Influencer Marketing – How to Get Started?

Chances are if you’re searching about influencer marketing and reading this post, you are already executing some online marketing strategy to influence your target audience or at least thinking of finding some influencers who have a broad social reach and are capable of spreading your word.

Influencer Marketing Has Been Around for Years!

Influencer marketing is not a new term; in fact, brands have been engaging with influencers for years to spread their word, promote their products or create awareness. Influencer marketing comes in all forms – online and offline. Previously, brands practiced traditional methods of interaction and building relationships such as, ads on Television with celebrities promoting the products, recommendations from industry analysts in newspapers or magazines, etc.

However, a new generation of influencers has come into existence with the shift towards online interaction. Academicians, bloggers, editors, writers, consultants, journalists and professional advisors interact with the target audience through blog posts, articles, reviews and social media. No matter what method – traditional or modern, offline or online you adopt to influence your audience through key people, over a period of time influencers will become essential for your brand. Once people get into a habit of watching a particular celebrity in brand advertisements or interacting with someone online, it becomes really difficult to replace them with someone else.

Integrating Influencer Marketing with Online Content Marketing

Influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful way to share great content with millions of people across the world through a few key people.  Companies like Coca Cola and P&G have long been leveraging the power of social influences. Through this strategy, they are not only meeting the demands of the masses for content but are also influencing their purchase decision.

“Khelte Raho Khush Raho” by Coca Cola

A few months back, Coca Cola had come up with an ad featuring Sachin Tedulkar with a tagline “Khelte Raho, Khush Raho”. Since Tendular is known for his consistency and capability to smoothly navigate Team India through tough times, the ad shows children playing and enjoying cricket despite hard conditions in desert.

It is difficult to say if this particular ad would have generated same or better results without Sachin. The basic concept and the content of the ad was great but the presence of Sachin made it more influencing even if he just showed up in the end for a moment to announce the tagline.

Never Walk Alone by P&G

For this particular ad, P&G although did not appoint any celebrity to influence their audience but they chose a specific segment – moms. Their strategy has been different from Coca Cola but certainly they are able to make a mark.

They try to establish the fact how moms make lives of their children more comfortable and never let them stay alone even in their bad times. The multinational manufacturer of household products of personal hygiene, household cleaning, and children hygiene and prescription drugs is trying to show how they are an integral part of their customers daily living.

The idea is – like moms will always be with kids, P&G products are always with moms to create a better life for their children and families. The content is great but instead of appointing just one person, they chose mothers as influencers.

Incorporating Influencer Marketing and Content Marketing

Influencer marketing and content marketing can make a great combination. If we take a closer look, it accelerates your online marketing campaign, bringing quick results and influencing audience more effectively.

It is not always necessary to collaborate with celebrities or known personalities to be a part of your influence marketing campaign. Influencers can be of numerous different types – a particular individual, a group of professionals or a particular segment of society. It actually depends on your budget.

How to Go About Influence Marketing?

Identifying Influencers

Identifying influencers is the first step in the process. Remember, each industry has different criteria for selecting influencers. So, when identifying people for this task, always think

  1. What makes them influential?
  2. What they do?
  3. How much they can influence purchase decision of people in their network; what online forums, blogs or other spaces they visit?
  4. How active they are on social media?
  5. What relationship they share with your audience?
  6. How well they are established as leaders?
  7. Where do they hang out generally?
  8. Are they in a habit of writing?

Spend Time in Knowing about Your Influencers

Dedicate a considerable amount of time knowing about your influencers. After all, they are going to affect your brand image. Before you contact them to discuss things, do your homework well, which includes:

  1. Reading their work
  2. Connecting with them on social networks
  3. Understanding their networking skills
  4. Analyzing how they converse with people
  5. Understanding their point of view
  6. Initiating conversation with them
  7. Evaluating their response

Try to Establish Connection with Your Potential Influencers

Before you actually reach out directly to discuss your proposal, try to engage your influencers and indulge in a conversation with them. Besides this, you can:

  1. Share their content within your network
  2. Start posting comments on their works
  3. Liking, sharing or re-tweeting their posts

Preparing a Pitch

As you have been following your potential influencers for quite some time now, you will have some idea about how and what to pitch them. What you can do is:

  1. Share your info
  2. Let them know about your customers
  3. Provide them with standard news as well
  4. Share about rising trends
  5. Cover your revenues and new product launches in the pitch
  6. How they will benefit from this association

Build Relationship with Your Influencers

Now that you have already pitched them and decided to work together, start building relationships with them. Deciding to work together is the first step but establishing a stable and mutually beneficial association takes time. What you can do is

  1. Ask for their suggestions
  2. Involve them in content creation process
  3. Believe in their abilities
  4. Respect their ideas and decisions

So, choose your influencers carefully and seek their help to accelerate your content marketing campaign.