Under the Influence: 4 Steps to Successful Influencer Marketing

If a banner ad or billboard urges you to buy a product, you might dismiss it as a blatant and not necessarily honest effort by advertisers to make a sale. But if your closest friends start praising a certain brand and recommending it to you, you’ll probably pay more attention and trust their opinions.

The power of word-of-mouth marketing versus traditional advertising has led more and more brands to invest in a new strategy: influencer marketing, which involves turning people your prospective customers like and trust (and who often have an established following on social media) into ambassadors for your brand.

This type of marketing has become the fastest growing online customer acquisition strategy and delivers a considerable return on investment, according to a March 2015 survey of marketers conducted by Tomoson, a software as a service company focused on blogger and influencer outreach. The survey found 59 percent of marketers planned to increase their influencer marketing budgets during the coming year, and businesses make $6.50 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.

Successful influencer marketing requires strategic thinking and careful consideration of who you’re targeting and what you’re trying to achieve. Here are four tips for businesses looking to form partnerships with influencers to attract potential customers.

1. Identify your audience’s influencers. Finding the right influencers to promote your brand isn’t just about pinpointing the person with the most followers on Twitter. It’s important to consider not only an influencer’s reach (number of followers) but also their followers’ characteristics, according to MarketingProfs. Their followers’ demographics should align with your profile of your target market/audience.

MarketingProfs also advises creating an influencer archetype to help you define your ideal brand ambassador. You’ll want to consider quantifiable factors such as reach and how the influencer’s message is shared within communities in addition to demographics such as their age, location, and interests.

2. Create a written influencer agreement. Once you’ve found the best influencers for your brand and reached out to them, it helps to create a written agreement to make everyone’s expectations clear, according to MarketingProfs. The contract should cover the influencer’s rights and responsibilities. Additionally, you can set terms to specify the types of content your influencer can post while representing your brand. For instance, you might want to stipulate that they can’t post violent or derogatory content that could reflect badly on your business.

3. Aim for authenticity. The message that influencers convey about your products and/or services and their enthusiasm for your brand should be honest and authentic, according to the June 2015 Forbes article, “Love It or Hate It: Influencer Marketing Works” by Daniel Newman, co-CEO of the integrated marketing and digital communications agency V3B. Otherwise, your efforts will fall flat and fail to win over your target audience.

To maintain authenticity and effectively harness the power of the relationship between influencers and their followers, it helps to give influencers flexibility to create content that conveys their voice and appeals to their audience while still getting the word out about your business, according to MarketingProfs.

4. Set goals and track your progress. It’s important to know what you’re looking to accomplish with your influencer marketing campaign and monitor your progress toward your objectives. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell whether or not your efforts are paying off, MarketingProfs states. Define key performance indicators and make sure everyone involved – including your influencers – knows what they are.

Ultimately, influencer marketing can help your brand reach its target audience in a much more effective way than conventional ad campaigns. To learn more about influencer marketing and other alternatives to traditional advertising such as content marketing, contact our expert team at Traffic Jams by emailing sales@trafficjams.com  or calling (855) 599-9998. We can help you find the best way to successfully promote your brand, attract prospective customers and retain current clients.

Share Button