Despite the fact that social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are incredibly effective marketing tools, they also enable you to keep tabs on your favourite musicians, actors, sport stars and even politicians.
However these individuals, along with online bloggers, notable journalists, industry experts and marketing thought leaders can also impact on the success of your business. Why? Because they’re influencers.
The role of an influencer
More often than not, influencers will have an extensive, loyal and agreeable audience that listen to everything they say. These followers will trust and value their opinion or expertise, which tend to be about a specific subject or niche.
If that topic relates to your business, then you’re potentially onto a winner. By getting in contact and building relationships with influencers, they’ll get to know your brand or product. They could then mention, recommended or promote your business to their own group of fans and a whole new audience will have been found.
Not only will these prospective customers have some sort of interest in your goods or services due to the nature of the influencer, they are more likely to buy thanks to the authority’s commendation.
Identifying and finding influencers
Before searching for possible influencers, think about the type of individual you want to connect with and the role they could potentially play. Celebrities may post social media updates that relate to your brand’s offering, but blog authors or industry speakers might be easier to contact and will have more targeted followers.
You can set up Google Alerts with relevant keywords to find out who is talking about or publishing content concerning your business. Another option is to look on Amazon or other bookstores to find authors who have written about your industry.
But the best way to connect with influencers is through social media, specifically Twitter and LinkedIn. See what kind of content they’re promoting or posting, note the reaction these updates get and decide whether they would be a worthwhile connection.
Working with influencers
If you’ve identified an influencer that is a good fit, they’ll no doubt be interested in your brand. On top of that, they’ll also want to pass on interesting content or new products to their devoted followers. In many respects, influencers need you just as much as you need them.
Don’t ask for explicit promotion or publicity straight away. Instead, comment on your influencer’s blog, interact with them on social media and share their content or updates to your own followers. You can offer to write a guest post for their blog, send them a free sample of your product or even offer their audience something.
Over time, you should be able to build a strong and valuable relationship that benefits both parties. Not only do influencers increase your brand’s standing and reputation, they can also generate sizeable sales too.
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