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Can Influencer Marketing Help Your Business?

Influencer MarketingDo you need to get your message out there but lack the budget for a full-blown marketing campaign? Influencer marketing can help you stretch your budget, spread the word about your brand—and increase your success.

 

Influencer marketing uses a source, or information, to target potential customers already interested in a product or service. Although very similar to word of mouth marketing, influencer marketing is not the same. Both word of mouth and influencer marketing are peer-to-peer marketing methods, but influencer marketing relies on some form of knowledgeable authority—someone, or something, already viewed by potential leads as trustworthy.

 

What, or who, are influencers?

 

As the name implies, influencers are people, institutions, and resource bases with a lot of credibility. What they say, do—and even eat—may influence the people who follow their moves on social media.

 

The rise of social media created opportunity for well-networked individuals and companies to build followers—people who are interested in what influencers have to say. Influencer marketing, when it works, gives you access to followers who can get to know your brand, service, or other product through the eyes of their influencer. For small business owners, followers of influencers could become leads.

 

Celebrity endorsements were the original influencer marketing. Celebrities were paid to pitch a product on television and became associated with the brand. Brands built buzz through placing a famous face next to their rental car, coffee maker, financial service, or jeans. Paid to speak the message of their sponsor, celebrity endorsements are still used today.

 

Forms of influencer marketing include:

 

  • Individuals: Whether Girl with Curves, Tanesha Awasthi or Bill Gates, certain segments of the population want to know what’s up with the people they admire, or believe are of a common mind. Whether interested in their opinion on current events, fashion, or food, individual influencers are generally articulate, well-networked, and dialed into the culture. Generally enjoying an easy relationship with their followers, individual influencers can have a big impact.

 

  • Institutions: When looking for education and information, many browsers point to reputable public institutions. For healthcare, the Mayo Clinic, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, are go-to sources for many people. Understanding how pivotal institutions in your area of business serve your client base may help you serve your clients by association through content you generate.

 

  • Knowledge base: One of the easiest means for small business owners to use influence marketing is to create a knowledge base and reputation as an influencer. Potential customers seeking information on a product or service find your site faster when your educational content is rated highly by search engines. Offering education, or guest blogging, gives you the chance to build authority—and influence. Education can take the form of blogs, white papers, well-placed articles, and nurtured social media channels.

 

In one influence marketing campaign, you can utilize all three of these resources. You can cultivate a relationship with an influencer, build your own influence base—and link to influential institutions that maintain a body of authoritative knowledge.

 

Points to understand about influencer marketing

 

Influencer marketing is different, and trickier from the standpoint of message. You are not paying money for a static advertisement that you hope reaches your target audience. With some work, you are connecting with a person who has a previously established, trusted, relationship with thousands of potential leads.

 

As any small business owner knows, referrals from satisfied customers are the most effective, least expensive means of growing your client base. Consider these tips about influencer marketing:

 

  • Goals: As with any marketing campaign, know your goals. I have talked before about shiny object syndrome. While influencer marketing may be new to you, be sure you understand what it can—and cannot—do for you. Influencer marketing can do a lot of things—create buzz for your brand, drive traffic to your website, call attention to a promotion, generate awareness of your brand differentiators and more. Plan your objectives within the frame of our overall marketing strategy.
  • What kind of influence works for your goals? Are you looking for a popular celebrity to plug your product on Twitter? Within the context of your goals, think about who you want to influence. This might be a general audience to gain brand awareness, or a niche population who is deeply invested in the types of product s you produce. Do you want to cultivate a conversation about your product, make a big launch—or cultivate everyday users who function as brand ambassadors?
  • Building relationships and content: Now that you have your goals, and know what you want to say—how are you going to build a relationship with an influencer, and what content are you going to use? Working with an influencer takes time—and real reciprocity. Personal outreach works best, and takes time. It may be worth your own time to outsource your campaign through a consultant. An influencer is not a paid spokesperson—a mistake made in cultivating a promotional response from an influencer could backfire if the communication is not shaped with care.

These are some key ideas around using influencer marketing to build your brand—and your business profit. When you have questions about influencers, or your marketing message, call me at 585-633-7563.

To your success.

Bob Britton

About the Author Bob Britton

Bob Britton is an accomplished entrepreneur with ​25 year’s experience ​starting, building and growing both brick-and-mortar companies as well as online businesses. ​He's personally built 3 companies from one man shows to the million dollar mark. Marketing Automation Group and the Automated Entrepreneur Method​® are his latest brainchild. After working with hundreds of business owners in every walk of business, he realized there was a HUGE gap in the support and training that was available, and set out to fill that void with his no-nonsense, hype free approach to business growth.

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