So much time has passed since the dawn of social media, and yet, its impact only continues to grow. Businesses now rely on social media’s reach to make sure their customers can get in touch anytime, and they compete for the attention of their followers to increase engagement, loyalty, and of course, sales. One more recent trend has completely transformed the landscape of social networks and prompted businesses to put even more effort, as well as budget, into developing their social presence: influencers. A unique digital species, influencers have become the gateway for brands to expand their visibility and grow awareness of their brand. Even more so, they’ve become the most pivotal aspect of social media in general.
However, as the number of influencers and the number of brands competing for their undivided attention grows, your chances of collaborating with the best person out there are limited. More often than not, the greatest roadblock is establishing that first contact and ensuring that the relationship is mutually beneficial from the get-go. Here are a few tips to help you start your influencer bonds the right way and make sure you build a lucrative relationship to grow your brand’s presence online.
Do Your Homework
Research lies at the very core of every successful brand-influencer relationship. With the influencer world growing practically at the speed of light, you need to know who your best potential partners are in that particular sphere. You can start by figuring out who your ideal customers are, since they will be the follower base for your influencers. Connecting with the right influencer means getting enough exposure in front of the right customers.
Before you reach out to a person who seems to be a perfect fit, spend some time getting to know them on social media. Follow their posts, see how well they communicate, how they structure their image, and how you would fit into their stories. When you get to know them better, you’ll harness the knowledge you’ll need to establish a meaningful connection with them once you do reach out.
Utilize Social Listening to Your Advantage
More often than not, brands will do their best to research and then target influencers that are famous, popular, and typically unknown to them. However, sometimes the best influencers hide in plain sight, or in the case of social media, they hide in your existing follower base and your customer lists. They might have already talked about your brand without you realizing that they’ve made their opinions clear on what you offer.
To make the most of those situations, use comprehensive social mention monitoring as a part of your social media strategy and your outreach program to spot people who have talked about your brand and your products. Not only will you have a perfect conversation starter to communicate with them, but you’ll be able to use that information to evaluate the potential of a long-term collaboration with that particular individual.
Look into Micro-influencers
The greatest appeal of influencer marketing lies in its authenticity and level of personal interaction it involves. It’s beyond what traditional marketing in the form of ads, billboards, or brand-focused content can produce. It’s the digital equivalent of traditional word-of-mouth marketing that brings you closer to your audience than any sponsored post you could devise, and it adds a layer of transparency to your brand by letting someone else shape the voice of your business.
Influencers sometimes lose that appeal by going big, which might bring you in front of a larger pool of leads, albeit less qualified. This is where micro-influencers restore the value and importance of those social bonds, as they cater to a limited audience, their posts and language retain the level of personality your brand can benefit from, and they offer access to a specific, filtered pool of potential customers who can benefit from your offers.
Give It Time and Nurture the Bond
Once you do determine who your best candidates are to establish meaningful connections, you need to prepare yourself for the journey. This is certainly not a sprint, but a marathon, so to speak, as influencer bonds take time to develop and should go beyond a single sponsored post or an image on Instagram. Although those one-off efforts can deliver results in the form of higher sales on that particular item, you should aim for more long-lasting results to drive brand awareness and loyalty.
The best thing you can do is allow the relationship to develop over time, which will lead to an increase in organic traffic, genuine reviews of your brand, and exposure that trumps the short-term burst of attention of a single post. That is why you need to focus on value instead of volume when choosing your influencers. Pick one or two over many, and pick the ones that genuinely share the values of your brand, be it devotion to sustainability, love for nature, or promoting local culture.
Influencers have become a true asset in the hands of your brand. Use these tips to make connections that matter, and you’ll enable your business to grow stronger on social media and beyond.