5 Steps to Creating Your Influencer Marketing Program
No one expects vloggers or bloggers to be certified experts in any given field, but among the most successful of today’s, their power of influence speaks for itself. Did you know 3% of people in any online conversation create 90% of the impact on the web? Getting one or two influential content creators on your side can be game-changing for a brand. Beyond brand awareness, influencer marketing can earn you third party validation in target niches and help boost your credibility.
Taking the time to do it right requires strategic relationship-building. Here is a 5-step plan you might use as a guide through the process.
1. Identify the right influencers for you
If you have an idea of who might be valuable to partner with but aren’t sure if investing your time will result in the mutually beneficial relationship you seek, there are a few key metrics to look to. They can be summarized as the “3 pillars of influence – reach, resonance, and relevance,” created by Brian Solis:
- Reach: This is a measure of audience size. Aside from possessing qualities that have the power to drive action, an influencer has an above-average number of followers in a specific niche or market.
- Relevance: This is a measure of how relevant someone is to a topic that is relevant to you. Of course, influencers don’t want to promote the products and services of a brand that isn’t relevant to them, just like you don’t look for influencers that aren’t relevant to you.
- Resonance: This is a measure of how much activity an influencer generates by publishing content. Someone who creates content people crave will gain a lot of traction with a single tweet – the content resonates with fans and followers.
For more on determining reach, resonance, and relevance, see our post on Identifying the 3 R’s of Influence.
2. Do your Research
The better you know the interests of the influencers you want to work with, the more successful your program will likely be. Smart research questions that will help you get the most out of your relationship include:
· What conversations are they a part of?
· Are there any conflicts of interest?
· What motivates them?
· Who is their audience?
· How could they be integrated into your marketing plan?
· Am I thinking outside the box?
3. Reach out and connect
Now’s the time to overcome your social media apprehensions if you have them – it’s important to engage with influencers where they are (whether that’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook), in order to make yourself known, establish your own credibility, support and amplify their content and generally offer reciprocal influence. You don’t have to master any given social media channel, but you do have to craft thoughtful, strategic outreach messages, be genuine, and make it easy for an influencer to get to know more your brand if they want to.
If you want to go beyond simply making a connection, communicate with an influencer on more than one platform. Comment on their blog, leave comments on blogs you know they frequent or participate in Twitter chats they do. Go where they are. Engaging with the right communities is an important part of finding, and engaging influencers. Here are 3 ways to find those powerhouse communities: social media monitoring, keyword research, and hashtag tracking. Here’s where you can get more information on finding powerhouse communities.
5. Create sustainable relationship
Influencers are never obligated to you. Like everyone else on social media, they can come and go as they please. Bloggers, vloggers, freelancers and editors are in-demand people and likely operating on their own schedules. How can you be sure you’re making engaging with your brand worth their time?
Ginny Torok took readers back-to-basics in a Traackr blog post in which she drives home the point that “influencer marketing is just talking to people.” We can be well-versed in all the “required reading” when it comes to influencer marketing, but at the end of the day, your people skills are what will make your relationships with influencers the quality, sustainable ones they are.