Expanding Your Brand Through Influencer Marketing & Inbound Strategies
We wouldn’t be telling you anything new by simply saying that your brand has to be on social media. You already know that it’s imperative for your brand to be on the Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and depending on your industry, maybe Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat.
The problem with social media these days is that there’s a lot of noise to cut through out there. In fact, people share 1.3 million pieces of content on Facebook every minute of every day. 6,000 tweets are published every second on Twitter—adding up to a staggering 500 million tweets per day and 200 billion per year. In fact, if you want to see a real-time count of how many tweets have been sent today, you can do that here.
So how do you find your audience in this vast universe of content? One of the most effective methods is to combine inbound and influencer marketing.
Inbound marketing revolves around the idea of attracting customers and prospects to your brand, rather than interrupting them with traditional marketing strategies. This strategy focuses on providing content and interactions through platforms like blogs, social media, and your website that resonates with your audience. By publishing content that addresses the needs and desires of your ideal customers, you are more able to attract qualified prospects and increase your brand’s authority.
Social media is an important part of the inbound marketing equation. Building a loyal social media following that interacts with your brand may help get a piece of content in front of your ideal customer. However, starting from scratch or breaking through to the next level can be difficult without the right help. That’s where influencer marketing comes in.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing allows your brand to get its message to the target audience by using thought leaders to promote your brand. Consumers have largely become blind to traditional forms of online advertising, and they are becoming less and less effective.
94% of marketers from a variety of industries said that influencer marketing was an effective campaign strategy. The main idea behind influencer marketing is having individuals who already have a large following of consumers that are within your target audience, promote your product or brand publicly. This works well with many consumers because this messaging resonates with your audience much better than a promotion that may seem forced from a brand.
A major reason why this tactic is so popular is because any size company can benefit from influencer marketing. See these examples of influencer marketing and how the messaging appears more organic than traditional marketing tactics.
Naked Juice sought out this young, female influencer on Instagram to promote their product to similar “errand-running” and “project-planning” individuals.
Met-Rx recruited a former LSU running back to promote their meal replacement and protein supplement products to his 219k followers on Twitter.
Tyson, Inc. is another company that sought out a blogger to promote their product to the perfect target audience. As you can see beneath the photo, the blogger stated that she was being sponsored by Tyson for the post.
To ensure that influencer marketing is successful, it’s not only important to find someone with a large social reach, it’s crucial to make sure their audience is right for your brand.
Studying Engagement Rates Over Followers
The most common mistake that influencer marketing rookies make is to look at follower counts first when they start searching for potential influencers. How many followers an influencer has isn’t nearly as important as how loyal those followers are to that individual. It’s more about their engagement: Likes, shares, retweets, comments, etc. The idea is that these loyal followers will share the influencer’s message organically, expanding your reach and brand awareness even further.
Using Google Alerts for Thorough Vetting
One of the best ways to start developing an influencer network is to set up Google Alerts on those who you think might best fit. New posts by these people on their social channels can become monitored by setting email alerts through Google.
Since you may want to research particular influencer groups, you’ll see what they’re posting every day. Allow some time to see what they post and their approach to influencing others.
Doing this lets you weed out red flags pointing to anything that could potentially cause trouble. Even if you think edgy approaches could help your brand, stop and consider how much it reflects on your message and whether it would truly attract others.
Negotiating Payments or Incentives
A major reason major corporations use influencers more lately is because they save money hiring others to do marketing for them. In order to attract an influencer, you’ll want to negotiate with them on what you’ll pay per post. For some, it may come down to combining gaining free product with a price.
Just make sure they truly believe in your product first and won’t influence merely for money.
You can reach your influencers through email marketing as part of your inbound strategy. Or, simply communicating with them on social media for a while quickly nurtures relationships for easier negotiations later.
Letting the Influencers Work Autonomously
An important thing to consider is to let your influencers work autonomously and let them create their own content. If you become too controlling, they may resist working with you, or be less genuine in their marketing efforts.
To get the most out of your influencers, trust their judgement on what they create and what most attracts their followers to a brand like yours.
Used the right way, combining influencer marketing and inbound can drive real results for your business. Get started today with your strategy by downloading our Inbound Marketing Checklist. This is your guide to designing your first inbound campaign and establishing your footprint in the digital world.