Did you know that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands? It makes sense if you think about it.
After all, would you rather buy a product you've seen online or one that was recommended to you by someone you trust?
For most, it's the latter. And that's where the power of influencer marketing comes in. It helps you connect with an all-new audience and on a much deeper level. Still not sure if influencer marketing is right for your business?
In this episode of the Brand Authority Podcast, I make a case for influencer marketing, sharing why it's a key ingredient to your marketing strategy and how you can find the right influencers for your brand.
Highlights from episode 19
Huge follower and subscriber numbers look and feel fantastic, but what do they matter if they're not translating into a return on investment? Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to get it.
In fact, according to a case study by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, influencer marketing delivers 11x the ROI of digital marketing.
And the best part is that the return on influencer marketing is the gift that keeps on giving. Unlike ads, most influencer-created content will stay online, maintaining an evergreen benefit. Rather than an expiration date, it brings in leads and engagement months and even years later.
Traditional advertising is becoming less and less effective and it's obvious why: it interrupts the customer experience. No wonder 47% of online customers use ad block technology! But influencer marketing is a completely different way to reach that audience.
While people can block out ads, there's no way they'll be able to block out native advertising - advertising that is so organically embedded in valuable content that it's barely noticeable.
When you find an influencer that relates to your audience, you're able to extend your reach to an all-new market and build organic growth. That's because influencer marketing places your brand within organic content, creating a natural and authentic experience for the audience. And it's an experience they're more likely to enjoy and remember.
Consumers are increasingly cynical. In fact, almost 70% of consumers don’t trust advertising and 42% distrust brands, seeing them as part of the establishment and therefore ‘remote, unreachable, abstract and self-serving.'All of this, according to a new study by Trinity Mirror.
But what they do trust is the opinion of people they know and respect. These are the influencers they've been following and listening to - people whose opinions they've grown to rely on. However, keep in mind that a huge follower count doesn't necessarily mean that the individual is influencing buyer behavior.
That's why you need to look at how many people are commenting on the posts, and if any of them are automated. Also, make sure the influencer is interactive with that audience.
By leveraging influencer marketing and getting the "big star" to talk about your brand or product, you're breaking into that circle of trust in a very natural way.
But in order to keep it real, you need to make sure that:
- Your product or service is relevant to the influencer's niche and content focus
- The influencer has a good understanding of what you're offering and can present it in a way that shows a clear benefit to their audience
Highly targeted audience
Influencers are called "influencers" because of their popularity and following. Think about what would happen if:
- Those followers learned about your product or service?
- You solved a real problem they're facing?
- Your price point was designed specifically with them in mind?
You'd become an overnight sensation!
But you need to make sure that the influencer's followers fall into your target audience. Why waste time and money getting your content in front of millions of people if none of them care about what you have to offer?
Makes zero sense for you or the influencer.
You need to find those people in your niche that have the same target audience as you. The easiest way to do that is by looking at their content. If yours is a local business, make sure you also check location. You're better off with a smaller influencer in your city than a huge one with an audience in a different city or country.
How to find the right influencer
Buzzsumo will help you find top bloggers writing about your niche. Go to the "Influencers" tab and run a search for your keyword. Click through to their blog, check out their social channels, get to know them first, connect with them second.
Start with the channel your company is most focused on. If it's Instagram, you can do a search for your niche hashtags and look at the top nine "trending" posts. See who's posting and if they're the right influencer for you.
You can also do a search by people. Follow one person and Instagram will suggest a few more. You should also begin with a simple survey of the influencers you already know. Ask them about their favorite person to follow.
While you're looking for influencers on social, don't forget about LinkedIn. Do a search for your keywords and scroll through the influencers. See what they're posting on LinkedIn Pulse and how much engagement they're receiving. You can start interacting by sending them a personal and customized message.
PitchBox is a tool that will help you find influencers in a matter of seconds. It also makes it very easy to find and create a customized outreach email to manage that relationship, and to track each step of the way.
This tool is an opt-in marketplace that gives you instant access to thousands of registered and experienced influencers. It makes it simple to find, measure, and track the effectiveness of the outreach.
Use Bit.ly to check whether or not the influencer is driving traffic. Many people don't realize this, but you can look at the stats of any Bit.ly link. Copy the Bit.ly URL and add a + sign to it. That will give you the inside data on where the link originated and how well it's performing.
Influencer marketing is one of the best and easiest ways to get your content in front of a large audience in a real and authentic way. The key is to find the perfect influencer to collaborate with! Now, over to you: do you leverage the power of influencer marketing? Who have you built a relationship with?
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About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.