Influencers are a crucial piece of outreach marketing. They have created a loyal following and know how to speak their audience’s language. When you find a group of influencers whose audience coincides with the audience you want to reach, you can implement strategies that accomplish your marketing goals.
Before you find a group of influencers to promote your content and your products, put a strategy in place for how you will work with influencers. Influencers may offer different services and pricing based on the social media platforms they use and their specific skills (making videos, writing blog posts, etc.) Not all influencers will be able to provide the services that you are looking for. When you have a strategy in place for what tactics you need to promote your content, you can spend less time and resources finding the right influencers for your business.
What Tactics Are Best For Your Brand?
Throughout this post, we list eight tactics that can promote your content. But which tactics are best for your business?
Consider the following when you are picking tactics to use in your overall influencer marketing strategy:
- Your budget
- Your marketing goals (brand awareness, boost sales, generate leads, etc.)
- The social media platforms you want to see more engagement on
- How many influencers you want to bring onto your team
All of these factors will influence which tactics are best for meeting your goals.
Let’s start with a popular tactic that reaches influencers and customers alike. In 2016, 81% of businesses were using affiliate marketing, and that number is growing.
This is a great tactic to begin relationships with influencers; affiliate marketing brings multiple interested influencers right to your doorstep. In fact, if you set up an affiliate program, eventually you may not have to reach out to influencers at all. Affiliate marketing is a program that allows influencers (or anyone with a social media account, if you choose,) to share a link on their social media posts or blog posts. When a customer clicks on the link and makes a purchase, part of the revenue will be sent to the influencer with the affiliate link.
Influencer marketing works; 16% of all online purchases are made through affiliate marketing links. This number rivals purchases made from email marketing.
Depending on your business needs and your budget for affiliate marketing, you can pick and choose what influencers receive an affiliate link. Advertise this opportunity on your website and your social media profile and watch the applications roll in.
Contests and Giveaways on Social Media
If you want to give more influencers and potential customers the chance to try your product, set up a giveaway for your influencers. Influencers on social media use contests and giveaways as a chance to create multiple social media posts and spread their brand through social media. (In order to qualify for a giveaway, participants may have to tag or a friend or two in the giveaway.) Giveaways may include huge packages from different brands or focus on a collection of your products. Depending on the prize available, contests and giveaways may even ask for user-generated content. If you can get 100 followers to post a picture of themselves with your product (and gain the appropriate permission from the original poster,) you can have 100 photos ready to be posted on social media throughout your campaign.
These are excellent tactics if you are looking to join the 90% of marketers who use influencers to increase customer engagement. If your social media following is large enough to get a decent amount of users involved in a contest or giveaway, go for it, but these numbers are where influencer can come in handy. The more followers an influencer has, the likelier they will get people involved in a contest, tagging friends, and even creating posts of their own.
Sponsored Blog Posts and Guest Posts
Not all influencers create YouTube videos or Instagram content. If your target audience is more likely to engage with written blog content, you can reach out to influencers who know how to write optimised posts. Blog posts can accomplish a lot of goals for readers on each part of the buyer’s journey. A high-quality blog post from an influencer can:
- Provide information about a topic that your audience is curious about
- Review your product
- Build up to a giveaway or discount code
- Offer affiliate links and close the sale
- Include visual content (photos, videos, etc.) that you can use on social media throughout your campaign
- Generate backlinks and boost your domain authority score
Similar to sponsored blog post, a guest post can generate backlinks and give your business’s website more content that is well-written and relevant to your audience. Reach out to influencers who have experience writing blog posts that rank on SERPs about these opportunities.
These blog posts don’t have to break the bank; a Collective Bias survey of influencers revealed that 87% of participants charged less than $500 for a sponsored blog post.
Sponsored Social Media Posts
Influencers don’t have to churn out 1,000 words and provide images if an Instagram post or tweet will do the trick. Sponsored social media posts are also a cost-effective way to reach potentially thousands of social media users. Nine out of ten influencers charge under $250 for a paid Facebook post; 97% charge less than $500 for a sponsored Instagram post. But these sponsored posts can generate revenue and customer engagement that makes your investment worth the cost.
Outreach marketing did not begin with social media. Digital marketing strategies are often most effective when businesses adapt traditional marketing to a modern age. Spokespersons don’t just have to appear on television ads anymore. Spokespeople can take on a more comprehensive role of promoting your product through different social media platforms and media appearances. If the spokesperson’s audience consistently sees or hears your business through this spokesperson, they will be more likely to trust and recognize your business when it appears in advertisements or search results.
When you are collaborating with influencers, don’t forget about the content on your social media platforms. Users may get excited to make a purchase when they are browsing an influencer’s platforms, but your content should help them follow up with their interest, close a sale, and encourage further purchases.
If you want influencers to create content for your social media profiles, consider doing an Influencer Takeover. For one day or one week, the influencer controls the narrative and posts content on your Instagram, Facebook, etc. This is a great strategy if you are looking to bring in more users through your Instagram Stories. The influencer may also advertise the takeover on their social media platforms and bring their users over to your profile.
Hosting an Event
If you are still looking for partnerships, or just appreciate good, old-fashioned face-to-face contact, bring the influencers to you! Invite a handful of influencers to an event held by your company or where your company will be present. If you are attending a conference that highlights leaders in your industry, reach out to influencers to see if they will be in attendance. Get some communication going ahead of time so you stand out when influencers are walking through the event.
Don’t Forget About Microbloggers
Let’s back up a second. The term “influencer marketing” often conjures up an image of Instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers giving away discounts. Some of the top influencer marketers have millions of followers, and they aren’t even celebrities. But advertising with these influencers can really break the budget.
Don’t turn your nose up to microbloggers or micro-influencers. These up-and-coming influencers may only have a few thousand followers, but they still have a loyal audience that you can reach for a smaller budget. Microbloggers are often easier to reach and if you partner with multiple microbloggers at once, your products and business will appear to a wide audience on multiple accounts.
Consider the social media platforms you use when you are reaching out to microbloggers. Four out of five micro-influencers use Instagram and 89% use blog websites like WordPress.
Once you have determined your goals and the tactics that will help you meet goals, it’s time to connect with influencers. A solid documented strategy will help you match your business to the influencers who have the right following and provide the right services.
Connecting with influencers requires research and extensive communication about budgeting and how the influencer operates. Since influencer marketing on social media is a relatively new field to navigate, it’s important to talk to experts in the industry about what is a typical rate for the influencer’s following and skills.
Ready to Expand Your Content Marketing Strategy?
Influencer marketing should be a strategy built on a solid content marketing foundation. If you do not have a documented strategy on how you will create, distribute, and use content, your influencers may get lost and your audience may drop off before they make a purchase.
Reach out to the experts at Digital Squad to learn more about a content marketing strategy that encourages your audience along the buyer’s journey. Our experts can take you through each step of creating buyer personas, building a strategy that meets your business goals, and setting up tactics for seeing that strategy through your next campaign.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.