If you follow any influencers on social media platforms like Instagram, you already know you follow them for a reason. Most people follow influencers because they like their content and would not mind interacting with anything they sponsor. And if one trusts a particular influencers opinion, then they might check out the brand they are sponsoring and give it a try.
As a business, you already have a customer base that you think does not need more content from you. However, customers trust opinions from other people to solidify their trust in your business. This, of course, has an impact on their buying decision, which is why you need an influencer. Matter of fact, almost 90% of marketers get their ROI from using influencers for their marketing compared to other marketing channels.
The biggest trick, though, is identifying and working with the best brand influencer that suits your business. To get you started, you need to know what’s a brand influencer and the best way to connect with one- online or offline.
A brand influencer uses their social media platforms and website or blog to get their followers interested in your business. They do this by creating and posting content about your business. They are an excellent avenue to attract new customers and increase sales since they post directly to their followers
A brand influencer does not necessarily mean using a big shot celebrity whose line of work if different from your brand. Their followers will only be interested in their work. If their work does not resonate with your brand, then you will be doing zero work working with such an influencer.
When choosing an influencer, you need to abandon the transactional model of thinking; where you choose a random influencer due to the thousands or millions of followers they have. You are only thinking of the number of followers the influencer has but not if they will be interested in your brand. In such a strategy, the influencer will be endorsing your brand rather than being its ambassador.
To hack this, you first need to create a relationship with the influencer. The main focus is ensuring the influencer fits in with your brand, and that their content resonates with audiences from both camps. If done well, such an influencer will be involved with your business long term. This will benefit both your customers and the influencer's audience, and help you both create a partnership.
Now that you know what a brand influencer is, how can you identify and pick the right one for your business?
How to identify a brand influencer for your business
The key thing is focusing on an influencer with whom you can build a long-term relationship with. Here are a few key things to focus on when picking an influencer:
Who is your target audience?
Your business will not be focusing on every individual on planet earth. This is why you need to define your target audience, which can be split by various factors like demographics, behavioral, and geographic, among others.
The most common ways businesses segment their audiences are by location, age, gender, lifestyle, behavior, interests, and values. Once you narrow down to the segment you are focusing on, you will pick the right strategies to market and create content for each audience, so you resonate with them.
An excellent example of brands that know how to choose the right influencers and build a relationship with them are Puma and Nike. These two brands are in the sportswear industry, and they target famous athletes to work with. Nike, for example, sponsored Lebron James with a lifetime deal worth over $1B. Nike benefits from this y getting the attention of Lebron’s followers and fans, which increases their sales too.
To get the right influencer does not mean you pick on anyone who seems to suit your brand. You need to do proper research, and one of the best places to start is on social media platforms.
You can start by looking for any influencer that is already talking about your business or industry on social media sites.
You can also use hashtags to search for influencers. Depending on the industry you are in, search for the keywords of your industry using keywords. For example, if you were lifestyle or wellness, you can search for “#wellness, #health, #sponsored, #ad” on sites like IG. The search will bring you a list of influencers that are already posting content relevant to your industry. If any influencers catch your attention, well and right, go through the rest of that influencer's posts to see how engaged they are in the industry.
Also, look for influencers who are already posting content for your competitors. Instagram also gives you an option to look for other influencers with a similar profile to any you get interested in. When you log in into IG, there is a down arrow next to the follow button. Click on this arrow, and it will generate a list of suggested users whose profiles mirror that of the influencer that interests you. You can use this option to widen your influencer options.
While searching, it is essential to pay attention to any influencer interested in your business or industry regardless of how small their following is.
Find the relevance
Before approaching an influencer, it is crucial that you ensure your content and theirs align. While their content will not be the same as yours, it has to carry a similar message.
Also, ensure that the influencer engages with their audience or followers; otherwise, it will not be worth the effort. Do the influencer's followers comment on their posts or they just like posts and get moving?
How to connect with an influencer
Even if you identify the right influencer you want for your business, you still have the task of approaching and connecting with them. It is not an easy task because you want to avoid spamming their emails, and you need to build a relationship that will lead to a long-term partnership.
You can start by following the content of this influencer on their social media platform and commenting or even subscribing to their newsletter on their blog or website.
Making a human connection
One of the best ways to sell your brand is by putting a face on it to the influencers you want to use. This is why making a human connection is more important than sending them messages via so al media platforms.
One way to go about this is by hosting or attending an event with influencers. Through these interactions, you will be in a position to connect with influencers and ick the one who is right for your business.
The bottom line is getting an influencer who believes in your mission, is interested in your brand, and has a platform to communicate eloquently about your brand.