Social Media Influencers: How To Find The Right Ones For Your Business
Social Media Influencers have become sure client and customer magnets. There are more than 500,000 social media influencers on Instagram alone. That means you have many potential opportunities for influencer collaboration. It also means you have to put in the work to find the right influencer. Despite its apparent advantages, influencer marketing is a wasted investment if you are not working with the right ones. Keep reading for more details.
Marketers’ confidence in their ability to find the right social media influencers vary widely by country. In China, 81% of marketing professionals are confident they can find impactful social media influencers. In the United States, only 39% of marketers feel the same way.
While it’s tempting to use single-metric definitions like unique visitors or Twitter followers as a measure of influence, it’s important to look deeper.
The answer to the question “how influential is someone online?” is “it depends.” Here are things to look for when identifying online influencers for your brand.
Relevance Of The Influencer
Just because a blogger posts recipes don’t necessarily mean they are a match for an organic brand, and a tech-savvy sports fan doesn’t make them a guaranteed match for your gaming app.
Are you looking for budget travelers, fashionistas, permissive moms, or coffee drinkers? Is profanity or provocativeness part of your brand personality? These are important things to look for in the content and audience of an influencer and are far more important than traffic.
Before you look at unique visitors and other static metrics, it’s important to look at how aligned a blogger’s content is with your messaging. Read through that blogger’s archived posts to get a sense of what kind of consumer they are.
A relevant influencer shares content relevant to your business and industry. They need to have an audience that aligns with their target market.
For example, Intrepid Travel worked with a group of vegan influencers to launch its new vegan tours. The influencers’ had a highly relevant audience that the company gained access to in an engaging and authentic way.
Erin Ireland is a passionate vegan advocate. Her Instagram post about how the tour opened up travel for her in India as a vegan gained more than 5,700 likes.
Reach Of The Influencer
While not the most important metric, reach is certainly a valid consideration. However, marketers should resist the urge to only look at unique visitors as a measure of reach. Traffic and followers are only meaningful to the extent that the influencer is reaching your brand’s target audience.
For instance, if you are a hotel chain or car seat manufacturer, a travel blogger with a small reach is more influential than a food blogger with 100,000 unique monthly visitors.
It is also important to consider what other social platforms your customers visit. If you are a food or fashion brand, someone with a large following on Pinterest or Instagram might be more valuable than someone on Facebook with a large fan base.
For many verticals, there is a direct correlation between how often blogger post and their traffic and the rate of return visitors. As with marketing any website, it often takes multiple exposures to get a visitor to click and check out your site, and you want to make sure they come back.
Social Media Influencer Resonance
This is the potential level of engagement social media influencers can create with an audience relevant to your brand.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but bloggers who have a smaller ratio of sponsored content tend to be more trusted and appear more authentic.
Personal stories that include genuine use or mention of a product, service, or brand are more trusted than straight product reviews.
Compelling, engaging stories also tend to get more shares and comments than deals and product reviews.
While it’s tempting to ask publishers to write a nice long review of your product (which readers don’t really pay much attention to), a health brand could engage social media influencers to write a post about things on their bucket list and how that list is motivation to stay healthy and live a long, active life.
That type of content is highly engaging for readers, authentic for the blogger, and connects that health brand sponsor to a very sincere health-related conversation among a large audience.
Whatever your niche, you can engage with bloggers to create the quality, authentic content their audience expects while associating your brand with that content.
And remember that influencers are more than just bloggers—they include those with loyal audiences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and other social networks.
Miscellaneous Ways To Influence
As you map out your influencer marketing plans, also consider what type of campaign will best help you connect with the type of social media influencers you want to work with.
Different types of influencer campaigns include:
Gifting: giving influencers gifts in exchange for mentions, posts, etc.
Guest posting: getting an influencer to allow you to write for their blog
Sponsored content: paying an influencer to share your content or create content that is tied to your brand
Contests and giveaways: using contests as an incentive to get influencers to mention your brand or share your content
Influencer takeover: letting an influencer take over your social media account for a set amount of time
Affiliates: sharing affiliate codes with influencers so that they earn money each time someone that came through their funnel purchases from your brand
Discount codes: allowing influencers to give discount codes for your offerings to their fans and followers
Brand ambassadors: partnering with an influencer who regularly promotes your brand in exchange for discounts and perks from your brand
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