Defining Influencer Marketing

Everyone that has any experience in marketing has heard that one of the key techniques to gaining good press and becoming an authority in any vertical is gaining influencer support through influencer marketing. But what is influencer marketing and how can you use it to get the full benefits it can offer?

WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?

Simply put, influencer marketing begins with making connections with influencers that are able to connect, establish trust with, and sway your key demographics and target market.  Influencers are generally very active on social media, so pitching great content over social is extremely important to getting in contact with influencers. Though, as with any marketing technique there are always exceptions, especially as you get into more specialized fields.

WHO IS AN INFLUENCER?

Influencers are not your current, already loyal customers, but people in your field that have huge followings. People that are thought leaders and have their opinions talked about by many, regardless of if people agree or disagree with them. In a broad sense, an influencer simply starts a larger conversation with the masses. Many influencers are on Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram, and connect with their audiences through those channels. Top influencers in the marketing world include Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas), Larry Kim of WordStream (@larrykim), and Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing (@leeodden).

WHY USE INFLUENCER MARKETING?

The benefits of influencer marketing are arguably innumerable, but some of the biggest reasons marketers love having influencers on board as part of their strategy are as follows:

  • Admiration for influencers can lead to more sales due to word of mouth recommendations and warm reception of products and services, rather than paid advertising.
  • Social media is growing, and your business can grow with it. Having influencers link to your social pages not only grows your customer base and audience, but also can start to turn you and your business into an influencer as well.
  • Having influencers can also help your SEO. You’ll become more relevant and popular, which will rank you higher on Google and other search engines.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT AN INFLUENCER MARKETING STRATEGY?

You may be thinking “this is great, but how do I integrate this into my marketing plans?” The first step to starting with influencer marketing is finding the influencers that your audience connects with. After you find these influencers you can start to look at what types of content these influencers post and start generating similar content. The next step of connecting with and pitching to influencers is often the most difficult part. Because the nature of being an influencer involves constant contact with people and businesses it can be easy for a mediocre pitch to fall through the cracks.  Create a strong pitch with great content and the chances that you will hear back are much more likely. It’s important to remember to change your pitches for each new influencer, and to remember not to put all your eggs in one basket.

2017 will be a big year for marketers and influencer marketing is going to be key for standing above the competition. My next post will focus on some of the best influencer marketing campaigns from years past. Stay tuned!

 

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