By Bryce Young
In every field, there are market leaders who have been able to get ahead of the curve in various ways. These influencers have developed a strong following on the internet, so relationships with them can help to bring companies into the foreground of the marketing world. According to Thomas Young, influencer marketing is the idea that influential people in your market can share your content. Influencers can promote your information, products, and serves through their influential channels.
The internet is all about sharing, so influencer marketing helps companies to grow their website traffic and social media following. The online environment today is very competitive. Getting found amongst all the digital noise is a challenging process for almost every company. Working with sites that already have a strong following is a sure way to get away from the competition and into the spotlight.
Which Influencers are Right for You?
The first steps in influencer marketing are all about figuring out which influencers to appeal to. One of the best ways to do this is to do some research. Look through the internet for companies with a large following that you might be able to relate with, in some way or another. It’s important to keep in mind that influencers can be comprised of many different types of people. Thomas Young has said that they can be bloggers, reviews, or informative web sites. They can also be partners with you in your field – vendors, suppliers, or distributors – so long as they have the attention of your target market.
There is no shortcut to finding these people, but if they are potential influencers, they surely won’t be hiding. You can rest assured that anyone who can be found easily on Google is probably getting a lot of attention. So do some searches, personally, as if you were a member of your target market. The sites you find will be sites you might want to consider reaching out to. Considering social media platforms is absolutely critical as well.
Developing Relationships With Influencers
Once you have done the research, then you will certainly want to put potential influencers into your database. Your sales team then has to be trained and given the task of reaching out to these people. “In the old days of marketing, we used to call this networking.” says Thomas Young.
There is something to be said for networking. Potential leads often come from handing out business cards and getting to know people in person. In the digital age, however, digital relationships are becoming more and more important. It’s easy to reach out to anyone, anywhere, and so the marketing world has been presented with a wide array of totally new options. Nonetheless, networking is still basically about leveraging your influence with the influences of others.
So the good news about influencer marketing is that influencers need content. They are constantly looking for something to write about. So if you or your company has something of value (trust me, you do) then providing this value to influencers will influence them into sharing your content. This can be done, as many people have done it. The key is to remember that getting in touch relationship with influencers is about forming a relationship with them.
Relationships with influencers are not about selling or promoting your company. They are about understanding the influencer. So your challenge, then, is to study your prospective influencer and be prepared when you reach out to them. It is good to have a list of questions for them, in order to present them with an opportunity to share their story. What matters to them, and what do they think is important for their customers?
After you have started to develop a relationship with a potential influencer, it is time to share your story. Tell it in a way that engages their audience, and will be easy to follow for them. Your story should be an opportunity to present some of your content. Your content will make life easier for your influencer! So make sure that it is outstanding in some capacity, and make sure that you are able to relate with the target market.
Is Influencer Marketing Worth the Effort?
Influencer marketing can be difficult because it involves all the trust, listening, and questions that come with building a relationship. However, relationships with influencers are worthwhile in the long run. Young has said that “One of influencer marking’s greatest benefits is that it really helps with the SEO for your website.” Links are still a critical part of SEO, and so ties with influential sites or individuals are indispensable. Influencer marketing additionally helps with sharing your social content, which can potentially help you to grow your social media following. Another fantastic aspect of influencer marketing is that it can provide excellent topics for content. When you talk to influencers and understand how they came to get such a large following, you will get more content ideas as well.
One can also consider influencer marketing to be a form of public relations. It is a way of getting your content to relate to people in ways that relate to them. Some of the most important influencers are a part of media organizations. Young has brought attention to the fact that social media sites with the most followers are always going to be media companies. The Facebook page for National Geographic has about 45 million followers. It is difficult to really comprehend the kind of power that these media agencies have. If you were a photographer, and you were looking to promote your photos, getting National Geographic as an influencer for your marketing would prove to be incredibly useful. Such things are not impossible. They happen all the time.
Strategy for 2018
In summary, here are your action items for developing a sound influencer marketing strategy:
- Make A List of Potential Influencers: Do your homework! Take some notes on each of them and compile these notes in a database.
- Give List To Sales Team: Make sure they have been trained, and are able to get in touch with these influencers.
- Get Content Ready for Influencers: You might have unique content for each influencer, be sure to optimize your content for presentation.
- Put Together a List of Questions: You want to find out what business is like for the influencers. What are their goals, and what does it look like for them as they reach them? Realize that influencer marketing is about building relationships.
Young states that if you get these steps right, you will have relationships with influencers. These relationships may be the most important aspect of your digital marketing efforts in 2018. It is a lot of hard work, but as influencer marking becomes an ongoing part of what you do, it comes to drive your success in marketing.