What is Influencer Marketing and Why do You Need It?

Influencer marketing is a powerful new trend that helps you get publicity and credibility for your business. Although the word “influencer” is currently all over the web, it’s more than just another popular buzzword. It’s a way of growing your business by aligning yourself with experts and leaders in your industry. So what is influencer marketing and why is it worth learning about?

Fundamental of Influencer Marketing

An influencer is someone with a large following and solid reputation. The term usually refers to people on social media, which includes YouTube as well as sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Celebrities, CEOs, athletes, and even ordinary people with lots of followers are all influencers. Influencer marketing involves partnering with such people to leverage their audiences.

There are many ways to partner with influencers. One possibility is to ask someone to review your product, whether it’s a book, course, service, or physical product. Large companies often work with well-known influencers for mutual benefit. A common example is when high-profile athletes wear brands such as Nike. We’re so accustomed to seeing this that we scarcely think of this as marketing, but it’s one of the best ways for brands to associate their products with popular stars. There are plenty of ways for smaller brands to connect with influencers.

How to Connect With Influencers

You need an honest and natural approach with this type of marketing. Make sure the person you’re approaching is a good match for your brand. You won’t get much leverage from someone sharing information on your behalf if their audience isn’t in synch with your products. If influencers don’t know you, find out which of your larger competitors’ products they’re using. This is often a clue that someone might like what you’re doing as well. It’s best to build a relationship with influencers before asking them to work with you. Follow them, share their content, leave comments on their blogs and videos. Mention them and link to them in your content.

While bigger companies often seek influencers who are already using their products, smaller companies usually must reach out and introduce themselves. It’s crucial to provide value to the influencer and to his or her audience. No one is going to share your message simply to help your business grow. The best approach is to explain why you think their audience will like your product. Tell them why you like their blog/videos/tweets/book and how you’re offering something that has a similar idea. If you’re offering something that their audience truly appreciates, you’re helping them as well as yourself.

Don’t Try to Start at the Top

When people talk about influencers, they often think of world-famous celebrities. For smaller businesses, it’s not realistic to try to connect with people at this level. There are, however, many influencers who have large followings but who aren’t yet household names outside their own sphere. For example, if you want to connect with someone in the marketing arena, don’t start by sending emails to Jeff Bullas, who is currently one of the top influencers in the world.

Seek out people on Twitter or YouTube with thousands rather than millions of followers. There are also many successful authors whose books are popular in certain categories on Amazon but who haven’t yet cracked the New York Times bestseller list. Such people are often open to mutually beneficial partnerships. The point is to start out at a realistic level and scale up as your own business grows.

Why You Need Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a strategy that often brings impressive results in a short time. Here are a few of the top benefits and why it’s something worth pursuing to build your business.

  • Builds trust in your brand. Even if people haven’t heard of you, they’ll trust you more if someone they admire recommends your product.
  • Tap into a large amount of traffic. Building targeted traffic is often time-consuming and expensive. Tapping into an influencer’s following is a way to enjoy a quick burst of targeted traffic to your website or social media pages.
  • Increase sales and leads. There are several ways that influencers help you generate sales. Ask the influencer to mention a special promotion or coupon you’re offering. Or have them send traffic to your opt-in page for more leads.
  • Build credibility in your industry. Influencers help you build your reputation. A good way to do this is to interview such a person on your blog or podcast.
If you want help connecting with influencers or other effective marketing strategies, contact us.
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