Approved social media calendar filled with monthly coverage on all your channels? Check. Twitter and Facebook messages scheduled in Hootsuite? Check. Blog topics coordinated and researched? Check. Is there anything your social media campaign could be missing…. The answer could be influencers marketing your product.
A social media influencer is defined as an individual who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of the public based on their celebrity, knowledge, or relationship with his or her audience. Another definition is an individual who actively engages with a following related to a distinct niche. Huda Kattan is an Iraqi-American makeup artist, beauty blogger, and entrepreneur. She is also the founder of Huda Beauty, a successful cosmetics line, and one of the most popular influencers worldwide. Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World is one of the world’s biggest influencers on YouTube. The eight-year-old and his family have a subscriber following of 23.8 million and generates a revenue of $22 million per year.
An influencer can create an immensely powerful avenue to promote your brand. Their audience essentially becomes your audience exposing your products or services to millions of potential customers. One endorsement from an influencer could mean thousands of clicks to your website, floods of orders and dozens of follows to your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. However, it’s important to note that influencers shouldn’t be perceived as mere marketing tools. Instead, they are relationships in which a brand can cultivate and collaborate with in order to achieve their marketing goals.
Before approaching an influencer, you must find out if he or she is in alignment with the industry your products and services cater to. Would little Ryan Kaji want to sit down at teatime and test your new vegan skinny tea? Probably not. But Huda Kattan certainly could be interested in forming a partnership since beauty is in alignment with health and wellness. Do your homework. Research to find influencers within your marketing industry. You can begin by using these search tools:
BuzzSumo – searches for influencers using specific keywords.
NinjaOutreach –searches for key bloggers within your industry.
Hashtagify.me – research hashtags so that you can target people who tweet about your product.
Google Alerts – set up an alert on Google so you can find out the minute a story breaks within your industry.
Once you have identified influencers that are within your industry, review their website and social media pages. By analyzing an influencer’s site and pages, you will be able to see if they have any information about their policies about brand partnership. Scroll down, read their posts, look at their videos, that way you’ll have a good understanding of their personality and connection with their audience. A good rule of thumb to follow when thinking about which influencers to approach for marketing is to choose an influencer who heavily engages with his or her audience. It’s not about the number of followers, it’s about the relationships. The more an influencer engages with their followers the more audience loyalty they have.
After you’ve selected the influencers you’d like to connect with, craft your pitch and send it from a professional account. Make sure you personalize your pitch. A “Dear [insert name]” message won’t do and will have your inquiry sent to the trash bin. Don’t create a message that is all about you and your fabulous products and services. Your message should highlight your desire to build a relationship with the influencer. Keep your pitch short, simple and clear. Pique their interest. Don’t over flatter. Tell them why you want them to endorse your product or services and how they can benefit the influencer’s audience. If you’re pitching several influencers, your pitches should be customized to each influencer you pitch. The best pitches include an ask and are a couple of sentences at the most. Should you have difficulty mastering a pitch email, you can hire content creators to assist you with your pitch and follow up messages.
Building relationships with social media influencers can be a rewarding endeavor that can bring brand awareness and increase your ROI. Remember to be direct about your purpose when working with them and creative when it comes to generating concepts that will benefit both you and your influencer. Most importantly, always analyze your results to ensure that your efforts are effective.