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Influencer Marketing: How to Engage and Convert

By Michael McNichols

Influencer marketing is all the rage these days in the digital marketing world, but what is it exactly and how can you best take advantage of it?

What is Influencer Marketing?

First, you might ask: what is an influencer? An influencer is someone who has a large following on the web and over social media channels. They might be a leader in your area of business or niche, or someone simply interested and involved in it. Due to their huge following, they can draw interest to a message, theme, topic, or even a brand and its products and services.

So, influencer marketing involves you working with influencers to take advantage of their following and influence to get your message out to more people, build your brand, and deliver whatever your message might be.

An influencer’s posts grab people’s attention. They have built their own brands and reputations, and so their followers trust them and their opinion. Why? Because the influencer has delivered for them before. An influencer has provided value in some way and delivered that message in a compelling way that keeps their followers coming back for more.

What platforms does an influencer use? The possibilities are vast. They might have:

  • A website

  • A blog

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • A podcast

  • YouTube Channel or series

  • A series of ebooks

  • Some combination of the above

Influencers come across as authentic, relevant, and useful to their audiences. They are not just trying to sell someone something. An influencer speaking out about your brand means something to their followers.

Therefore, influencers can help get more eyeballs on your content, get your name out there, show people what they might be missing by not going with you, and can even influence followers when they make a buying decision.

Working with Influencers

Influencers can help, whether you are B2B or B2C. Two key marketing channels go hand in hand with influencer marketing:

  • Social media

  • Content marketing

Obviously, influencers user social media to reach their followers and keep in touch with them. Valuable, engaging content is what they deliver to them.

How can you work with an influencer?

You don’t have to wait for them to discover you and hope that they mention you on their blog. You can reach out to them and form a business relationship with them. Once that is established, you can ask them to:

  • Write an article for your blog, and they will let their followers know about it

  • For a quote to use on our Twitter feed.

  • To be on your podcast, and they can go on yours

  • Co-author a whitepaper

  • Speak or present at your trade show

These are only a few possibilities of what a healthy, mutual beneficial working relationship with an influence can be. You both win. You get exposure to a new audience (yours), and they get exposed to yours.

How to Do Influencer Marketing Correctly

The benefits of using influencer marketing to your brand help you:

  • Reach new audiences and attract more attention

  • Work with influencers who might be talented content creators and have a different voice to than yours, a new spin on your themes and topics, and their own ideas and suggestions that make you look at things in a whole new light

  • Take advantage of an influencer’s credibility to better engage audiences, intrigue them, and win them over, making interested your brand and converting them into customers

Where do you begin with influencer marketing?

  • Identify the influencers in your field. Who is making waves and the most noise? Who is everyone else talking about?

  • Make friends with them. Follow them on social media. Engage them in the real world. Invite them to events as a VIP guest. Ask them for quotes to use in your marketing.

  • Create content with them. Keep each other in the loop of what’s going on.

  • Reuse the content as much as feasible.

  • Remember these tips, though:

    • Influencer marketing works best if it’s an ongoing relationship and not just a one-time thing. You build and increase followings over with time, patience, and quality content.

    • You have to be able to track results and measure success to know what’s working and what’s not and what needs to be tweaked.

    • Don’t shy away from using SEO and keywords in your content.

    • Don’t afraid to experiment and try new things out.

    Influencer marketing is an ongoing process, as any relationship is. It needs nurturing, understanding, and a common bond. Your common bond is winning over your audience. Influencers help you engage with them and build both trust and a relationship with them. Their credibility aids in building your own.

    Find out “5 Q/A’s about Influencer Marketing Success” to see what you can do to identity, approach, and work with the right influencers to help drive your brand’s success.

    Read the blog.