4 Ways to Start with Influencer Marketing
According to the study “Influence 2.0: The Future of Influence Marketing” launched in 2017 by Traackr, 83% of major brand marketers say that building relationships with influencers in their industry is a top priority. Influence marketing, one of the buzzwords of 2018? For large companies, that’s for sure. But what about businesses with tighter marketing budgets?
A crucial clarification to start this article: sponsoring one or two posts on Instagram where you tag a celebrity is not marketing influence, but rather a one-shot campaign to develop your brand image. What does not differ much, finally, from a traditional TV advertisement – except that one addresses to a wider audience, and precisely segmented.
Influence marketing is above all a long-term effort, which aligns with your Content Marketing strategy and your other online and offline levers. We can mobilize different types of influencers: celebrities, of course, but also its employees and loyal customers. The goal? Increase the visibility and credibility of its brand on the web, but also increase its conversion rates.
I see you getting pale from here: not only do you have to convince your supervisor to launch a new marketing initiative … but what’s more, it’s a long-term effort. Every time, the marketing influence costs an arm …
Do not panic: take great inspirations, then exhale slowly: I present in this article 4 good marketing practices of influence that you can deploy with a mini budget.
#1 LAUNCH A GAME-COMPETITION
I feel dubious. First, I say that marketing influence is anything but a one-shot campaign, and then I propose you as a first lever a contest. Let me explain.
A quiz is a sword in the water if you aim to get near-immediate results in terms of conversion. For example, we see many Facebook posts running today, offering the audience to tag a friend in the comments to win the competition. This is a bad practice to eliminate already from your marketing levers: Facebook decreases the range of pages that use this kind of practices that encourage click, and it’s a safe bet that other social networks will quickly follow this trend. In addition, let’s face it: there is no great interest in recovering email addresses, and then never use them.
However, contests can be gold mines if you link them directly to your product or service. Instead of launching a little godiche contest, ask your audience to share their brand experience on social media, or to send you ideas to evolve your solutions.
By creating this authentic content, and sharing it with their networks, your participants are indirectly ambassadors of your brand. Promote this initiative on your website and in your emails, with a well thought out call-to-action. Then thank all your participants by offering them something tangible: content that adds value to the use of your service, or a discount on their future purchases.
However, to launch long-term competitive quizzes, you will still need to capture the attention of your prospects and customers, which is not an easy task! To build a successful contest, make sure you:
Provide real added value to the participants;
Target your audience finely: Do you promote your game only to your customers, or do you include prospects?
Set clear goals for your quiz: Do you want to increase your brand on the web? Make your audience want to share your game. Would you rather increase your conversion rates? Instead, ask your customers to share photos that include links to your solutions.
At the heart of a long-running quiz: new customers, attracted by your growing reputation, and existing loyal customers, delighted that you include them in your marketing plan.
#2 MAKING YOUR EMPLOYEES AN INFLUENCE TREMPLIN
Often, we forget how much our own employees can be real levers of visibility, especially in an influence marketing strategy. Your employees already have a close relationship with your brand, and have every interest in getting to know them more widely. They are therefore very well placed to share your content on social networks, and make them potentially viral.
But guess what? Just like your prospects and your customers, your employees are also terribly busy (we wish you, anyway)! That’s why you’ll have to draw their attention to your influence marketing approach. To do this, here are some practical levers:
- Organize a memorable kick-off. Basically, no matter whether you offer them cakes, a cold beer, or any other kind of profit, the goal is to launch your campaign by giving them a little something that will motivate them to get started. In exchange for this little gift, you can ask them to read the regulatory guidelines to share your content, or use your hashtag in their next publication to promote your brand. To give a little taste of competition (good kid, huh!) To your initiative, you can even organize competitions between the various poles of your company.
- Spread their Social Media efforts in offices. You have a corner of wall available in your premises? Why not install a screen that continuously streams content created by your employees? This is what motivate the less active to do the same.
- Distribute stickers. Yes, it looks silly, said like that. But sharing stickers that print your hashtag, which will be pasted on computers and screens of each other, puts your initiative at the heart of corporate life.
- Share a weekly or monthly report. Send an email, every week or every month, to congratulate your most active employees on social networks. Encourage your employees by showing them real-world examples of powerful content and explaining best practices they can use themselves.
All this sounds a bit hollow? Many companies have started their campaign to influence marketing by these small gestures, and today they see a real success. Valio, champion of dairy producers in Northern Europe, has created an employee advocacy program with onions, and their farmers have become true ambassadors of the brand.
#3 CONVEY CELEBRITIES AS AN EXAMPLE
And now, a good practice a little higher-level. As I’ve already told you, most brands that include celebrities in their Social Media publications see influence marketing as a one-shot. But would not you rather want to make this approach a source of long-term results?
Some companies are perfectly familiar with the use of influencers known to regularly attract their audience to their content. A telling example is that of UEFA, the European Union of Football Associations, which launched its #WePlayStrong campaign in recent years. Their idea? Collaborate with professional footballers from all over the continent, and relay on their Social Wall, on their site, their publications, to inspire and capture the attention of their target. On this dedicated page, we find dynamic content, in real time from social networks, where celebrities give credibility to the association and promote this popular sport.
Your goal, if you start a partnership with stars in your sector? Get results over time. And to do this, you will need to ask yourself a few questions, in order to choose a celebrity adapted to your strategy:
Does your influencer share the same values and the same type of communication as your brand?
Is your influencer able to inspire your audience by mirror effect?
Can your influencer enter your content strategy in the long-term, given your business objectives and constraints?
The best way to achieve results is to establish a very natural relationship with the celebrity in question, making him want to use your products or services. Which brings us to our next good practice …
#4 CREATE A TRIBE OF INFLUENTIAL CLIENTS
It’s undeniable: your satisfied customers are your best influencers! They already use your products, and are probably surrounded by people in your target, who have the same state of mind as them.
When you ask people to share your posts on social networks, it’s interesting to put this unique content together in one place on your website, like a Social Wall. The interest: analyze all of this content, and draw data about your most engaged and influential customers on the web. This data from social networks will allow you to boost your marketing influence strategy.
In front of this data, try to determine:
Which themes or trends create the most engagement with your customer community;
Which content formats are of most interest
What values in your business trigger the most comments or sharing in this community.
By surfing this analysis, you will be able to broadcast content closer to the expectations of these influential customers, and stimulate their commitment. Create a hashtag representing a trend, a key value of your business; organize your content creation schedule according to the formats they like the most (video series, immersive photos, dynamic podcasts …).
At a time when social networks, including Facebook, highlight the content created by users, and retrograde that created by companies, your loyal customers are the key to the success of your marketing strategy influence.
A case in point is Planet Fitness, a gym-based company located throughout the United States. On their online content platform, Planet Fitness Community, they analyze daily the trends that most interest their satisfied customers. to make them ambassadors for their webmarketing actions.