Influencer marketing that won't break the bank
How to find and leverage influencers among your customers
Imagine running a business in today’s technology-obsessed world that has no social media presence. Difficult, right? Whether your business is small or large, social media can become a beneficial part of your marketing strategy. These marketing platforms help you speak directly to your clients and introduce new products in a personal manner than other mass-marketing techniques.
Marketing to influencers
Successful Influencer marketing begins with identifying your brand champions. This can get a bit tricky as they may not be celebrities.
As your social media follower base grows, you can easily identify users who are more vocal in promoting your brand. These customers will not just like and share your content, but also mention your brand in their posts, etc. Over a while, these users begin influencing your larger user base. Therefore, it's important to nurture them through personal attention. Efforts that you spend on marketing to these influencers are likely to reap more benefits as you're already aware of their likes and dislikes.
So, you don't have to splash out money to get a Kardashian to tout your business. You can find influencers among your own customer base and leverage them. This is a great marketing channel, because it's:
Almost all social media platforms offer free signup. Even if you decide to use the paid advertisement feature, social media remains the most cost-effective form of marketing. In other words, you are reducing your marketing budgets but getting better results. These results can be seen within hours of creating and posting content online.
Your clients' home
Your clients are on social media. Most of the internet users today have at least one social media profile. Additionally, almost a third of these users visit social media pages more than five times a day. In fact, by 2021 the global social media user population is expected to reach over 3 billion in numbers. So, you can imagine how many users can view your products on just a handful of platforms. This makes it an excellent tool to reach your online audience.
Marketing over social media has an excellent conversion rate; far better than any outbound marketing strategy. We have seen the client volume that can be generated on these sites. Every interaction through a social media channel is an opportunity to convert the interested user into a customer. You can do this by providing relevant content regularly and help improve brand credibility.
A boost to brand loyalty
Although brand loyalty is important for every type of business, a small business can often find it a challenge to build on it. This is primarily because they can’t afford costly customer loyalty programs. These businesses can easily fill in this gap using social media marketing influencers. Provide relevant and compelling content and engage directly with your clients. Soon, your satisfied clients will become your brand promoters.
A boost to your SEO Rankings
While your website might be designed for Search engine optimization, but these search engines also use your social media presence to determine your business’s rankings. Having a healthy and active social media presence can give a signal that your products and brand are credible. Also, your social media profiles may reflect above on your website on Google and other search engine results. Therefore, keep your profile updated and make sure that it attracts customers.
How to use social media influencer marketing
Now that we have talked about the benefits of social media influencer marketing, let us outline how you can use these platforms to your advantage.
Begin by identifying the influencers. Make sure these influencers are active on social media platforms and their views and opinions are in line with your company and products. You can easily find out active supporters of your brand by finding out users who post content that is relevant to your business, are capable of reaching a vast number of audiences, and their views resonate with your vision.
Segregate and filter
Once you have identified your potential influencers, make sure that you keep an eye on their social media feeds. This will help you effectively segregate them from mass followers so that their comments and feeds don’t get lost in the sea of other promotional marketing posts and tweets.
You need to stand out from the crowd to attract social media influencers. This can be done by creating a profile that is unique and engaging. Build your influencer campaign by strategizing how you want to engage the top influencers of your products. You can engage your brand influencers by mentioning them on your blog or social media platform. There is an immense probability that the targeted influencer will share your post on their social media accounts, so make sure that your post is positive.
Reach out directly
Influencers can be easy or difficult to attract; it depends on the individual. Therefore, there is no harm in reaching out directly. You can do this by commissioning them for a writeup related to your product. Make the message, or the email specific to the individual. Sending out mass-emails may not have the same impact. This will be more time consuming, but it can reap better results.
Social media influencers that you are targeting are celebrities, they are essentially people like us. Therefore, keep it real by developing a real relationship. You can share, like, or comment on their posts. This is an excellent way to build social media influencer relationships. Don’t overdo it though, as it may fail to have a positive effect by looking unauthentic.
