Getting started with influencer marketing

WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?

Influencer marketing is a timeless marketing and advertising tactic of celebrity endorsement, which is then applied to modern social media technologies. Social media has democratized endorsement, creating the need for varying levels of fame, authority, and popularity.

Today’s influencers can typically be found on social media where they’re promoting something to their audience. This approach can be more organic, personal, and relatable to today’s consumer.

In the retail industry, the influencer is king. As many as 70% of brands already use Instagram influencers because of how much engagement they generate. The benefits of influencer marketing are endless. Most importantly is that people trust people. Influencers are people and customers just like the rest of us. Influencers are trusted curators of promotable products.

WHAT CAN INFLUENCERS DO FOR YOU?

Depending on your goals, they’re able to introduce products and/or services to their audience in a variety of ways. There are several common tactics of influencer marketing campaigns, such as:

  • The influencer adds a link to your product or service on their website or social media profile
  • They attend an event to promote your product or service. This can be done by networking, during a speaking session, setting up a booth, etc.
  • They write a blog post about your product or service, reviewing and/or describing their experience with it

HOW DO YOU FIND INFLUENCERS?

It’s important to determine what tactics you want to include in your influencer marketing campaign. From there, you can search for influencers accordingly. Each type of influencer uses different platforms to reach their audience. Depending on what your goals are, you need to pick the best-suited influencer to reach out to their audience appropriately.

A few different varieties of influencers include:

  • Blogging influencers – These influencers write about your product or service on their own blog
  • Social media influencers – These influencers pump up your product or service on their social media account
  • Media influencers – These influencers speak about your product or service on their podcast or video channel
  • Event influencers – These influencers speak about your product or service at conferences or seminars
  • Discussion influencers – These influencers speak about your product or service on discussion and Q&A websites, such as Quora or other forums

It’s important to choose influencers with a quality audience, message, and methodology. You’ll know this after taking time to observe influencers in action. Pay attention to how well they engage with their audience. Make sure that their message is aligned with your brand’s message. Once you’ve decided on where you’d like your promoted content to go and have found a solid list of influencers, it’s time to connect.

HOW DO YOU CONNECT WITH INFLUENCERS?

Connecting with influencers starts with 1) Marketing to the influencer, and 2) Preparing a marketing campaign for the influencer to present to their audience. You want to give your influencer the quickest way to benefit from your product or service. You can do this by:

  • Explaining how they will benefit from your product or service
  • Giving them the product or service for free or provide a commission
  • Helping the influencer to promote the product or service to boost traffic to their site

Your influencer pitch should be like a sales pitch, but without expecting a sale. Once your pitch is ready, it’s time to reach out to your influencers. Knowing which influencers and tactics can drive the most traffic will ensure that your campaigns are published wisely and profitably.

Have you ever recruited an influencer to talk about your brand? How did it go? How did you incentivize their participation? Let us know.


This post was originally published in September 2018. It was updated and republished in July 2021. 

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