As an entrepreneur, you must have thought a lot about your marketing campaign and considered how to make it both effective and affordable. Or if you are about to venture into the world of entrepreneurship, it’s good to think about how you want your products to be represented to your potential customers.
You must have heard about influencer marketing. It is the current buzz. And as it seems, it will not be a passing fad, but a trend that it is only set to grow. Have you thought about incorporating it into your own marketing strategy for 2017?
Why should you do it?
Are you hesitant about this? Let us reassure you.
As previously mentioned, this is a trend that is only expected to grow. According to surveys on different platforms, over 80% of marketers have already used this approach in 2016 and an amazing number of 94% found them useful. On top of that, even more of them are considering using this strategy in 2017.
Still not convinced? Think about how many times you were watching something on the TV and started using your phone during the commercial break. Or did something else instead? What about adblockers on your browsers? Have you got one installed? Do you read the promo material handed out to you or just throw it in the trash? The chances are that you, like most people, ignore ads and that is exactly why social influencers can be useful.
What is the first step?
Now that you are convinced it is the right way to go, let us discuss what you need to do before reaching out to an influencer.
First and foremost, you need to think about your personal brand. There is no way around it, with so many new brands competing for market share in 2017 (their number is growing as we write this), you need to promote your brand and ‘sell’ it to the influencer. Believe in it – if you don’t, no one will. Confidence in what you are trying to sell is crucial. You also need to ‘clean house’, so to speak. Make sure you have everything branded – website and email address with your domain name or if you are just starting, make sure to choose the right domain name that will reflect your brand’s image.
Then make sure that everything has the same design. Your website should not be sporting one color and your business card another, for example. Everything should be in line in order to incorporate your vision into your brand’s image. Considering the era we live in, everything must be appealing to your potential customers (and the influencer you are trying to get onboard) so you can convert them into clients. 2017 does not forgive sloppy branding.
With all the logistics in place, you are ready for an influencer.
Who and how?
Obviously, it would be impossible for you to ask someone like Selena Gomez to support your brand. Unless you have really deep pockets and can afford to spend over $500,000 on this (current rate). Seeing how you are probably not so well-off to pay that amount of money on a single cross-platform mention, what you should consider is micro-influencers. While Rihanna might not mention your hand-made soap to her followers, a blogger writing about natural cosmetics might. And what is best, is that they have a following that will read and actually be interested in what they have to say! It is hard to grasp, but that is how it is at the moment. 2017 is the year of social influencers.
So, make sure to research the influencers in your niche. It might sound unbelievable but there is an influencer for pretty much everything. Find the one you relate to and whose writing you like.
Then, the right way to approach them would be to comment on their posts and show that you respect what they do. Show them appreciation and recognition and they will react both to you and your brand. Make sure you click. Why? Influencers have earned their status because their words are genuine (or are perceived as such). The people following them believe in what they say and recommend. If you treat this as a purely business transaction, how can they build a relationship with your brand? Unless again, you really do have deep pockets. Also, you are not doing them a favor so negotiate a price that is convenient for both of you.
There is one more thing you need to be aware of – you should not try to make them post your marketing slogans or ideas. Why? They are influential because people believe and like what they say so they can do it better than you. Give them freedom to express themselves in their own way and you will see how effective they are. Also, make sure to expand their influence by sharing their content on your own site (videos, podcasts). It can only help you in the end.
2017 is the year of influencer marketing. It is highly probable 2018 will also be one. To succeed, make sure to find the ideal influencer for your brand (before someone else grabs them!) and start your collaboration as soon as possible.