It can be hard for businesses or brands to build a personal relationship with an audience, because relationships usually happen between people, and businesses or brands are not people. One solution is to give a business or brand a more human face. Another is to use influencer marketing.
An influencer is a person with his or her own sphere of influence, also called reach, and an audience that is sensitive to recommendations made by this person. The influencer’s audience holds more stock in the opinions of the influencer than in traditional advertising messages. According to Deloitte, customers who are referred by other loyal customers have a 37 percent higher retention rate.
What Influencers Can Do for You
Influencers command a high level of trust from their audience, something that is out of reach for many businesses or brands. That is why they are the ideal person to act as a go-between for you, the business, and your audience. That way you can benefit from the unique, strong bond that exists between the influencer and his or her audience, while building up credibility and trust in your own relationship with them.
Because influencers are so close to reality and completely in touch with their audience, they can help you to create the ideal, engaging content. By creating content together you can hone the message to perfection, so it will have the right tone and go out at the right time. When you have a small group of influencers, you can segment them. Then you decide what type of content is the most relevant for each segment.
Influencers are not ambassadors for your business or brand, so you can’t always count on them to be positive about their interactions with you. But if you send a small group of influencers an interesting, informative, or funny message, they will pass it on to their wider community, directing attention to your business or brand, and making it easy for you to reach thousands of new potential customers.
How to Get Started with Influencer Marketing
If you want to give influencer marketing a try, start by finding your influencers online. You can use tools such as Klout, Buzzsumo, Traackr or Linkdex. There are many more. Find tools and tips by searching for “influencer identification tools.” You are looking for people with a strong interest in topics that are relevant to your business or brand.
Get to Know Them
Start following potential influencers on all their social media channels. Take your time in getting to know their online habits and personality. Relationships are not built in a few days. Think of your relationship with a potential influencer as a new friendship.
Choose one influencer for initial contact. Approach the influencer by email, introducing your business or brand, and explaining why you are interested in building a relationship with them. Point out mutual benefits. You may decide to reward influencers by sharing their content on your social media channels, giving them more exposure, or you could offer them discounts, gifts, or even commission.
Once you have your influencers, get them to share or co-create content for their audience. Start testing out strategies, and track results. Influencer marketing is like any other branch of marketing. It needs monitoring and adjusting if you want to achieve optimal results.