A decade ago, traditional advertising channels like TV, radio, billboards and posters were used widely to create awareness for products and services. Problem is the ads were broadcasted to a general audience and showed up in all places. Furthermore, they preyed on people’s base instincts and required a lot of resources to run a successful campaign.
Thanks to the popularity of social media, it became much simpler to purchase products and services recommended by family and friends. This is how influencer marketing came into existence.
What is influencer marketing?
This is a method of creating awareness for products and services by individuals who have sway over what other people purchase. Here is how it works. A company has a product or service they would like to advertise for example a new soft drink or perfume. Due to the power of social media, the company will opt to work with a celebrity or influencer to create awareness and influence shoppers.
The celebrity will use his or her social media account to tout the products or services to the followers. With social media platforms having more than 1 billion active users combined with the influence of celebrities on their followers, a brand will reach its target audience than when using traditional advertising channels.
Influencer marketing is very popular today for many reasons, and as a result, major brands are recruiting more influencers for advertising their products and services.
Suggested Read:-Most important things you must know about influencer marketing.
How do you use social media for influencer marketing?
You might think that you may not be able to become an influencer marketer unless you have a celebrity status in some field. But in reality, if you believe in yourself as a blogger and have reasonable follower count in social media, you can be an influencer marketer in the course of time. Still, it might be a long way to go in order to become an influencer marketer who can boast of having a follower count of 100,000 or more targeted customers.
Do you belong to the category of bloggers who have a reasonable count of followers on social media and your blog? If your answer is “Yes”, then, here are some ways by which you can use your Social Media for influencer marketing.
1. Guest posting
Guest posting is a process where an influencer gets the opportunity to develop content and publishes it on one or more industry leading social media accounts. It is one of the best methods that influencers can use to create awareness about a product or service. When an influencer publishes content on industry leading social media accounts and blogs, readers will get to read the content. Thanks to the power of social media, readers will share the same content with others via social media platforms. This will result in the content going viral thus reaching more viewers.
So how do you develop content that will attract readers and convince them to purchase a product or service? The first thing you need to do is come up with relevant keywords. Why? Online visitors utilise keywords when searching for information. Furthermore, search engines do crawl keywords in order to present the best information to readers. To find relevant keywords, you can use free tools like Google Adwords Keyword planner. Armed with your keywords, research and write your content. Make sure it’s engaging, entertaining, informative and relevant.
When publishing your content ensure it should be accompanied by pictures or a video. Also, make sure the photos must be original and not stolen from another website to avoid copyright issues.Don’t forget to backlink back to your social media account or blog.
2. Video marketing
Technology has improved tremendously over the years, and so has content generation. Influencers don’t have to rely on content (text) alone. YouTube is a popular and widely used video hosting platform that allows influencers to create videos, upload and share them with their subscribers and followers on other social media platforms. The best thing about YouTube is that it allows influencers to connect with online users from around the world. As a result, the more followers one has, the more views a video will receive and the more the people will recommend the products to others.
According to a recent study, 57% of online viewers will likely purchase a product after watching a video demonstrating how the product or service is beneficial to an individual. Video marketing is easier than other forms of marketing. As an influencer, you have the option of creating how-to videos, explainer videos, viral videos and customer testimonial videos among others.
Once an influencer is armed with the best video, not only can one post the video on his or her own YouTube page but they can share it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram among other platforms.
3. Sponsored blog post
The wise once said – content is king – and as such, it should be treated in a royal manner.Earlier on, you learned tips and tricks for creating quality content. Just to recap the points – you should start by researching relevant keywords, come up with a great title that resonates with the content, write your content, format it and finally publish it. Don’t forget to include links and backlinks to provide readers with an easy way of locating your social media account or blog.
The reason why blog posts stand out more than social media mentions is that blog posts can be indexed by a search engine bot. As a result, users can be able to search the post on the web not only now but even months or years to come.
As a result, influencers can improve traffic count to the brand’s websites, increase sales and even place the brand’s website on the first page of a search engine results.
4. Social media mention
The more followers an influencer has, the higher the chances of converting the followers into paying customers. This means a bigger paycheck too. It is common to find influencers on either one of the following social media platforms: – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and YouTube among others.
Today, influencers are able to use less than 140 characters together with a photo or video to market a product or service. As a result, their followers get to retweet or repost their posts and even share them on other platforms. This helps to draw in more people who in the end get influenced and end up purchasing the product or service. The more the products are purchased, the more the brand earns revenue. As a result, the brand will continue working with the influencer in future social media mentions.
5. Sponsored reviews
It is common to find bloggers writing long product reviews that list features, pros and cons of using the product. Within the product review, you will find FAQs which answer basic questions that online readers may have. Influencers use sponsored reviews in order to create awareness about a product or service.
In this case, an influencer is approached by a brand with a request to create sponsored reviews. The influencer will use available resources to write the review for the specific product before sharing the content on his or her personal social media page. Alternatively, the content can be posted on the brand’s official social media page. As a result, online readers will take the time to read the review, and if they find it useful, they can recommend it to family and friends.
