We all know a lot about influencer marketing but how many of us have really utilized its potential? Here are a few influencer marketing tips you could use.
Social Influencer Marketing Is Rampant
Everyone knows that social influencer marketing has amazing possibilities in store for any business. In fact, it is in trend now, with many companies, huge and small, getting on the influencer marketing bandwagon.
Some are doing pretty good, hooking up with celebrities and social influencers to promote their products, some are just starting to tap into this new reality of digital marketing but most are not getting it. Yet.
Why social influencer marketing is a huge thing and why you should care about it – these are the topics I have already covered in my previous articles on this blog («What Is Social Influencer Marketing and Why Should You Employ It?» and «Influencer Marketing in 2017: Will It Finally Explode?»).
This article here is dedicated to some practical advice and tips on how to actually make social influencer marketing work for your business.
First, I will list the tips for you to get a glimpse of the whole thing and then I will get into detail for each one of them.
11 Actionable Influencer Marketing Tips for Small Businesses – The List
Read and process them carefully no matter how obvious they may seem at first.
- Define your goals and objectives
- Do your research before choosing a social influencer
- Consider your brand specifics
- Follower count isn’t everything
- Allow more creative freedom
- Go for an organic approach – not for an infomercial
- Use multiple channels and consolidated campaigns
- Track, measure and analyze the results as they come
- Prefer micro-influencers to online celebrities
- Be authentic with your message
- Don’t expect quick results
Now, let’s look deeper into these tips and explain them a bit.
Tip #1. Define Your Goals and Objectives
Straightforward as it is, this tip, nevertheless, often falls on deaf ears. Before you take up any project, it is essential that you define the desired goals. If you don’t know what the results should be, how can you analyze them?
Social influencer marketing campaign is no different – before starting one, take some time to think about the results it should ideally produce and write those down, first in words.
E.g., «spark an interest in my product/service among this particular audience», «increase sales», «get more subscribers to my company’s social media pages» and others.
After it’s done, proceed to the step two, which is formulating actual metrics you’d like to achieve based on the goals from the step one.
In our case, it may be something like this:
- increase daily website visitors from 100 to 1,000
- increase visitor-to-buyer conversion from 0.5% to 1.0%
- reach 10,000 likes on my Facebook page and 15,000 followers on my brand’s Instagram page
Without this simple procedure, achieving meaningful results is quite hard, trust me.
Tip #2. Do Your Research Before Choosing a Social Influencer
Now that you’ve got your campaign all planned out, it’s time to search for an influencer who will help you to carry it out.
While you’re searching, keep in mind that there are millions of influencers, each with their own audience, approach, style, and price. Never settle for the first candidate you seemed to like – always consider at least 5 options.
To simplify the search, it might be useful to set out some criteria, e.g. «has a dedicated Instagram following», «great sense of humor», «flexible posting schedule», etc.
Tip #3. Consider Your Brand Specifics
This might the most important advice of all. No matter how good an influencer is, he or she will never be able to promote your product successfully if it’s a mismatch by default.
What I mean by mismatch is a skinny computer geek pitching muscle growth protein shakes on his channel or a vegan sponsored by some fictional Bobby’s Classic Steak House.
These are obvious fails but there are also subtle things, which all come from the misunderstanding the brand essence and concept. Most of the time, it’s not the influencer’s fault – if a business owner doesn’t know his/her brand well enough, how can you blame someone else for it?
Therefore, in order to avoid such mismatches, you should study each potential candidate’s content and audience very carefully before settling on one particular person.
Ways to do it include:
- watching recent videos, viewing recent posts, and reading recent articles of the influencer paying attention to the ones that get more positive attention from followers
- reading into the comments (both positive and negative) trying to get the «feel» of the audience
Tip #4. Follower Count Isn’t Everything
If your candidate has a million subscribers, it doesn’t him/her ideal for your particular campaign.
It works like this: the more followers/subscribers you have, the more unfocused and multidimensional the audience is.
Naturally, there isn’t a universal product that will satisfy everyone, which means your influencer marketing campaign targeted at a million people, might lead not only to affection but also to a wave of hate.
These days, it’s all about conversion – would you prefer to have a 0.1% conversion out of 1,000,000 users or a 10% out of 10,000? The ultimate result is the same.
Tip #5. Allow More Creative Freedom
Most social influencers do blogging for a living – if they’ve been able to amass a few thousand (let alone million) people following them, they must be good at producing quality content.
Whenever running a social influencer marketing campaign, don’t get too hard on the influencer with your vision. Let it go and let the influencer present his/her vision of your brand.
There’s only one thing you two should agree on, which is the final result – the rest is a matter of experimenting and improvisation.
Tip #6. Go for an Organic Approach – Not for an Infomercial
Influencers are different from other forms of advertising for a reason – their appeal is more natural and organic.
Therefore, you should take some time to develop a message that would blend with the influencer’s content seamlessly and not look like an average pathetic sales pitch.
E.g., if your influencer is huge on Instagram and your product is bicycles, why not make a series of posts where the influencer rides one of your bikes to various locations making pictures with it? «Takes you to places no car does» and so on.
Tip #7. Use Multiple Channels and Consolidated Campaigns
Internet marketing campaigns work best when you activate multiple channels at once, thus achieving a synergic effect.
Tip #8. Track, Measure and Analyze the Results As They Come
You know what your goals are – compare the actual results with the planned and you’ll get the picture.
These days, you can track pretty much anything excluding, perhaps, people’s thoughts. Make sure all your links include source trackers, campaign IDs, and other relevant information.
Calculate and analyze sales funnels and conversions to understand what works best and what still needs improvement.
Tip #9. Prefer Micro-Influencers to Online Celebrities
This ties in directly with tip #4 – when you know exactly what kind of audience you’re after, you should prefer the influencer who specifies in that audience.
There aren’t so many people who enjoy wearing multicolored socks all the time but if your business is manufacturing multicolored socks, you should be out there looking for an influencer who runs a «multicolored socks lovers» blog.
Tip #10. Be Authentic With Your Message
Don’t try to sell something your product is not – TV ads do that, ad banners on the Internet do that, print ads do that all the time.
However, this never works with influencer marketing. People can sense a fake from a mile and if they aren’t displeased when watching the video, they will be after buying the product and realizing it’s not like it was advertised.
Tip #11. Don’t Expect Quick Results
Influencer marketing isn’t like a contextual advertising campaign where you could set it all up and get traffic the next day.
It’s quite possible that you will have to go through a trial and error phase for a while before finally perfecting your vision.
Thanks for reading today’s «11 Actionable Influencer Marketing Tips for Small Businesses» article – I hope you will consider some of the tips presented here.
The right thing to do would be share this article with your friends on the social networks – just click on one of the icons of social media, it’s that easy.
If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.
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