With Google reporting a 5000% increase in searches for influencer marketing and 60 Minutes running its own segment on influencers, 2016 was a huge year for influencer marketing. And with 48% of marketers planning to boost their influencer marketing budgets, it’s poised to become even bigger in 2017.
Marketers consistently name their top challenge in influencer marketing as finding the right influencers.
Step 1: Identify the right influencers
Find the right influencers to fill the knowledge gap in the market.
First, you need to know the type of influencers you’re looking for.
Insightpool’s Universal Search allows brands to search by topic, bio profile, location, conversation stream and more to find relevant experts from a range of fields and backgrounds.
Prioritize influencers’ Relevance over their Reach. Before reaching out, vet your influencers on social. Do they just repost and retweet what other people are saying? Or do they actually provide unique, individual thoughts and engage with their followers?
The best influencers have more than a massive amount of followers – they have actual influence among those followers. To simplify the process, the Insightpool platform filters your chosen influencers by Rank and Relevance.
The sweet spot is micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are known for having a relatively large reach but are hyper-relevant to their audiences. They’re highly regarded among their followers as someone whose thoughts and opinions can be trusted. Examples of micro-influencers can include professional experts, bloggers, or even everyday people with a niche following in a specific topic.
Here’s an extra take on this from David Morneau, the co-founder and CEO of inBeat Agency, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing SAAS/agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts.
Besides, micro-influencers have considerable followings, so you will get access to a large enough audience that is also captive. Couple that with higher-than-average engagement rates, and you hit the sweet spot.
Micro-influencers also give you access to niche communities with specific interests. Consider a gaming community or a community of people with acne interested in skin products.
Your micro-influencers will target that community, tapping into their insights to boost your campaign.
That’s another thing you can notice: although micro-influencers have lower rates than macro-influencers or celebrities, they are incredibly passionate about their job. Therefore, they’ll work closely by your side to help you reach your marketing goals.
Of course, you will have to choose the right influencers. Many creators now have fake followers or falsify their account activity.
Step 2: Reach out
Now that you’ve identified the right influencers for your brand, it’s time to reach out and get the conversation going.
Work your personal connections. If you have a personal connection, now’s the time to work it. Include a short note in your message about how you know each other and appreciate their work. This puts the focus on your relationship with them, and not just on the ask.
Meet them where they are. If influencers have a clear preferred channel, reach out to them there. If not, reach out on the first channel that seems most natural for your brand. If you don’t immediately hear a response, don’t get upset! You may have just picked a channel that your influencer doesn’t pay much attention to. Try reaching out through another channel – for example, if you first reached out over Twitter, try LinkedIn instead.
Keep it cool. When reaching out to new influencers, don’t make it all about you. GetResponse used Insightpool to send 1:1 messages to influencers in a range of fields. Instead of going straight in with the ask, GetResponse started the conversation more naturally by first asking advice from different experts.
Not only does this seem more natural, but it also implies that you value influencers’ opinions and thoughts – instead of just looking for what you can get out of them.
Step 3: Connect
Confirm expectations. When it feels natural, move the conversation off social and into a setting that allows longer conversation, like direct message or email. Here you can set expectations for the project and work out any compensation.
Collaborate, promote, and evaluate.
With Insightpool, GetResponse used @Mention campaigns to create find their influencers’ top social followers and create 1:1 connections with them. Because followers trust these influencers, they’ll be more naturally interested in influencers’ content – and therefore more likely to engage with your brand if you’re associated with them!
Now you’re ready to get your influencer marketing campaign started!
Have you had success with influencer marketing? Did you manage to get influencers to notice you? Share your experience in the comments.