Want your brand to stand out from everyone else? You need to partake in an influencer marketing campaign.
Besides cutting through all the noise, influencer marketing can help your brand reach new audience members and boost sales. In fact, one study conducted from Google found that “60% of all the age groups questioned confirmed they would buy a product or service from a brand endorsed by a YouTube creator.”
But, how can you find those highly desirable influence marketers to give your marketing campaign a much-needed assist? Here are four proven ways to accomplish that goal.
What’s an Influencer and What Can They Do For You?
Before you can begin your search you should first understand what an influencer is and what they’re going to do for you. Jay Baer from Convince & Convert describes it best; “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”
Jay also adds, “There are eight activities and behaviors that can be tackled by an online influencer.” He continues that to say that “not all of these eight are right for your brand in any particular circumstance, and one of the tenets of successful influencer marketing is very much understanding WHAT you want influencers to do for you BEFORE you find and recruit them.”
According to Jay, the eight primary influencer behaviors are:
- The Megaphone: They will spread the word to their audience.
- The Reporter: They’ll cover any of your events just like a journalist.
- The Face: They’ll become a spokesperson for your brand.
- The Connector: They’ll introduce your brand on social platforms.
- The Creative: They’ll create content for your brand.
- The Designer: They’ll assist with creating new products/services for your brand.
- The Neighbor: They’ll spark and facilitate conversations in your brand’s online community.
- The Defender: They’ll support your brand whenever there is a PR disaster.
So let’s say that you just started a drone manufacturing company. What makes your product unique is that they’re solar powered. You think that if you get in touch with Elon Musk he’ll give your a company a boost. After all, he’s into gadgets and he does have a solar panel company.
On paper, this sounds great. But, let’s be honest here. Is Elon Musk going to be able to fulfill any of those primary influencer behaviors? Probably not. The dude only works 100 hours per week now, of course he can fit you in - no problem.
Instead, you may be better off in reaching out to the editor of a leading drone review website. That individual could easily become The Megaphone, The Reporter, and The Connector for your company.
When identifying your influencer it’s suggested that you give them a personality type that fits your brand and needs. This includes what you are looking for in their personality types; genre; niche; topics; and type of reach.
Oh Where, Oh Where, Can My Influencer Be?
After you’ve identified your influencer and determined your needs, you can officially begin your search.
The first place to start is to just do a search inquiry on Google and see what turns up. If I was that drone owner then I would Google “drone magazines” or “drone review sites” to get started. Google is pretty reliable when it comes to sharing the best possible results for you.
Besides publications, you should also search for blogs in your niche or genre. Again, Google turns up the blogs that are trustworthy - for the most part. Once you find these blogs, reach out to the owner and start building a relationship.
Speaking of Google, set-up a Google Alert for the most relevant keywords in your industry. Whenever a news article or blog post is published containing those keywords you’ll receive a notification. From there, you can reach out to the site or blog owner.
You also want to hop on social media and do a little monitoring. Researching hashtags that you believe your influencers are using and you’ll probably be able to identify active users on platforms like Twitter or Instagram.
This sounds like the process could be a lot of work. And, it can be. But, finding the best influencers takes a lot of hard work. Thankfully, there are also some powerful tools that can make this process run a lot smoother.
- BuzzSumo allows you to find influencers through a simple keyword search.
- Klout is an older tool and can be used to identify leading influencers based on their Klout Score.
- Followerwonk matches you with Twitter users based on their authority, followers, and recent tweets.
- Traackr helps you find and engage influencers.
- GroupHigh connects you with influential blogs and bloggers.
- Social Mention is a useful tool that keeps tabs on any brand mentions.
Once you have identified potential influencers, make a list and start getting in contact with them.
Grab the Attention of the Influencer
By getting in touch with the influencer, I don’t mean shooting them a quick email or message on a social channel and asking them for a plug. You have to grab their attention and woo them by engaging and interacting with them. This could include anything from sharing their content, commenting on their social channels, or giving them a shoutout in one of your articles.
I’ve actually cultivated long-lasting relationships with influencers simply because I mentioned them in a guest post or article on my own website. They get mentioned, plus a link, and then they’ll go on to share that piece of content. It’s a win-win.
Eventually, you do want to take it a step further and send them an email or direct message and explain how much you enjoy their work and why it’s valuable to you. If possible, send a specific example of a blog post so you don’t come across as someone who is email blasting them for a link.
Do Your Own Thing
“When you’re trying to make a name for yourself, it’s all too easy to look at tactics and strategies your peers (or personal heroes) are using and adopt them for your own purposes,” writes Dan Shewan on WordStream. “While this might work sometimes, blatantly copying someone else’s approach to influencer marketing won’t always have the desired results. In some cases, it could even harm your personal brand and damage your credibility.”
Instead of copying someone else’s approach, Shewan recommends that you “focus on the content you’re producing.” This means creating quality content that is also compelling, original “designed specifically to attract the attention of influencers in your industry.”
WordStream founder Larry Kim adds, “Create content that is specifically designed to attract the attention of influencers.” He recalls how WordStream released research on Quality Score, click-through rates, and conversion rates and how it was referenced across the industry. “That’s what influencers do – they share new, interesting content with their audiences,” says Kim.
Finding the right influencer for your marketing campaign takes a lot of hard work, networking, and patience. But, if you establish goals, know what type of influencer you’re looking for, woo them, and create amazing content, you’ll be on the right track.
How have you found influencers for your brand?