Influencer marketing is a common buzzword in the world of digital marketing, but what does it actually mean? More importantly, is it worth investing time into this type of marketing? Influencers are people within your industry who already have established trust with an audience. Influencer marketing is the process of identifying and building relationships with these influencers.
There is a common misconception that influencers are people like celebrities with millions of followers on social media. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to an influencer. A true influencer has more than a large following on social media; they have a loyal and engaged community who serve as brand advocates. Jay Baer says it perfectly: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.” You want to build relationships with influencers who can be evangelists for your brand and help spread the word to their community.
Why is influencer marketing important today? One of the reasons is due to the massive decline in organic reach. On platforms like Facebook, only 2-6% of your audience can see your organic (non-paid) posts. Bottom line is that fewer people are seeing what you post on social media. Enlisting the help of influencers to share your content is key to driving brand awareness.
The case study below reinforces the value of influencer marketing. BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million articles shared on social media in order to quantify the effect of having an influencer share your content. For this study, an influencer was defined as as anyone with more than 2 average retweets. (Average retweets are simply the number of retweets someone gets every time they tweet.)
Here’s what they found:
1 influencer sharing content creates 31.8% more total shares.
3 influencers sharing doubles the number of shares.
5 influencers sharing quadruples the number of shares..
This study reinforces how valuable an influencer can be in driving awareness and action.
Now that we have defined influencer marketing, we can identify some best practices for building relationships with influencers. Below is a list of the top Do’s and Don’ts of influencer marketing.
Do’s of Influencer Marketing
1. Always be genuine! Influencers are humans just like us, so be human with them! You want to build a relationship that is built on trust and you can do that by having a genuine personality.
2. Have a “give” mindset. You are going to have to give a lot to receive equal return!
3.Provide something of value to your influencer. This is key if you want to grab the attention of an influencer. You are not the only one reaching out to influencers so make sure you provide a valuable opportunity that aligns with the influencer’s mission and goals.
Don’ts of Influencer Marketing
Do not rust the process. Building relationships with influencers does not happen overnight. The relationship grows organically as you provide more and more value to the influencer.
Do not have a “take” mindset. Your priority should be “what can I give to the influencer,” not “what can I get from the influencer.”