Influencer marketing has been on the rise during the past few years, and with good reason. Through influencer marketing, companies have shifted their focus from trying to sell directly to their target audience to partnering with individuals that are already successfully targeting this audience and have their trust. This strategy can be used to maximize your marketing dollars and the number of potential customers converted into paying customers.
While the term “influencer” is often frowned upon and used as a vehicle to drive the criticism of millennials and their supposed social media obsession, the historic power of an influential voice in swaying consumers cannot be overlooked. Today’s technology increases their reach but trusted experts and figures in pop-culture have driven marketing trends since the 1800s! Urban Outfitters illustrated the ridiculousness of the stereotype in 2018 with their Instagram Influencer Halloween costume this past year (originally for $59 might I add). Though some influencers make for easy jokes, the power of a trusted voice in speaking to consumer audiences should not be ignored.
Contrary to popular belief, “influencers” don’t just consist of celebrities, Instagram models, and YouTube vloggers. Anyone who has the attention and trust of a certain audience can be considered a potential candidate for influencer marketing.
When one of our clients, Light Polymers, was preparing to launch the new Crystallin® line of lighting products, we suggested an influencer marketing campaign to announce the product launch. While paid influencer marketing is quite popular, we solely focused on earned influencer marketing that relied on unpaid or preexisting relationships. Influencers were provided free samples of the products and a discount code for their audience to use.
Here’s what we discovered during Light Polymers’ Crystallin Campaign:
1. First, determine the audiences you want to speak to.
This is the start of any successful marketing campaign and influencer marketing is no different. Accurately identifying and targeting the groups that will benefit from your products or services is the foundation with which your campaign is built upon. All of your efforts will be meaningless if you’re speaking to the wrong people.
2. Choose the right influencers for these audiences.
Keeping your targeted audience in mind, you must be diligent in choosing influencers that appeal to this audience. You can easily find these individuals on the platforms where they do their influencing – Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to name a few. A quick Google search about a hot topic within that audience can also point you to popular blogs that advocate for relevant products and services.
3. Personalize your messaging when crafting your pitch.
This is especially important if you are speaking to multiple audiences. In our case, Light Polymers was hoping to reach various audiences ranging from office professionals to art hobbyists. Speaking to each individual influencer and illustrating how your product will relate and benefit them and their audience is crucial in simply getting a response.
4. Show value.
If relevance to their audience isn’t enough to persuade an influencer, being able to offer a win-win situation for them is sure to catch their attention. If you’re selling your products through Amazon like Light Polymers is, you can easily offer a discount code for any of their viewers or readers. There is also the option of applying an affiliate code through Amazon in which their audience gets a certain percentage discount and the influencer receives a percentage from the purchases as well.
5. Provide detailed information in a pretty package.
In order to win over influencers and get them to agree to be an advocate, it’s always beneficial to compile any details or specifications about your product/service in an attractive and concise way. Creating a media kit that you can distribute to all of the potential influencers is a great way to catch their eye and answer any questions they may have before they even ask them.
6. Share the influencers’ content through your own social channels.
You didn’t go through all of this trouble to land partnerships with these influencers for nothing. Take full advantage of their advocacy for your product/service by sharing whatever content they produce relating to you. Using their support is a great way to show others that your product or service is the real deal and gradually build a loyal customer base.