First of all, let me say this is not a new marketing concept. However, if you can get the right people engaged and have them talking about your products and your brand, you will be able to expand your consumer portfolio and increase your sales revenues… Back to the tried and true methodology that Word of Mouth is the most trusted way for a potential customer to hear about your products and your brand.
You no longer need a megaphone to make a company announcement about Marketing! Social Media Marketing has taken the tried and true method of Word of Mouth marketing and made it international and immediate. Building relationships with the online influencers will have a powerful impact using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, and many other social platforms. Influencer marketing gives your business the ability to tap into a trusted consumer network. You turn friends into company spokespeople who advocate for your business. The big question is how can you maximize the return on this influencer marketing investment?
Here are some best practices from a marketing consultant to maximize your return:
1. Find influencers inside your sphere and outside your sphere
For example, marketers at a furniture manufacturing company should check out interior design blogs, fashion blogs, DIY blogs and even construction blogs to find discussion overlaps. Yes you want to bring in the big names as influencers, but you want the up and coming audience that has to be the first to pioneer a cool idea or topic. These people are the must-have audience and their competitors are good targets for your network as well. Don’t target only the people with massive networks. Be sure you focus on people with smaller networks, as they tend to have a bigger influence with their audience.
2. Reward the Influencers
Everyone likes the red carpet treatment so this is no different. This is a strategy to recognize and reward the strong players in your social media circles. Maybe they get the first shot at new product offerings or an exclusive on new content. You may even give them free demos of your products or services. You may want their input or feedback on new products before they roll out nationally so they get to try them first. People like to feel that they have an impact and this is a way to make them feel special. You can have the influencer re-post, re-tweet, and like posts and products for a bigger social media blitz. Most influencers have many offers from other brand so it’s important to keep the influencers engaged with great content and topics along with consistent rewards.
3. Make it Personal
There must be a personal connection and it’s sort of like establishing a relationship with a high-powered editor. They generally have a lot of passion about what they write as well as having a good knowledge about the industry. You can try to engage with them on their terms or in their world and not make it all about your product and brand. Give them mentions in return as they will appreciate being discussed amongst other industry influencers. Make sure your product or brand has relevance to the influencer’s interest.
The influence and influencers are always evolving, but great relationships are always great for bringing in new sales revenues. There are several software tools and measurement tools that can be implemented for tracking the performance of these strategies.