Expand your influence

The Internet has opened your brand and business to a global marketplace. But it’s also allowed companies worldwide to compete in your space.

With so many choices, consumers increasingly are making buying decisions based on the recommendations of others on the Internet. They tend to rely on those they perceive as experts relating to the products or services they are considering.

As we discussed last week on this blog, an influencer doesn’t need millions of followers to effectively lead people to buy your products or spend time with your brand.

The power of an influencer is based on the size and loyalty of the audience, frequency of audience interaction and subject matter relevance.

About 80% of consumers say authentic content influences whether or not they follow a brand. More than two-thirds of North American retailers use some form of influencer marketing.

About one-fourth of daily Facebook users and 29% of daily Twitter users said they have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation.

One study found that 70% of surveyed teens said they “…feel like influencers understand them more than traditional celebrities.”

Marketers increasingly are using influencers to direct fans and customers to their sites. More than two-thirds of North American retailers use some form of influencer marketing, and about half of marketers in the United States and United Kingdom spend at least 10% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing. Almost two-thirds of responding marketers said they plan to increase their infleuncer marketing budgets this year.

Influencer marketing is a collaboration or partnership between a company or brand and an influential person to promote a product, service or campaign. The marketer loses some control over the message, allowing the influencers to use their own style and personality to craft the language of the message. In return, the influencers lend their credibility and popularity within their niche to the brand and marketing effort.

So how do you find the influencers that best fit your brand and your customers?

* Know your audience. Don’t try to appeal to everyone. Develop a campaign and use influencers who appeal to your fans and followers.

* Relevance. Look for influencers who share content that’s relevant to your brand and industry. Their audience is more likely to be in line with your target audience.

* Reach. Partner with influencers who have a significant number of key followers in your industry.

* Trust. Partner with influencers who are trustworthy and who your fans and followers already trust.

* Be consistent. Find influencers whose look, feel, tone and values compliment those of your brand.

* Do your homework. Influencers receive many offers. When you first approach influencers, show you’ve already put in the time to learn who they are and what they do.

* Reach out private and personally. Use direct message or email, but don’t send a mass emails or generic messages.

If you’d like to learn more about how influencers can impact your social media media marketing effort, or if you’d like a free evaluation of your digital marketing strategy or performance, feel free to contact us here at AdEdge at (203) 682-4585 or email us at [email protected].