Remember the trendsetters in high school, the people whose clothing or accessory choices today determined the look everyone else in school would be trying to emulate tomorrow? In seeking to have your product featured by a variety of digital influencers, you are appealing to people’s desires to imitate those whom they admire.
As social media has increased access to the day-to-day lives of influential people, the ability of these digital influencers to shape the opinions of those around them via social channels has increased also. According to a 2012 Nielsen study, 92% of people surveyed said they trusted earned media, such as referrals from trusted sources, above other types of advertising. By connecting and establishing relationships with digital influencers enthusiastic about your brand, you can generate new business and increase awareness about your products. But taking the first steps to find social influencers and reaching out to the most appropriate digital influencers for you can prove a challenge.
The digital influencers you choose must have strong relevance, reach, and resonance with your target audience. Their interests align with the profile of the target customer segments to whom you are trying to sell; they have a substantial following, at least within your target audience; and their status makes others want to mimic their actions. Gender, location, and frequency of social posting are all important components to consider when determining the appropriateness of including an influencer in a particular campaign. Does the influencer’s following align with the segment you are interested in reaching? How extensive and constructive is their interaction with their followers?
Finding the people who are already enthusiastically endorsing your products on social media is a good starting point for identifying the best influencers for your brand. These fans will likely be receptive to your efforts to reach out, and establishing a strong relationship and open communication with them will further increase their excitement about their products. Assessing who your most effective advocates are can be difficult, but with the right influencer marketing software it can be very simple. ReadyPulse’s technology contains an algorithm that tracks and scores your fans and influencers, providing key details such as the length of time they have been a fan and how often they post about your brand.
In your search for potential influencers besides current fans of your product, think hard about the type of person your product is intended for; you want to reach out to people who match this profile themselves. Bloggers with sizable followings who create content relevant to your product are solid targets for outreach; you might also seek out influencers who have posted about your competitors on social media.
Personalization is critical in your outreach to recruit social influencers. You want your digital influencers to feel special and appreciated for their efforts. This is where relationship maintenance with fans outside of specific marketing campaigns is important. If you interact with influencers on social media when you aren’t trying to promote something, responding to their posts regularly, they are less likely to feel that you are using them for publicity when you contact them about products you would be interested in them showcasing.
Also keep in mind that influencers are not brand ambassadors. They are independent entities, and you should attempt to work with them while providing them with the leeway to express their reaction to your product creatively and organically. Allowing them to review your products in a manner in their own style is a mutually beneficial arrangement, because it generates publicity for you while maintaining the influencer’s rapport with their audience.
If you are interested in recruiting ambassadors (as you should be!), ReadyPulse can help you in that area as well. We have written before about how to create a brand ambassador program, and our platform is designed to help you manage and track the success of your brand ambassador program initiatives.