Think about the last time you were scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram or other social media feed. What type of content grabbed your attention? If you’re like most users, you’re far more interested in content from people than from brands. A personal recommendation from a trusted source is almost twice as likely as a paid ad to lead to a sale.
This is called influencer marketing. Whether you’re looking to hire a Toronto SEO agency or run a campaign on your own, here’s what you need to know about influencer marketing in the digital age:
What is an Influencer?
The internet offers plenty of opportunities for effective influencer marketing. An influencer is someone with a loyal following in your industry. They could be a product reviewer, blogger or other content producer.
If you sell cosmetics, an industry influencer might be a famous beauty blogger. If you sell tools, an influencer might the creator of a popular Youtube channel on home repair. These are people who are perceived as trusted experts in their respective fields.
How to Identify Influencers in Your Industry
In order to identify the influencers in your industry, you’ll need to understand your audience. What sites do they visit to learn about the types of products you sell? Google Analytics, social media platforms and more provide a veritable treasure trove of data about your customers.
You can also identify influencers by searching for hot topics in your industry. Buzzsumo lets you search for popular blog posts by industry. Influencers often know what’s hot and trending in your niche.
Remember, you’re not trying to attract the biggest influencers in the world. Tom Hanks does not need to endorse your product. Instead, you’re looking for influencers with an audience which is very similar to your customer base.
How to Connect with Industry Influencers
One of the most direct ways to connect with an influencer is to pay them. A direct sponsorship is effective but can be pricey. Another reason why it’s a good thing you don’t need Tom Hanks!
Influencer marketing online is often a bit more complicated than simply hiring a paid spokesman. Bloggers, social media figures and other influencers in the digital age are valued for their credibility. The audience trusts the influencer actually uses and prefers the products they recommend.
Online marketing firms recommend developing a relationship with the influencer. Reach out with an introductory email. Many influencers are likely open to hear a pitch about how your content might be interesting to their audience. You might want to offer a free product for them to review.
The downside to an influencer campaign is you don’t always have complete control over how your product is presented. Hopefully, the review is good or your brand is otherwise presented in a positive light. You should always research the influencer beforehand to see how well your brand might fit with theirs.
A Data-Driven Approach to Influencer Marketing
Sales can still be tracked with an influencer campaign. You’ll want to attach a different promo code for each influencer mention. Tracking the use of the promo code lets you track the impact of each influencer.
Is Influencer Marketing Right for You?
Influencer marketing is a great way to send a bolt of energy through your brand. The right influencer can introduce your brand to a whole new audience of likely customers. Influencers add authority and value.
Many local businesses hire a Toronto digital marketing agency to run their influencer campaign. An internet marketing agency, with an in-depth understanding of social media marketing, will likely have the most success identifying and connecting with influencers online.