If you do something for the influencer, they will take notice and feel obliged to return the favor. After all, influencer marketing is all about scratching each other’s backs. Follow them and re-post, or re-tweet their updates that can be insightful for your users.
We all secretly love flattery. Public shout-outs, tagging, re-tweeting across all your social media platforms is one of the best ways to promote their pages. And, of course, all this effort will generate immense returns for your brand.
The do’s & don’ts of social media marketing
Given the immense reach potential, the social media marketing trend is here to stay. Therefore, there is no time like the present to build an influencer portfolio and utilize your social media presence. For this, make sure that you are all set with your social media strategies. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you align the same.
- Complete profiles
All your social media profiles and content must be consistent and up-to-date. These profiled are highly likely to pop-up in the search engine’s landing page. So, make sure they contain the message that you want to deliver.
- Re-use content
It is an excellent strategy to save up on time. However, this does not mean that you repeat the same information time and again. If a post has generated a good amount of attention in the past, maybe you can give it a new look and float it again.
- Multiple media platforms
While written content is evergreen, there is no harm in venturing out of your comfort zone to newer media platforms like videos or infographics. It can add the bout of freshness to your content and showcase your brand better.
Self-promotion is just one form of interaction. Try and create a balance with indirect promotions by posting content that is not directly promotional but stimulates action.
- Flow customization
No two followers are alike. Also, user profiling can differ depending upon the social media platform. So, to have a more meaningful interaction, customize your flow according to your audience. This requires some amount of research, but it will ensure that you post relevant content.
You can remain in your comfort zone and still be innovative. Be aware of the latest social media trends and align your strategy to make sure that information flows seamlessly across your social networks.
- Data creation
You are sitting on massive amounts of potential data and statics. Utilize your social media accounts to conduct surveys and generate statics.
There is no point in having a social marketing strategy if it is not working for you. Make a conscious effort to design and redesign your strategies to align them with what you want to achieve via this mode of marketing.
- Crisis management
Meltdowns are a complete no-no. Social media influencing can spin out of control if you react with a hot head. Very likely, you will come across posts that will speak unfavorably about your products. Keep a disaster-management plan ready at all times and react responsibly without delay.
- Success measurement
There is a reason why you entered the world of social media marketing, to begin with. Make sure that you and your influencers remain true to this purpose. Set realistic goals and follow an effective measuring strategy.
- Poor content
You don’t need big words to make your content look rich. If the content is not relevant, then it is useless. Put in the required time and effort (possibly even money if you are hiring a content writer) to make sure that the outcome is not cheap and useless.
- Poor response
Ignoring your followers and audiences is social media suicide. This usually happens in case of unfavorable reviews. You can’t ignore them forever as they will have a cascading effect.
- Dated accounts
Don’t create accounts if you can’t maintain them. If you have more than one social media account, then make sure that they are equally up to date.
Unfortunately, one size does not fit all in the world of social media. If you are hunting for influencers, then you must approach each of them in a more individualistic fashion. Likewise, with your social media followers, don’t create generic content. Align your strategy to fit in with the respective online platform.
- Abandoned prospects
You put in truck-loads of effort attracting an influencer. Abandoning them after showering such attention can have a detrimental effect on the social media world of free-speech. So, handle with care.
- Unable to nurture relationships
A social media influencer relationship is an ongoing exercise. It requires regular interaction to keep them interested in your brand. For the relationship to become more meaningful, it should be nurtured effectively and constantly.
- Unable to pick and choose
Focus on quality, not quantity. Having a certain number of social media influencers or posts is not an accurate measure of success. Ultimately, it will depend on how much of this influence gets translated into actual sales.
It is possible to come across as impolite on social media. This can be a result of cultural or regional differences or misunderstandings. You might not be out-rightly rude, but your responses can be construed as less than polite.
- Confusing messages
Don’t post contradictory content. Therefore, know what is important to you and your brand.
Be searchable and remain visible to conquer the social media marketing domain.