Whether your business is large or small, marketing is a vital part of every company’s business plan. One of the foremost platforms for marketing is the digital realm. A chief tool you should consider including in your marketing plan is online influencers. An influencer is a person who has many followers on social media and can persuade their followers to try or purchase different products or services. Influencers can be a primary force in driving more leads to your business, as what they post is seen by many consumers who might hear of you organically. Read on to learn ways to incorporate influencers into your marketing strategy.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Take some time to brainstorm the impact you want an influencer to have on your business. Lay out the marketing goals you want to achieve by investing in an influencer. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Promote the purchase of a single item? Get more foot traffic in your shop? This should all be clearly laid out in your plan before you connect with someone.
Try to think about what questions you want consumers to ask when they see posts about your business. For example, the company LeVel sells nutritional supplements and lifestyle plans, like their program Thrive. If an influencer is posting about their products, the goal is to generate curiosity and get consumers asking questions, such as “What is Thrive?” Remember to keep the audience’s perspective in mind when forming a plan.
Research Social Media
If you do not already have an account, you are likely at least familiar with the different social media sites. Some of the most popular sites include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter. Create an account for your business and research the different sites to determine which ones will have the most targeted audience for your business.
Once you have decided on the best platforms, start spending time on the sites looking for different influencers in your area. If your products are available nationwide, the influencer can be located anywhere in the country. A great way to start finding relative people is by searching for hashtags. For example, if you sell jewellery, search for different jewellery-related hashtags on Instagram to locate people who have posted those hashtags. From there, you can find users to determine if they would be a good influencer for your business.
Sites like Hootsuite are a great alternative for developing your social media engagement. This site tracks influencers who have posts relevant to your business. The programs cost money, though you can request a free trial to determine if it is a good fit.
Develop a Proposition for the Influencer
While you have already determined the goals you want to accomplish with an influencer, you now have to create a section tailored to the specific actions you want to take. The first section should be an introduction of you and your company. Include a summary of your business and what products and services you offer. Give them a brief background of who you are, how you located the influencer and why you would like to work with them.
Next, you need to present your proposition. What would you like them to do and what are you offering them in return? Many businesses will offer free products or services in exchange for the influencer to post about the business. Go back to your primary marketing plan and review what it is you want to focus on. If you sell jewellery and are wanting to sell more earrings, consider offering a couple of free pairs. If you offer services, such as landscaping, offer to clean up the influencer’s yard for free or help with some updates to their landscaping. The influencer can then post a video showing the beautiful work your company completed. You can also offer a discount specifically for users who make a purchase originating from the influencer’s post. While you two can hammer out all the details later, make sure the key points are included in your proposal. Finally, close with your contact information and thank them for their time.
Monitor and Make Contact With the Influencer
Once you have decided which influencers you want to pursue, start following them on the social media platforms. Just because a person is attractive and mentions one post relevant to your business does not mean you should immediately start blowing up their inbox. Keep an eye on their posts, their attitude, what they say and how they say it. In a way, this person will represent your brand, so you want to ensure they are someone who will represent it well.
Once you have found someone you would like to work with, it is time to reach out. Review your marketing proposition before sending it to make sure nothing was overlooked. Once you have sent your offer, monitor your inbox and follow up. Keep in mind, influencers can have busy inboxes, so you might not hear back right away. Do not be disheartened. That just means it is all the more important to touch base with them and keep a close watch on your emails.
Once you and the influencer connect, do what you can to work around their schedule. While you do not have to bend over backwards, you want to ensure you answer any questions or concerns they have. Depending on how detailed your proposition is, you may be able to hash out the rest of the elements via email. Otherwise, set up a call or video chat with them. If they are local, you can meet in person to give them your products. If you must mail your products to them, keep in mind first impressions are everything, so make the packaging look as appealing as possible.
As a business owner living in the digital age, you have a vast number of options for marketing your business. An influencer is an excellent choice for getting your business in front of many eyes at once. Utilize the above strategy for connecting with an influencer to promote your company.