There are platforms that allow users to sign up and write sponsored reviews. They include Famebit, Tomoson, Revcontent, SheSpeaks, Influenster among others. It is important to have a well-designed blog or social media page if you want to stand out.
6. Discount codes
Social media influencers have changed the way we look at discount codes. As a brand, you need to know that discount codes do not devalue your business. Instead, they help to promote sales thus improving your revenue stream. How? By driving customers to purchase your products and services. Furthermore, they can be used to attract new customers and even bring back past customers.
The best thing about discount codes is that they are easy to implement. They are easy to track and analyse too. Here is a simple example.
“How crystal clear is this 55 inch 4K Smart TV by @XYZ Company? Use code ‘55XYZ4K’ for 30% off at xyz.com until 30/09”
Let’s interpret the above example. The influencer is marketing a 55 inch 4K Smart TV sold by XYZ Company. To attract customers, the company has set a 30% discount on the product. The code is ‘55XYZ4K’. This means that any follower connected to the influencer’s social media account can take the opportunity and use the code. Note, the influencer has indicated the period when the offer will end. After that, the discount code will expire.
This is one of the most beneficial campaigns for any brand out there. As one of the oldest marketing strategy, giveaways have the potential of attracting new customers thus guaranteeing a substantial business growth. When it comes to social media, a business can gain from the following social actions – follow, comment and like. That is not all. A company can create awareness about its products and services by offering the customers some giveaways.
Today, influencers have capitalised on the concept on behalf of brands with amazing results. Influencers understand that their followers are their biggest assets. That is why influencers take time to read their followers comments and respond to queries regardless of how famous the influencer has become.
Influencers understand that running a giveaway campaign is simple and rewarding. It’s like requesting followers to subscribe to their emails, take the time to select a winner and finally ship the gift to the winner. So, how is a successful giveaway campaign run?
An influencer will begin by posting links to a brands giveaway page. This will drive traffic to the brand’s website. On the other hand, the influencer may opt to come up with a theme for the campaign and create content that will attract more followers.
For example, a hotel chain may collaborate with a travel agency and give away a particular number of free overnight stays.
8. Long term product ambassadors
Today, brands can engage influencers as long term ambassadors. This has the potential of lifting a brand from low level to top level within no time. Influencers have been able to align themselves with particular products and services. For example, an influencer like Kim Kardashian will probably become a long term ambassador for skin care products and fashion accessories and not pet food or men beard grooming accessories.
As a long term ambassador, an influencer is not able to promote any competing brands during a particular period. Furthermore, it will appear more authentic when a brand works with a single influencer who genuinely loves the brand.
This is a type of marketing where a brand provides an affiliate link to the influencer who in turn promotes the brand’s products and services through content and social media. The influencer gets to earn a commission when a shopper uses the affiliate link to purchase products and services belonging to the brand. Influencers must sign up with an affiliate marketing company like Clickbank or Amazon Affiliates. Once they have created an account, they will be issued with an affiliate link. The link is composed of the affiliates ID/username. This allows the brand and the advertisers to track sales from a campaign directly to the affiliate.
Furthermore, it becomes easier for the influencers account to be credited with commissions earned from affiliate marketing. It is important to know that affiliate links are lucrative and when implemented properly, both the brand and the influencer will benefit. For affiliate marketing to work, the influencer must have the right target audience.
Suggested Read:-Make money online with affiliate marketing.
10. Influencer takeover
A takeover is where an influencer is given the opportunity to run and promote a brand’s social media account, its products and services. Instagram takeovers are the most common among influencers. Here, influencers make arrangements with brands to take over the brand’s Instagram account for promotional activities. This particular event may last for a day or more depending on the arrangement. As a result, the brand will be able to grow its community as well as create awareness for its products and services.
The influencer should properly plan in advance to host a takeover. Planning allows the influencer to define goals and objectives. Some of the objectives may include:
a. Growing a brand’s social media audience
b. Boosting social media engagement
c. Promote a brand’s products, events and ideas
d. Reward faithful followers with giveaways
e. Attract new customers
Thanks to the above goals and objectives, influencers will have direction thus they are able to connect with followers and expand the brand’s reach. The brand has the responsibility of selecting the right host who is influential and has the right targeted followers for promoting the brand’s products. For example, you cannot contract an influencer who runs a pet blog to takeover the brand page of a fashion store. Not only is the target audience completely wrong but the influencer lacks proper knowledge about the product.
Lastly, it is important to create a branded hashtag. This tool allows the collection of content as well as tracking user engagement, monitoring the campaign and sharing across social media platforms.
As a brand, working with influencers has the potential of creating awareness for your products and services. Furthermore, not only will your brand connect with local customers but with global customers. This is beneficial if you are a multinational company with offices in other countries. To get started, brands should work with influencers who have a large following – 100,000 followers and above. This will ensure that the influencer can communicate the brand’s message, increase brand exposure and drive traffic to the brand’s website.Also, please feel free to add more points regarding the use of social media for influencer marketing in the coments column so that I will update that in the post later.