Looking to connect your business with social media influencers?
In a time when trust in advertising is at an all-time low, influencer marketing can foster good will.
But more than that, influencers have the power to improve awareness, engagement, and traffic.
Because getting traffic for your business can be tough. You want the satisfaction of doing it all by yourself, right?
Not only to prove those who ever doubted you wrong (curse those naysayers!), but for the sheer satisfaction of succeeding by yourself.
Sometimes, the thought of it is just too enticing to resist.
Being a renegade, calling the shots, it has its perks. But every once in a while, you need a helping hand.
Your reach can only go so far.
By joining forces with someone else with a similar goal to yours, you also gain their reach, and bounce off one another to learn, grow, and maximize potential audience.
Your brand is paramount, and by intriguing, exciting, and engaging your audience alongside other likeminded people, the sky’s the limit.
5 of the Most Useful Ways to Work With Social Media InfluencersHow to Use Visual Content to Inspire Your Audience - bit.ly/2dqTr6j (by @twelveskip on @PostPlanner) Click to Tweet
What’s a Social Media Influencer?
Someone who turns heads. Someone with a social presence so great that they have the power to put your brand in front of legions of fans.
Influencers are primarily found on social media platforms, which is where they have the most influence.
But they need to be the right fit.
You could have someone with millions of followers, but if their interests are not similar to yours – for instance, using a rapper to promote your software company – an increase in engagement isn’t really in the cards.
Defining context is perhaps the most important thing that you can do when deciding on an influencer, so keep that at the forefront of your decision.
Why Work with Influencers?
They increase credibility
If you’re working alongside other people who are just as savvy in the industry as you are, it shows that you’re open to the bigger picture.
You’re willing to take advice that’s not your own. You’re willing to listen, as well as preach.
By creating a team dynamic, where you work alongside someone that already has credibility, you increase your own.
They add a fresh perspective
We all know that feeling...
...You write about the same subject again and again, and eventually you begin to feel like a robot. Echoing the same stuff you always have, trying to relay the same information but with a different voice, and a fresh outlook.
If you invite someone else in, they’ve got something entirely new to bring to the table.
Everyone is different. Their life choices and experiences have given them a vision of the world completely different to yours.
Referrals & affiliate program
Offering a nice payout as an incentive to get influencers to throw a few hundred thousand fans your way is never a bad thing.
They put time and effort into amassing those followers in the first place.
So, offering a reward upon investment and engagement could be exactly what you need to take your brand to the next level.
There are a bunch of affiliate programs such as ShopSense and VigLink.
Their job is to connect you with influencers (see the “Where To Find Influencers” part below).
It gives them and bloggers a real incentive to link to your brand, increase conversions and offer a greater audience for your content.
They offer great exposure
In this industry, it’s give and take! We scratch your back, you scratch ours.
It’s a formula that can’t be beaten, because it’s just so damn effective.
Why do you think the guest blogger is writing a post on your page?
Hint: It’s not just because they think you’re a wonderful human being and want to help you out.
Everything in business is done for personal motives, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
They do it so they get access to a larger audience. Yours!
But by them doing so, they also bring their own audience right to your doorstep, and you can’t argue with that.
Everyone’s a winner!
Where to Find the Right Influencers?
Google Search I usually use Google search first and enter a keyword related to my niche. Then voila!
Buzzsumo. My other favorite tool is Buzzsumo.
You would enter your keyword or a term that’s related to your niche in the search bar.
For example, you’re selling a case for iPhone. Enter the keyword “iPhone” or “Apple Phone”, and a bunch of popular social media posts will show up.
Social Media. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and all other social media platforms where you your target influencers hang out.
Enter a specific #hashtag or a keyword on the search bar. For example, I would enter “Fashion Blogger”, then a list of fashion bloggers would show up.
So you’ve decided that it’s time to team up, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Well, there’s no right or wrong answer...
...But there’s certainly a few tried and tested methods that’ll make you get the most out of your new collaboration.
How Do I Work with Social Media Influencers?
Found an influencer that you like? Perhaps you’ve discovered that they share your passion, and you’re convinced they’ll like your product or brand.
By gifting them, they’ll create exposure by sharing it with the world. It would probably be best to drop them a line before showering them with gifts, as they may not be as generous with their exposure as you’d hope.
By acknowledging this from the get-go, you can gauge what kind of exposure you’ll get, and plan accordingly.
Here’s an example:
Did you know that 90% of bloggers like to do contests and giveaways with their readers?
Kind of similar to gifting, but rather than offering something to the blogger themselves with the offer of them promoting it, they run a contest aimed at the audience.
It’s much more direct marketing, as the audience are all fighting for the chance to win your product. It creates desire before they’ve even held it in their hands, and that’s priceless.
Here's a good example:
YouTube is HUGE. It has an uncapped potential to make your product or brand a talking point across multiple demographics.
There are almost 5 BILLION videos viewed on YouTube every single day, and by collaborating with an influencer, that could give your brand limitless exposure.
With their help, you could develop a creative video that promotes you in a unique, exciting, and entertaining way.
Videos are the most shared media online, as they’re easy to digest and fun to watch. They’re also the best way to organically grow a legion of fans.
Find a YouTube channel you think will work with your product, and drop them a line.
Take a look at Shaanxo’s from Youtube. See how she created a video review for Kylie Lip Kits and generated about 2M+ views? That just means, more exposure = more sales.
4. Sponsored Social Media Posts
Instagram, as well as YouTube, is another great place to find an influencer to team up with.
However, be sure to work with a user that not only has a large following, but a high engagement. Alarms bells should start ringing if you see an account with 250,000 followers but only 18 likes per post.
When you find the influencer right for you, develop a campaign that releases multiple posts that appeal to a broad audience. That way, something’s bound to stick.
Ask them to test out your product and take a photo or a video demonstrating your product/service features and benefits. Here's a good guide that can help you test your social media content to get better results.
Take a look at this example of a sponsored post on social media. See how Velvet Caviar sent a free item (and maybe even compensated) to Bretman Rock in exchange of promotion.
The company even offered an exclusive coupon code for those who purchased via Bretman Rock’s campaign. That 228K+ likes + 1K+ comments? That’s a whole lot of exposure!
5. Blog Post Reviews
Blog post reviews can be an effective way to generate more exposure. If done well, your influencers’ blog posts could show up on the top search results.
Work with influential bloggers that are known for being trustworthy.
You can send them free products or compensate them in exchange for creating a blog post with an honest review.
For example, if someone was looking for “Local Italian Restaurant” on Google search, one of your influencers’ post could show up in the top result. Voila! That’s more exposure for your brand.
Make sure your main keywords are included in their blog post.
For example, you’re an Italian restaurant in Toronto. Include “Italian Restaurant”, “Toronto”, or “Local” in the headline and within the content.
The title would be “[Restaurant Name Here] Review: Italian Restaurant in Toronto”, then add those main keywords within the body (but make sure the keywords flow naturally within your content).
Also, don’t forget to ask them to link to your website at the bottom of the content or wherever relevant.
PRO TIP: You may want to hire a SEO specialist to guide you on optimizing blog content for the search engines (to boost your search rankings).
Influencer marketing can really power up your social media strategy.
You just need to build relationships with the right influencers (with the same target audience as yours).
Experiment with different strategies and track your performance to determine what works best for your brand.