You want to reach a big audience with your products and services. And you want to do this quickly, in a way that brings in results right off the bat. What’s the best route to getting this done?
One option you may consider is influencer marketing. It’s about getting well-known figures (called influencers) with a huge following on digital platforms to tell their followers about your business (and what it offers).
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Who Are Social Media Influencers?
Social media influencers have become a big part of the digital ecosystem. They attract and retain a large number of followers on social networks like Instagram and Twitter, by sharing unique content that appeals to a particular kind of audience.
Some social media influencers concern themselves with themes in beauty and personal care; others devote their pages to fitness-related content; there are also influencers tied to such niches as fashion, entertainment, sports, and technology, among others.
They are called ‘influencers’ because they are able to engage with their audiences in ways that shape (or reinforce) the latter’s opinions on a range of issues.
Social media influencers may garner a following of fewer than 50,000 individuals, or well over a million. A business seeking to target these people will have to get the influencers to promote its products to their audience.
Why You Should Consider Social Media Influencer Marketing
- Target your ideal market by working with influencers in the niche (or niches) that people in that market are interested in.
- Leverage the respect that followers have for influencers’ opinions to attract first-time customers.
- Greater certainty that you are connecting with people, compared to other strategies (SEO, SEM, etc).
- Save on marketing costs and achieve higher ROI for your marketing efforts, compared to other paid approaches.
- Wider reach, especially if you’re working with multiple influencers.
How to Promote Your Business Through Social Media Influencers
Take these steps to market your business with social media influencers:
1. Choose the Influencers You Will Work With
Do this after examining your options. You’ll want to go for figures that:
- Are in a niche that’s related to your industry, or one that your ideal customers will be interested in.
- Portray a personality that will be compatible with your brand.
- Consistently draw substantial levels of engagement from their audience (lots of likes, shares, and comments).
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Identifying the right influencers to work with will require monitoring them for a while and understanding how they interact with their followers.
Avoid social media influencers who appear to have a large number of followers but record very little engagement with their posts. In many cases, these people have bought their ‘following’, or acquired them in ways other than by putting out attractive content.
2. Get in Touch with Your Preferred Influencer(s)
When you have decided upon the influencers you want to work with, it’s time to reach out to them.
They will usually have their contact information in their social media bio, so it shouldn’t be hard to get in touch. Let them know the details of your proposal— background information about your business, and the product(s) you’d like them to promote.
Find out what they charge for their service. Try to bargain for a lower price if there’s room for this. Close the deal when the final price fits with your budget.
If you’re working with a limited budget, it may be a good idea to work with multiple micro-influencers (several influencers with, say, between 20,000 and 50,000 followers each). They tend to charge lower than the more prominent ones.
3. Agree On the Details of the Campaign
Many businesses leave the whole content creation and dissemination process to the influencer. But it’s advisable that you take a more active approach.
Talk with them about how your business will get featured on their page. What kind of content will they be putting out for the campaign (video, pictures, text, or links)? What will it contain? How long will the campaign last? What will be the best time (or times) to get them out (go for days and periods of the day with the highest traffic)?
The content you choose to use should tick these two boxes:
- Portray your business and its products as one that can solve the audience’s problem.
- Easily fit in with the influencer’s regular content flow.
4. Launch the Campaign
While it’s up to the influencer to fulfil their side of the bargain, you should monitor their pages to see that they post your promotional content as you’ve both agreed.
If it’s properly executed, your social media marketing campaign should bring significant traffic to your business.
More businesses are discovering the benefits that could come from promoting their brand through social media influencers. You too can reap from working with them, by following the steps we’ve laid out in this article.
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Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.