agreement (if needed) or some kind of agreement to protect you in case things do not go well. I’m not an attorney, but I would always recommend consulting one in times like these.
For more information on Influencer Marketing please check out this article: Influencer Marketing: It’s Going Down in the D.M.