In a world where access to social media is growing, there are a lot of new methods to grow your brand awareness and availability across the globe. One such way is through influencer marketing.

Influencers are the people who have a huge number of followers on social media platforms and they use these platforms for their own personal branding; in other words, they’re celebrities, entrepreneurs or organizations that have professional-level social influence among their followers.

Influencer marketing is the tactic used by companies and brands to sponsor these influencers to endorse their products. And in this blog, we’re going to discuss how you can use influencer marketing to make your marketing strategies a success.

Find the Right Influencers

Influencer marketing isn’t just about finding someone with a huge number of followers and making them do your bidding. It’s about finding the right kind of followers that are relevant to your niche. The main goal of any marketing strategy is to approach your target audience first before generalizing to a wider audience, and that’s the same viewpoint you need to keep in mind when going for influencer marketing. 

A food-based brand would always try to approach an influencer who’s a chef or a food blogger before going toward a broader audience, likewise, a makeup brand would always first try and sponsor a makeup artist and influencer before reaching other markets. You need to read more about buyer persona to determine who you want to target and then search for influencers accordingly.

And also remember that influencers don’t build their personal brand overnight. They do so over months or years, and everything they display on their social media is something they want to be according to their own audience’s interests. They won’t like getting sponsored by you if your brand doesn’t represent their values. So whether they fit your or you fit their niche is a two-way agreement.

Establish a Connection

Once you’ve determined your audience and tracked down who to sponsor, you need to approach them and propose a potential partnership. Remember, that these people are often approached for such partnerships and whether they say yes or no depends upon what they’re being offered in return. But it’s important to note how you’re approaching them. Sending a cold email without context isn’t anyone wants to read or respond to. Tell them why you’re approaching them, specify which part of their social media attracted your attention and what makes them so unique that you want to approach them. 

Along with this, you should know that influencers don’t always want money or shout-outs from you. Ask them what they need from your brand, it may be anything from being the first to sample your products to an interview that links to their website. Ultimately, every influencer’s goal is to increase their reach and engagement. You just need to determine how you can make it happen for them, especially if your brand is new and your reach isn’t that high.

After your work is done, you can’t toss the influencers aside. Know that you need them on your brand’s MVP list to make future strategies easier to approach. Thank them for their input to make your brand grow. Gift them with official brand merch as a token of appreciation. Maintain a positive connection with them that develops for the long-term.

Set Specific Goals

When you start a brand, your first objective is always to create brand awareness. But when you’re determining your marketing strategy, you need to target specific objectives to meet through each strategy. Hence, the same rule applies when it comes to influencer marketing. Awareness is one thing, but what specific goal do you need to meet by sponsoring an influencer? Gain followers? Increase post engagement? This is a specific goal you need to set. 

One of the most common ways brands use this method to gain followers is by sponsoring influencers who hold ‘giveaways’ of your products. The requirement to become part of it is to ask people to follow your brand and ask friends to do the same, etc. This is a well-known strategy among brands to gain more followers on their social media. And if your content aligns with the audience’s needs, they’ll start taking an active interest in your brand without needing another influencer to endorse you.

Analyze Results and Update Your Target

Once all of this is done, you need to analyze your insights to determine whether this approach did anything positive for your brand or not. If it did, then you need to move toward bigger goals and target more people to reach out to. And if it didn’t, you need to figure out what you’re doing wrong and change your approach to better fit with your needs. At times, influencers lose vision of what you require of them, they use the wrong copies or captions or mislead the audience while failing to speak out your message. Make sure that doesn’t happen because that’s one of the most common ways influencer marketing fails to meet your goals. 

Why Utilize Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing works, because of more reasons than just one. When people follow the original influencers, they do so because they trust them to be relatable and authentic. Approaching such influencers for your marketing makes it easier for your brand to become trustworthy. Following are some of the reasons why you need influencer marketing in your strategy:

  •  More than 80% of marketers report that influencer marketing helps them rise above the mainstream noise and be relevant to their target audience. 
  • Surveys show that non-celebrity bloggers are more likely to inspire people to buy products than celebrity bloggers.
  • 95% of people depend on peer and other people’s recommendations to purchase any product rather than trusting a brand. 

Furthermore, a SproutSocial report shows there are some very good benefits to having your brand associate with influencers and content creators that people have grown familiar to and trust the authenticity of.

Influencer marketing is a good strategy for making your brand successful. But it all depends upon who you’re collaborating with, how you’re approaching them, what goals you’ve set for yourself and how you intend to follow-up in the future. When done in the right way, it can drive results that even your paid ads would fail to produce. It’s all about the way you do it and who you’re doing it for.

Interested in learning more about Influencer Marketing? If so, watch this IN:60 video about Influencer Marketing from Jamie Turner.

About the Author: Kamil Riaz Kara is a content contributor at Mainstream and associated with digital marketing for the last six years. Presently working at Digital Eggheads, a digital marketing agency in Pakistan.