Influencer marketing is a great campaign strategy for lots of companies and products. It can, and has, brought in phenomenal results to many a savvy business owner. It’s not the easiest strategy on the block, though. Beginning marketers may have this idea that influencers are just lining up to push your product, but that’s far from the truth.
Getting a list of influencers is just the beginning. Your next step is a little more difficult.
Marketing to your influencers
An ironic thing is that your most influential people probably don’t buy from you. Some might, but most don’t. So you have a list of however many – let’s say 75, and maybe 2 or 3 that know anything about your product already.
The chances are slim that you personally know all of them. On average, it’s likely that you only know about 10%. That’s 7.5 – round it to 8. So you might personally know 8 of the 75.
With the 3 that already knew about your product, and the 8 that personally know you, you have 64 left that know neither. If even half of those have some awareness of you, you still have a whopping 32 influencers you need to convince that your product and company are worth their time.
How do you do that?
Well, since they aren’t consumers, you have to think of “non-prospect” ways to reach out to them. However, you still have to target their wants and needs.
A few ideas:
- Create an event exclusively for these specific influencers: no guests, no substitutes. Emphasize the ability to network with other influencers in their sector.
- Create an online community for your influencers. If you get in on the ground floor (i.e. there are no other forums of this type), you’ll forever be remembered as the one who Started It All.
- Go where influencers are and take the opportunity to meet them face-to-face. This goes beyond schmoozling at the company party; your job is to get them interested in marketing your product. Keep the conversation where it needs to be.
Marketing through your influencers
“If I wanted your opinion, I’d give it to you.”
This is not the way influencer marketing is done. Influencers aren’t talking heads. It’s important to understand that you aren’t paying them to spout what you want them to say.
So then, what is the value of an influencer?
An influencer’s value comes from your target market’s trust that the influencer is an authority. There is also the belief in the influencer’s credibility. Were you to pay them to push your views about your own product, they would quickly lose both authority and credibility.
Listen. Influencers don’t care about you. They don’t care about your product. They care about continuing to be influential. Your job, as the marketer, is helping them continue in their goals while still achieving your objective.
How do you do that?
There is a fine line to walk when marketing through influencers. On the one hand you want to get your message across. On the other, you don’t want your influencer to run into reputation issues.
- Find out what they’re saying to their followers.
- Create messages that fall in line with what your influencers are already saying – messages they’ll be willing to pass on.
- Listen to any ideas your influencers have. This is a mutually beneficial activity; if you do well, they do well, also.
Marketing with influencers
Marketing with influencers is the exact opposite of marketing through influencers. Instead of them using your collateral, you’re using theirs. To be more precise, you’re using them as the collateral.
Think of the many marketing guides that talk about “these 12 experts” or “what 4 influencers say about influencing.” These are perfect examples.
How do you do that?
There are numerous ways to use influencers in your collateral.
Here are a few ideas:
- Create expert guides and ebooks
- Product testing with Amazon reviewers
- Product testing with YouTube influencers
Influencer marketing isn’t something to be taken lightly, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from this post. It takes work. Sometimes it takes a lot of work. The time it takes is nothing compared to the returns, both in amount and longevity. Take the time to follow the steps and marketing to, through and with your influencers. It’s well worth it!
If you’re interested in creating influencer marketing campaigns but don’t know where to start, contact us. We’ll get you going on the right track.