Times are changing and so does advertising, or at least this is what we think. Indeed, we evolve because of technology, but some things remain the same. Our anatomy hasn’t changed (I mean, our arms didn’t become shorter to make typing easier), but neither has our habits. In other words, do you remember the classical way merchants used to promote stuff? By word of mouth? Well, this is still happening. They are called influencers, and are more than simple fans or advocates.
What are Influencers?
These guys and gals, of course, are those regular people, like you and I (meaning they are not official celebrities, promoted by the media) but who have something to say. To be more explicit, influencers are the ones who are constantly active on social media, posting about different domains or different news from the same one. Usually, they have a blog and a bunch of people who are constantly engaging with them through likes, shares, and comments. Of course, I forgot to mention that they are either early adopters or niche promoters. In some cases, influencers can even become trend-setters.
Why Do You Need Them?
How many times has a friend or a relative or someone else convinced you to buy a product just because s/he recommend it to you? Well, if you think about it, this happens only when you trust that person’s taste and/or you look up to her/him. The same thing happens with influencers.
Today, social media users have developed a personal ad block. Whenever they skim through their news feed, they get past the sponsored content, stories, or tweets. No need to mention that they are deaf to commercials and blind when it comes to billboards. But if they read a blog post or a status from someone whose opinion matters, they might spend a couple of minutes skimming the text, and if they enjoyed the review, might as well go purchase the item, out of curiosity or because they trust that person.
Why Does This Actually Work?
Because it seems more personal. It’s much easier to relate to influencers, because they are normal human beings. And because we don’t like to hear anyone bragging about themselves and, of course, we wouldn’t believe that person, but if we had a mutual close connection, like a friend, and he would say nice things about someone, we might give him the benefit of the doubt. Because, in fact, it’s someone else’s opinion, so it’s good. Influencers are slightly the same thing but they connect you with the brand.
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Where to Find Influencers
Mostly on social media: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Tumblr. You might notice them by the huge amount of engagement they have. But, before you jump head first in the water, you might want to think about a few details in picking your future influencer.
Your Audience vs. Their Audience
Let’s talk a little about your brand. What are you selling? What are you producing? Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you make crackers. Deliciously guilty crackers appreciated by foodies and amateurs. And you’re thinking about an influencer, therefore, you go on whatever social media site and you pick the first one you see who has amazing engagement and you ask them to write about your product. But they say no or might bring out some reasons like “but my audience doesn’t enjoy…you know, food. They’re more with…fashion?” Ouch. What do you do? First, relax. Second, research, research, research, research.
You can use Topsy and BuzzSumo. For instance, in Topsy, you just simply enter the URL of a content and you check out the results. You click the “Influential Only” and ta-da!
On BuzzSumo, it’s as easier to identify content influential people are sharing. You click on the “Influencers” tab at the top and you just type a topic, like crackers. And badaboom, you find your influencers.
Also, you can always go on TagBoard and research by hashtags. You can see the influential score directly on Twitter, for instance, with Klout. So many possibilities!
If tagboard and researching hashtags or influencers sounds complicated, we’ve created a short training program that will make it seem as easy as pie. You’ll get all the details you need to use hashtags and the power of influencers in your marketing strategy. Subscribe now
What Defines an Influencer for Your Brand
As KISSmetrics stated, the three things you need to research before choosing your influencer are:
- Context: Every influencer has its own niche. The whole point is to find the one who would consume/buy your product. That being said, don’t aim for an influencer whose niche is IT to sell your crackers. Or salads.
- Reach: well, they can share the same context with your product, but if only a couple of close friends like and read their posts, it’s pretty useless.
- Actionability: you found the perfect influencer. Now, s/he should be able to cause action in his/her followers. Usually, this should be easy and as a second nature for them, but it’s not always happening. And at least not to everyone. And no, forcing them to do constant promotion won’t work. After all, it’s still possible to unfollow someone.
You Found Them, Now What?
Even if they promote you, the engagement on your social accounts won’t grow if you forget the first word from social media. Spread the love. Answer on time to the mentions, replies, and questions, and share blog posts and videos of who are promoting your product. Make discounts, encourage users to photograph themselves while/after/when using the products. This is how your awareness will grow.
And never forget to repay your influencer, either by shout out, sending free products, or financially.
Do You Get 300 Readers For Each of Your Blog Posts?
Finding the right influencers and reaching out to them might do wonders for the readership (traffic) you get to your articles.
If you want to see more ideas that will help you go from just a few uniques per each article, to 300 unique visitors, join this course. It’s the best one we’ve done so far, and has all that we use to get that much traffic to all our articles.