Influencer marketing is when a brand reaches out to a well-known individual or another company in the same niche and uses their influence to help market a product. If you’ve ever seen a commercial with a celebrity promoting a product or service, then you’ve seen influencer marketing in action. In 2018, however, the term is often used in reference to the digital marketing world and is slowly replacing outbound marketing.
One influencer marketing success story that comes to mind involves Shredz, a nutritional supplement company based in New York City. Shredz was founded by entrepreneur Arvin Lall, who built the company from an infant startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise in just a few short years. Shredz got most of it’s traction by asking fitness personalities with large Instagram followings to promote Shredz products. In exchange, the fitness personalities received free supplements which is something they already needed. Today, Shredz is one of the largest fitness and nutritional brands in the United States.
Customers see influencers in the same light that they see positive reviews for a company on Google My Business or Yelp; as a stamp of approval. Influencers can not only increase brand awareness but they can create loyalty to your brand because their followers are loyal to them. If you own an online business, how can you use influencer marketing to generate more sales and increase revenue for your website? One way is to create content that references the influencer and their business. The next step is to contact the influencer via social media or to email them directly with a link to the article you wrote. Tell them you love their brand and would love to explore working with them in some capacity. Many influencers will also be happy to promote your article on their social media channels.
Another way a business could reach out to influencers such as bloggers, social media personalities or journalists, is to send them a gift card for free samples of their product. In exchange, ask them for a review or to be referenced on their social media channels. These influencers should have followers that would be interested in the product or service your brand offers. If your business is a sporting goods retailer, you might work to create a partnership with a former athlete. If you own a bar or restaurant, you might reach out to a food blogger/critic, well-known chef or food magazine for exposure.
Instagram is the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing but SnapChat, Facebook and Twitter can also have a significant impact as well. Perhaps the most important step to influencer marketing is being able to measure the effect the influencer has on your business. How will you know if their efforts are paying off in the long-run? What key performance indicators are available to you in Google Analytics? Do you use an affiliate network like CJ affiliates that tracks sales? The ability to track conversions is what will tell you whether the influencer is worth courting or not.
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