How to Use Influencer Marketing to Build Your Brand

Social media influencer marketing is a growing way for businesses to reach new audiences. We’re going over everything you need to know to start leveraging this powerful social media tool!

girl taking of her friend to post on social media

One of the fastest-growing forms of digital marketing is social media influencer marketing. If you haven’t heard of this powerful tool, you’re in the right place.

Social media influencers are content creators and personalities who have large followings on social media. Brands can partner with these influencers and the influencers will promote the brands’ products and services in exchange for pay. 

There are different kinds of social media influencers with different levels of reach. Mega social media influencers have over 1 million followers while micro and nano influencers typically have less than ten thousand followers. Macro influencers are everyone in between and what you normally think of when you think of a social media influencer.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the mega and macro social media influencers have the largest reach, they will be more expensive and have a lower engagement rate than smaller influencers. The nano and micro influencers may have smaller audiences, but their engagement rates are much higher. These social media influencers are more niche based, so they attract other social media users who are interested in that specific thing. For example, think of a clean beauty influencer, an honest mom-life influencer, or a restaurant/foodie influencer.

Nano and micro influencers are also less expensive to work with. However, because they are so niche, they rigorously vet any brands that are interested in partnering with them. Remember, social media influencers have worked hard to create and protect their brand and online reputation so it’s always important to them that their values align with the brand’s values.

Working with social media influencers offers your business the following benefits:

  • Test market for products. Keeping tabs on how an influencer’s audience responds to your product is a great way to ensure it solves the problems that real people are actually experiencing and that it’s being marketed correctly. If there’s a poor response, take that feedback seriously and make changes! Keep in mind that the quality of the influencer’s promotion will play a role here.
  • Your product reaches a new audience. If you’re struggling to grow your brand’s social media following, hiring an influencer is a great way to instantly expand your audience and market!
  • Immediate trust gets built. Social media influencers have a high amount of trust with their followers. When they promote your business’s product or service, the audience automatically has a high level of trust for what you offer from the influencer’s recommendation.

Overall, using social media influencers in your business’s digital marketing strategy solves your marketing problems of trust, reach and product testing in an efficient and creative way.

If you’re interested in partnering with a social media influencer we recommend following these steps to get started:

1. Define Your Influencer Marketing Goals

How you define your goals will heavily inform which influencers you reach out to and eventually hire.

  • Do you want more reach?
  • To test a product or service on a new market?
  • Increase sales?
  • Add followers to your business’s account?
  • Gather customer data?

These are just a few goals you can accomplish with influencer marketing. Understanding which ones are most valuable to your business will make writing your pitch easier and will help the influencer understand exactly how to promote your products!

2. Research Social Media Influencers in Your Space

No two social media influencers are alike and the number of followers they have isn’t the only distinguishing factor. Each influencer is a content creator at heart, so they have their own creative expression and style of posting on social platforms. Some could be more video based while others write lengthy captions. Some could be professional photographers while others post a mix of memes and lower quality phone videos.

Knowing what style you want your product presented in is important to identify before you start reaching out to content creators. Simply defining your desired style can help narrow down your pool of options. Additionally, just because an influencer shares your niche, doesn’t always mean they share the exact same set of values related to that niche. For example, if you’re a sustainable dog toy company, it’s important to find a creator who is both enthusiastic about giving dogs their best life and protecting the environment. Their followers will also hold these values so you can be sure that your product is reaching your ideal audience.

Creating an “influencer persona” along with your ideal customer persona can bring great clarity on who to look for on your search! 

3. Be Personal in Your Pitch

Influencers receive pitches from brands all the time, so it’s important to stand out.

Doing thorough research on the influencer you’re reaching out to gives you the chance to craft your pitch very personally. When you’re personal in the pitch and express that you understand what the influencer is about and that you value the work they are doing, it shows the influencer that you’re committed to the partnership and that your goals are aligned.

Reaching out in their direct messages and via email are great places to start. However, we recommend padding the pitch by following their account and engaging with their content for some time before sending them a message. This will show that you are investing in their content and they will have a better chance at taking your pitch seriously! 

4. Make Space for Creative Collaboration

Once you’ve secured an influencer partnership, make it clear that you value their creative input when making content! It’s important that the influencer has space to add their personal touch to the promotion so that their audience experiences brand consistency and continues to attribute trust to each and every post they see from the creator.

Defining your vision for the posts and establishing certain guidelines and language up front will help the entire creation and editing process go smoothly for all parties involved. Also understand that influencers often have their own way they like to work with brands. Being flexible on things like payment schedule, who does the editing, how many posts per period and other logistics will make the partnership more sustainable and valuable. 

Final Thoughts

As with any digital marketing campaign, tracking results and making tweaks along the way is key. If it’s not working out with one influencer, don’t throw out the whole tactic! Explore other influencers and take what you learned from your last experience into the next one.

Having a social media influencer on your team promoting your product is a truly valuable resource and is worth taking the time to get right.

Even if you’re not ready to start marketing with a social media influencer, your business’s social media marketing strategy should be active and working for you! RevLocal handles social media marketing for small businesses and multi-location brands. We’re a full service digital marketing agency offering digital marketing solutions like Review Marketing, Data Analytics, Website Services, Paid Advertising and more. Contact us today to learn how we can create a digital marketing plan for you.

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