At a digital ad agency, the only thing constant is change. Every day is different, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We’re always working on new projects that leverage cutting-edge strategies with the latest trends in order to execute successful results for clients. (And, sometimes, this means transforming the conference room into a book signing hotspot.)
Recently, Val Bonacci, author of Fatima and the Sons of Abraham, visited our office and signed personalized copies of her new novel to send to industry thought leaders for their personal review. Why? Because native marketing and content marketing are no longer enough. Influencer marketing is gaining ground, and in today’s world, it can be a great way to reach your target audience while effectively building brand awareness and increasing ROI.
Why Influencer Marketing?
It’s no surprise that influencers have a ton of impact right now. With so many choices available to today’s consumers, the buying process can be overwhelming. Modern consumers are generally blind to billboards and commercials, and they do their research before making a decision. Think about it — when you go to make a purchase, are you more likely to buy a product you’ve never heard about or a product recommended by a friend? Most people tend to choose the latter.
This is exactly why this type of digital marketing is becoming one of the most effective ways to attract customers and clients. Different from traditional celebrity endorsement, influencers are very selective about their affiliations, because they have a niche set of followers who trust them to give genuine recommendations. As such, since you’re tapping into an existing audience of engaged followers, influencer marketing can be a valuable marketing strategy for your product or brand.
Couple this with the concept that consumers aren’t buying products but rather buying better versions of themselves, and influencer marketing really becomes a no-brainer. That “down-to-earth” fashion blogger you follow on Instagram? You don’t want her shoes — you, too, want to emit effortless elegance when you walk out your front door each morning. The shoes are just a means to the end. We follow people who we see as similar to us, because that makes it easier to put ourselves into the story.
Now that you know the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of this marketing technique, let’s talk about the ‘how.’ Behind the scenes, it’s important to keep these things in mind when reaching out to influencers with your brand or product.
1. Do Your Research
Is this the right influencer to partner with? Hootsuite recommends taking three basic things into consideration: relevance, reach, and resonance. Unless an influencer has developed a substantial following relevant to your business (with a high level of engagement), move on. It’s not worth your time, and it’s not a great fit. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Build Rapport
This is an important one, so take note! In order to connect with industry leaders and get them to promote your product, you need to build a relationship first. You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them a favor — don’t make that mistake with influencers, either. Interact with content they’ve shared to open up a flow of conversation.
3. Be Genuine
Above all, remember to be yourself. There was a reason you decided to reach out to this person, after all — tell them why. Showing that you’ve taken the time to explore their content and that you value the brand they’ve built can go a long way toward making a strong connection.
Before You Go
Keep these tips in mind when developing your influencer marketing strategy, and remember to diversify your campaign with inbound and outbound marketing channels, too. It’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket! If you are interested in taking your business to the next level with the latest digital marketing strategies (like this and many more), contact our team — we’d love to work with you!