Sahail Ashraf posted on 31 October 2016
Influencers. We’ve known for a long time now that having a good connection with influencers is one of the very best ways to get your brand message amplified, and bring your brand into the limelight.
We have also known (for a long time) that you can’t rush into it.
But there are some other aspects of influencer marketing that need to be understood and respected if you’re going to get the best out of the experience.
Take heed of the following points, because in the world of influencers and social media, nothing is what it seems.
This is actually true to a some degree, but influencers have brought a hell of a lot more to the table in recent months, because of a little trust issue or two that the web has created. People are finding it increasingly difficult to feel comfortable buying stuff online from brands that are new.
By building up the relationships with influencers, you’ll get more traffic, yes. But at the same time, your brand will gain trust, and cut through all the spammy behaviour that is out there on social media right now. Influencer marketing is, therefore, a huge thing for any brand that wants to quickly develop trust, reliability, and a professional image.
In these difficult times for brands online, with that huge degree of openness and easy criticism, being associated with a professional influencer element certainly makes all the difference.
So while the traffic you will receive once you have developed a connection is great stuff, it most certainly is not the end of it all. That’s a big myth, perhaps not the biggest in social, but a big one all the same.
This one is a tricky one to grasp outright, but give it a little while and the concept will soon make perfect sense.
If you spend hundreds of hours trying to grab the attention and the support of the biggest influencer in your industry, you’re going to be in big trouble (even if you bag them).
Instead of putting all of your time into one influencer that may actually let you down in the future, focus on a number of small to middle-size influencers. They may not pack as much of a punch when it comes to influence, but they are much more likely to be open to your approach.
They have more to gain from a reciprocal relationship, and the sharing of traffic and the boost in branding that being an influencer can bring. Huge influencers have less to worry about. Small and medium-sized ones still need to care about their future.
Spend time making up a list of quality people that you know could do you and your brand some good in the future. They don’t have to be huge industry leaders, just people who it would be cool to be connected with, and that resonate with your own audience. Then take the time to work on this group of people. You should have a good number of them.
They will take less time and effort to connect with, and the sheer number of people you are working with will mean a bigger ROI in the long run.
This is one of those big misconceptions that many social media marketers make when they are pitching to influencers or even just trying to get attention. Grabbing that solid influencer for your follower list will not happen unless you start to give them something important in return.
Obviously, offering to follow them first isn’t the kind of cake these guys want on their plate. You really need to step up and get involved, offering them a carrot that will entice them to start name-checking you and even collaborating with you as the relationship deepens.
Some people suggest writing a blog post about the person first, and asking the influencer to contribute some sound bite quotes. Or you could even approach them for an interview on your blog or podcast. Both of these options bring exposure to the influencer.
You could offer them a donation to their favorite charity. Or you could even offer them free products if what you have is attractive to them. It may not be, but you won’t know until you try.
Basically, ensure that the influencer will gain something tangible out of the new relationship. Only by doing this will you see your response rate start to climb.
This Is happening rather more frequently than the influencer marketing sphere would like to admit. With the term ‘influencer marketing’ becoming very popular now, people are jumping on the bandwagon and hoping for quick results.The very best marketers take their time, and there is a reason for this.
Sure, it’s tempting to fire off an email a day in a ‘follow up’ style, hoping that the influencers were meaning to get back to you but forgot. And they’re grateful for your persistence.
Following up too quickly and too heavy will most definitely result in you losing that influencer lead. You want them to get involved and add weight to your marketing, but this doesn’t mean that you are the only brand that has approached them, or that they are even able to respond right now. Most influencers are busy.
If someone does not respond within a week of you sending them that email or message, then, by all means, get back on the horse and contact them. You’ll know soon enough if they haven’t contacted you because they don’t want to.
Just leave them be after you send that first message. Give them a few days to process stuff. Then you can contact them again. Being over the top and in your face does not work anymore.
Okay, we are guessing that most people out there who are considering approaching influencers aren’t going to do this but just in case…
Great influence results mean that the right people will, eventually, start talking about your products and services, or even just you. But this takes a long time to get to, unless you’re a pretty big player yourself. What some brands do is burn their bridges, and ask the influencers they have approached for some form of product placement (whatever it looks like) immediately.
Essentially, it ends up in a request, such as I hope you like my book, can you tweet about it? Sounds great if you have developed a super strong relationship with an influencer and they naturally fit into your marketing strategy.
If they are just someone you feel like having ‘on your books’ and they haven’t engaged with you with more than a retweet or two, you’re going to lose them.
Take your time, and don’t focus on product placement endorsement. Instead, focus on relationships. Everything else will follow.
Influencer relationships take time, and there’s no room for shortcuts or spamming. Focus on a sensible, methodical approach if you want to make inroads that bring you ROI.
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