Social media is a valuable tool for reaching customers, but most brands have a limited reach. While content development is first, once a business is set up on social, growing an audience is generally next on the to-do list. To truly boost its bottom line, businesses must find ways to regularly reach new customers.
Just ask an influencer and they’ll tell you how utilising their influence is quickly becoming the biggest opportunity to do just this. An influencer is an online personality with a large or devoted group of followers and because of this, influencers have the ability to get a message out to many people at once.
Brands often make the mistake of looking for influencers with the biggest following, but in a crowded marketplace where buying a following, or acquiring a following and not keeping them engaged is common. Here are a few things to ask yourself when choosing an influencer for your next campaign.
1. Do they love me?
Influencers will generally work with brands for two main reasons. They either love company A’s product or service, or company B is giving them a great big pay cheque. You always want to be company A. Find individuals who share your brand values and can communicate with your target market.
2. Are their followers compatible?
Unfortunately, in this game, numbers are meaning less and less each day. Yes, the more followers someone has, the more engagement they may generate. However, even if an influencer has 1 million followers, their audience may not be interested in your brand. The girl with 100,000 followers but only posts pictures of her boobs and bum probably isn’t the right person to be promoting your cafe. Identify influencers whose audience (yes, their audience and not necessarily the influencer themselves) matches your own target market.
3. Are they authentic?
Perhaps a funny question to ask when you’re talking about scheduled, generally inauthentic content. However, before selecting an influencer have a little look at their posts to determine if the content posted regularly is a good fit for your brand. I once saw a health food blogger, who spoke about her organic and vegan lifestyle, feature a sponsored post about Nandos. What!? This is NOT an authentic fit. So, browse through past posts to make sure you won’t have any surprises after your partnership launches.
4. Do they engage with their audience?
When executed well, social media conversation encourages two-way communication. A good influencer for your brand will not only post beautiful or interesting content, but will also interact with their fans. The regular engagement means followers are more likely to pay attention to recommendations and in turn end up on your social account and website.
5. Are you measuring your results?
Once you’ve identified the influencers you want to work with and the work has begun, make sure you measure your results. Take a look at a variety of analytics tools like Google Analytics, Squarelovin or Iconosquare. Find the one that best fits your marketing efforts and measures your marketing goals. Over time, you’ll be able to clearly define your successes to shape future campaigns.
Influencer outreach really does work best when the influencer matches the brand, is in tune with the message, has control of the format, loves the product and has a great relationship with their fans. Put all of that together and you’re sure to get a head start on growing your community.