Who are online influencers and how can they help your business? Influencers can range from celebrities or well-known bloggers in your industry to customers who like and share your posts and tweets on social media. Being able to identify and connect with online influencers can help you market your business virally, but while this strategy is effective, it also has many challenges.
Augure polled marketers worldwide to get some insights into the world of influencer marketing. Here’s what they found:
43 percent of companies that use influencer marketing say it’s been profitable, while 36 percent believe their influencer campaigns were either being “effective” or “very effective.”
But finding online influencers and getting their attention isn’t always easy. Nearly two-thirds of marketers say identifying helpful influencers is their biggest challenge, while more than half say they struggle to get influencers’ attention and enlist them as marketing allies. Even when they do get influencers on board, nearly half (44 percent) say it’s hard to measure the ROI of influencer marketing.
So how can you start finding online influencers?
Keep abreast of your industry and related media. Look for journalists, bloggers, businesspeople or industry experts who:
- have a large audience on social media to which they can expose your business
- frequently write, post or share about topics relevant to your business
- are actively involved as thought leaders in your industry or the media
Limit your influencer list. Cutting your list to five or 10 influencers whom you have a realistic chance of enlisting and focusing closely on cultivating them will be more effective than a scattershot approach of reaching out to dozens of influencers.
Reach out. Email, Twitter and contacting influencers on their blogs were all cited as effective tactics by more than half of respondents.
Know when using influencers works best. A whopping 76 percent of respondents say it’s useful to enlist influencers when launching a new product or service. More than half (57 percent) say influencers can be useful to help promote and distribute content. Half say they are useful to promote events and webinars.
Develop goals. Know what you want to achieve before you approach an influencer and how you will measure it. For instance, do you hope to get your company mentioned in their blog, promoted in social media? Do you want your content to be shared by the influencer and thus by their audience? Or do you want to drive more traffic from the influencer’s site to your website? There are many goals you can set—be specific and you will have a better chance of success.
Be specific about what you want from the influencers and what you can offer them. For instance, are you offering a fashion blogger a free handbag from your new product line in exchange for a review? Or are you seeking to collaborate with an influencer in sharing your content? The study found that providing information or collaboration that can help enhance influencers’ own content creation and reputation was a more successful tactic than outright gifts or monetary rewards (good news for small business owners on a budget!).
Web.com can help you get in front of Facebook influencers. Learn more about Web.com’s Facebook Boost.