In recent years, the industry has shifted into an area of social proof. Meaning, consumers are looking for validation for their purchase decisions not from the brand itself, but from other people. These people do not necessarily need to be close family or friends--they can be industry leaders, celebrities, business owners, bloggers, social media personalities, or even other customers. In short, influencers--people with an authoritative voice and influential pull within a community.
It’s these persuasive people that can help to cut through all the noise, reduce The Paradox of Choice phenomenon and provide a deeper emotional connection to your product or brand. However, it’s not as easy as finding a few people with huge social followings and asking them to endorse you. Leveraging influencers to promote your brand takes a strategic approach and measured effort to find the right folks that will do right by your brand.
Following are four smart ways to start leveraging influencers to promote your brand.
Create Specific Goals and Targets
Before you begin any influencer campaign, be sure to set realistic and specific goals for the campaign. Are you looking to promote a specific product? Or are you more focused on overall brand awareness? Do you want to generate images or videos to be used in your owned marketing channels? Or are you looking for backlinks to specific pages of your website? Begin with the end in mind and everything will flow much more easily from identifying the right influencers to executing a winning campaign.
Find the Right Fit
The influencer pool is as wide as it is deep. Don't try to cast a wide net for social media personalities or bloggers. Instead, utilize online tools to help you narrow down a seemingly infinite number of influencers to the right ones. As with most areas of work and life, quality is much more important than quantity. Content marketing tools like BuzzSumo, TapInfluence and GroupHigh can help you identify best-fit influencers for your brand.
Collaborate for Better Results
So, you've found your ideal influencers. Now is the time to collaborate with them to create a compelling call to action for your potential customers. Rather than try to shoehorn your specific messaging into their desirable social media feeds, allow your influencers to influence the tone and tenor of the campaign. It's their social capital that you're capitalizing on, after all.
Be Creative, B-E Creative
Don't get stuck in a #SponsoredPost rut. Think of outside-the-box ways to engage your identified influencers. Video interviews, contests, product giveaways – even custom creative content like mini-movies and day-in-the-life type vignettes can deliver compelling brand messaging and across your influencers' social media feeds.
Navigating the new digital marketing landscape can be intimidating, but with some thoughtful planning and authentic connections, you can build powerful relationships with influencers that build awareness, generate content and drive sales for your brand and products.