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How to Use Influencer Marketing to Promote Your Business

This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)

Sometimes social media can make it seem like it’s a little too easy to sell a product. All you have to do is download Instagram, post a few pretty pictures, garner a following of over 5,000 people, keep fans entertained with minute-to-minute updates of your life, casually slip in a sponsored post about gummy bear hair vitamins, and suddenly you’ve secured about 5,000 new customers.

The science is simple – people want to purchase products from people they trust. However, in the world of influencer marketing, it’s not that black and white. With so many social media stars brands out there, it can be hard to know who to trust and how to best market your business through them.

Here’s how to make the most of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Know the difference between the types of influencers  

There are three types of influencers:

Mega influencer: These are the Kim Kardashians and Cristiano Ronaldos of Instagram. Mega influencers are usually celebrities, social media stars, artists and athletes with over a million followers.

Macro influencer: Macro influencers have more of a category-focused influence. This can be through lifestyle, beauty, fitness or business. They can have anywhere from 10,000 to one million followers.

Micro influencer: Micro influencers are more personal and relatable. Their profiles boast a smaller fan base, with 500-10,000 followers.

Knowing which influencer is best suited to your brand is important. This might seem counterintuitive, but in most cases, it’s actually better to opt for a micro or macro influencer. Here’s why.

Though mega influencers can acquire millions of followers, most of the time they’re not really connecting with them.

Surprisingly, it’s been shown that the more followers you secure, the less engagement you receive. This could be because as popularity increases, the distance between a celebrity and a fan does too. Mega influencers’ audiences are segmented into a wide variety of groups and people, making it hard to target one localized group of people.

Micro influencers, on the other hand, are able to form an authentic connection with their followers. That’s because they appear real. They don’t seem glossed up and Facetuned, showered in fame and money.

They can be anyone – that’s why people trust them. That’s why people appreciate what they have to say about a certain product. Micro influencers tend to have audiences that are condensed into specific demographics. In this case, it might be more helpful to use their reach to target a specific group.

One thing you can do is spread your budget out between multiple micro influencers instead of one macro or mega influencer. With a micro influencer, you might get a few posts about your product, which might not be seen by all their followers. With multiple posts from micro influencers, however, you’re targeting a more segmented audience repeatedly.

Research your ideal fit

Once you decide on an influencer category, spend some researching the type of influencer who represents your brand. Think about someone who genuinely encapsulates your image and services. Is this a person who would actually use your products?

If you’re a bakery, find local food bloggers with devoted followers. Create partnerships. If you’re a beauty salon, consider a micro influencer who is already coming in for a weekly blow out. Finding someone who is already familiar with your services is extremely beneficial. You can even work out a deal where they get a few months of free services.

Research the social media platform where most of your customers are based and make sure that the person you’re using is active there. Also, make sure you’re active there as well. Investing in an influencer campaign that links people to a blank page might defeat all your prior efforts.

If you’re feeling stuck, tools such as Buzzsomo help by letting you search for influencers based off of keywords. You can set it to “Regular people” if you’re looking for micro influencers. There are also agencies that pair companies with influencers.

Know how to reach out to influencers

Once you’ve created your list, you can reach out to the influencer through social media or email. The key here is to be personal and friendly. Include details about the influencer’s content and how they would best reflect your brand. Show you’ve been researching them.

Focus on the value you would both receive from this deal. Make sure you offer them an inciting offer in return for their promotion, and that you leave room for them to suggest the type of deal they’d prefer.

Be specific about your terms

One reason that influencer marketing campaigns can fall flat on their face is companies don’t know how to hold influencers accountable.

Defining a set of clear-cut goals at the beginning of any influencer interaction is essential. First, you have to decide what you specifically want. Likes, comments, impressions, followers, awareness, transactions – specifying this means you can have something to measure.

If you’re seeking sales, then you should write out the amount of business you seek to gain from each campaign. Create a monthly quota so you can track the results. Some companies choose to pay influencers based off on commissions, others a monthly basis. You can think about which works best for you.

If you want to gain followers and increase brand awareness, then define the amount of likes, views and followers you seek. Give yourself something palpable to measure.

A lot of this ties back to selecting the right type of influencer. Mega influencers are best for brand awareness, macro influencers for impressions, and micro influencers for engagements and sales. Your influencer type and end results go hand-in-hand.

Make sure to think about the type of campaign you want to run. Sometimes brands choose to sponsor influencers and have them wear or feature their products in their posts. For example, if you’re a bikini brand, you might have a California-based surfer wear your bikinis every time she’s by the ocean. This can also be good if she decides to do a campaign with another brand. For example, if she’s doing a video for a sunscreen company, she can still wear your swimsuit in it.

Takeaway:

  • When planning an influencer marketing campaign, make sure you know what type of influencer you want
  • There are three types of influencers: mega, macro and micro influencers
  • Micro influencers are usually best for small businesses because they have personal connections with their followers
  • Find someone who represents your brand’s identity and who would benefit from your products
  • Make sure you hold your influencers accountable by defining exactly what you expect from their posts

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