Over the past few years, on average, companies have typically spent somewhere around 11 or 12 percent of their budgets marketing their various products and services. Of this amount, approximately 41 percent is spent on getting their name out online, but that amount is expected to grow to 45 percent by the year 2020.
Though all business owners should realize that gaining new customers is critical to achieving growth in any industry, wouldn’t it be nice if that number could be lowered, even just a notch, enabling you to keep more of your hard-earned money to either save for retirement or invest back in the company to help garner future grow?
The good news is that it can be, especially if you use a marketing effort that places you directly in front of thousands, if not millions, of your ideal consumers who are already congregated together. This option already exists and it’s called influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing basically involves tapping into a network that has already been created by top people in your field, drawing your target market back to you by funneling them from this pre-formed group. It’s kind of like renting a table at a health expo if you’re a fitness trainer. Everyone who attends is already looking to make positive physical changes, so they’re in your target market. All you have to do is put yourself in their path so they know that you exist, which you do by striking a deal with the person in charge of the expo.
Research has shown that this type of marketing can be extremely effective, with one survey finding that trust seems to be one of the primary factors behind its success. Specifically, they found that 91 percent of consumers trust recommendations made by blogs they follow and 76 percent trust suggestions made by companies they’ve connected with on social media. This even increases their willingness to make a purchase by as much as 92 percent.
Although one of the newest types of marketing to emerge, influencer marketing is just like other forms of marketing in that you need a strategy if you want to get ahead. What should your strategy contain to get the most out of this particular marketing avenue?
Identifying your top influencers
In order to make influencer marketing work, you have to know who the top influencers are in your field. For example, if you are in the arena of personal development, some top influencers would be Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Tim Ferris, and Brendon Burchard. However, if you’re in finance, then you’d want to take a look at Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and Chris Hogan, just to name a few.
Though these household names are influencers as a whole, you also want to research the top influencers on the specific type of social media that you use. This means, if you currently promote your company on Instagram, for instance, then you need to focus your research on top influencers on that platform, developing an Instagram influencer marketing strategy based on your results. There are also tools available that can help you get your head around the process with ease. Brand24 allows you to target specific hashtags and keywords and see who is leading the charge in a certain area. That way, you can find out who you should be talking to in order to kickoff an influencer campaign.
Creating an irresistible deal
Though your ultimate goal is to build your own network, you must get the influencer on board first if you want him or her to endorse or promote your products or services. To help you figure out how to do this, you want to think about what’s in it for them. Why should they help you grow your business?
There are many ways to address this, with some of the most common being compensating the influencer directly for their promotion or by giving them a portion of every sale you make as a result of their involvement. Depending on what type of products and services you sell, you may even make those available to him or her for free as a way to sweeten the deal.
Working your new list
Once you strike a deal with your industry’s top influencers, the next step is to create a lasting relationship with their followers who are interested in what you have to sell. This may be by offering discounts if they follow you or by asking for their email the minute they click to your site. Or, you can simply ask for your influencer’s email list.
Of course, sometimes people enter a fake email address because they don’t want to get spammed with a bunch of emails that just sell, sell, sell. That’s why it helps to verify email addresses to ensure that your communication will actually reach your target market versus being sent to some internet wasteland where all emails sent to fake addresses go.
When you work it properly, your influencer marketing strategy can put you in front of more members of your target market faster and more effectively than you could ever do on your own. Not only does this place you miles ahead of your competitors, but it also gets your products and services in the hands of more people that can use them most. That makes it a great outcome.
Related: How to get your website noticed
Subscribe to get more content covering everything you need to know to start, manage and grow a successful business