Are you working with social media influencers? And if so, how do you know whether they’re the best ones for your business?
Influencer marketing exploded over the past few years and became one of the key marketing tactics for many big brand names. But it didn’t stop at that. Its effectiveness also made it attractive to smaller companies and those serving narrower niche markets.
Working with influencers includes everything from content amplification to product endorsements and it can drive great results for your clients’ business. But only if you can find truly relevant influencers, engage them in a strategic partnership, and effectively track and measure the results.
In this article, I’ll walk you through tactics and tools for finding, evaluating, and working with the right social media influencers as an agency working with clients.
So, let’s get started!
A social media influencer is someone who has access to a relevant audience that you want to reach with your brand message. Social media influencers have earned the trust of their audience and can persuade them to take action.
There are different “levels of hierarchy” regarding nfluencers. Depending on their level of influence, they will make a different impact when they share your content or promote your brand.
Here’s how we categorize social media influencers:
You can work with influencers to connect with your target audience on social media in different ways. Let’s take a look at the most effective ones:
Social media takeover is a great way to increase brand exposure and deliver interesting content to your audience.
In essence, you are handing over the control of your social media accounts and letting an influencer to promote your brand on social media. This, however, requires a huge level of trust. You’ll typically do this type of program with an influencer you’ve already built a relationship with.
If you were launching a new product, you could involve influencers directly in the launch campaign to help build awareness, generate interest, and drive sales. The right social media influencers will build hype around your product launch, create, and share unique content about your product, and drive their audience to action.
If your company is active on social media, then you’ve probably run contests and giveaways before to create buzz around your product and get your followers to engage with your brand. Now, you can amplify this by getting an influencer to promote a contest and expand its reach to a much wider audience.
This is probably the most effective type of influencer marketing, given that you’re working with the right social media influencer for your brand.
It’s a long-term engagement in which an influencer promotes your brand by regularly sharing images, posts, videos, and articles about your product or service, mentions your brand at events, etc. Brand ambassador programs can help you get exposure to a wider audience, drive relevant traffic, and generate sales.
Now that you know more about the different types of influencer marketing programs, make sure to clearly define what you would like to achieve from working with influencers.
Doing so will help you determine the KPIs you should track and monitor to measure the overall success of your social media influencer campaign.
Your influencer marketing goals could include:
By focusing on building a list of highly relevant influencers who are also a good fit for your planned campaign, you’ll expose your brand to a targeted audience that you couldn’t have reached on your own.
Now, let’s look at some proven and effective ways of finding social media influencers.
There are some good tools out there that can help you find influencers who are relevant to your business and have the right level of reach, social influence, and overall authority.
One of those tools that I often use and recommend is GroupHigh and it’s incredibly useful if you’re looking for influential bloggers in your industry.
GroupHigh has a large database of blogs that you can tap into to find influencers who’d be a great fit for your campaign.
You can search for the right people by entering in the most relevant keywords. Same as you would in Google search, you just type in, for example, “content marketing,” and the tool will display the results that looked something like this:
You can then filter the results by location, social accounts available, MozRank, frequency of posting, and more.
Here’s a more detailed overview of finding influencers with GroupHigh.
You already know the top keywords for your business (and hopefully for your competitors) and you can use them to find relevant and popular blogs, social media groups, videos, podcasts, etc.
The key to getting good results from your search is using long-tail keywords around the topic of your campaign.
So, for example, if you want to work with an influencer to promote an app for time management, you can search phrases like “time management tools,” best tools for managing time,’ etc. to find influential blogs and people talking about these topics. The most influential ones will consistently appear at the top of the search results.
Like Google search, this is a pretty straight forward way of finding influencers. You can use search option in social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find potential influencers.
Depending on the platform you’re searching, you’ll get more or less sophisticated search options.
If you use Agorapulse for Social Media Management you’ll see that it automatically identifies influencers within your feed. This is very useful because if influencers are engaging with you, it’s an opportunity to engage back with them!
This may not seem like an obvious path to finding influencers, but bear with me for a moment…
People who talk about your competitors or their products may as well be influencers in your industry.
Don’t you want to know who they are so you can do everything you can to get them to talk about your product, too?
Of course, you do! And this is easy with a tool like Brand24, you just set up a project to track mentions of all your key competitors, their brand name, and their product name.
You can then see who is talking about these topics and Brand24 will show you an estimated influence score for these people.
Not every influencer that ends up on your initial list will be a good fit for your brand. You’ll need to measure their influence to figure out who you should reach out to and build a relationship with.
To identify the most valuable influencers for your brand you need to look at the following:
Connecting with influencers and building relationships with them takes time, research, and sincerity. The first email you send to an influencer could literally make or break the relationship.
So, when you’re sending that initial outreach email, make sure that:
Different influencer programs can help you reach your wider marketing goals at every stage of your marketing funnel, from creating awareness to improving brand advocacy.
Here’s the summary of the KIPs you need to measure for each of the funnel stages:
Finding the right social media influencers for your brand is the first step towards a successful partnership and a successful influencer program.
I’ve shown you the most effective ways to find influencers that are a good fit for your brand, gave you actionable tips on how to reach out to them, and walked you through the key KPIs you need to measure to understand the value that the influencer program brought to your business. Now, it’s your turn to apply all of this in practice!
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