The online business market is more competitive and crowded than ever with countless businesses competing for a place under the sun.
As a result, businesses often have difficulties standing out in such a crowd. This is especially true for the new brands on the market.
Fortunately, digital marketers know how to get crafty when things are particularly difficult. There is always a way to navigate the online business market despite how fierce the competition may be.
Sometimes, all you need is a bit of help from a few influential people. Many online business owners choose influencer marketing to promote their products to a broader audience, boost their brand awareness and enter niche markets, among other things.
Consumers often trust influencers more than they trust online businesses. Therefore, it's only natural to have an influencer endorsing your products. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to find the best influencers for your online business.
What exactly is influencer marketing?
At its very core, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to leverage mentions and endorsements from influential individuals who have a large social media following.
These influential individuals are often perceived as experts in their niche, which is why consumers trust their opinions. The main reason influencer marketing is so effective is that influencers themselves have established trust with their followers over the years.
Once they have gathered enough following, they chose to monetize it — and rightfully so. Influencer marketing is a win-win strategy for all parties involved. Influencers’ audiences gain expert insight into products or services that interest them. Influencers themselves get to profit from their platform and grow their personal brands.
Last but not least, the companies who promote their products via influencers get access to audiences they might not be able to reach otherwise.
Having an influencer recommend your product to their followers is also considered a form of social proof required to convince your potential customers. Here are some interesting facts regarding influencer marketing:
Influencer marketing can "influence" from 20% to 50% of your company's sales
49% of Twitter users follow influencer recommendations
Tweets from both brands and influencers can increase user purchase intent by 5.2 times
40% of Twitter users are encouraged to make a purchase after being exposed to an influencer's tweet
20% of those Twitter users are inspired to make their own recommendations to friends and family after being exposed to an influencer's tweet
1. Determine your objectives
Before you start seeking out the right influencers for your online business, you should take the time to determine your objectives. In other words, what do you need influencers to help you with?
In most cases, online businesses need product promotions or endorsements but those are not the only things influencers can help you with. Here are a few other things influencers can do for you:
Boosting engagement for your content
Improving your brand awareness
Establishing trust and loyalty with consumers
Driving more organic traffic to your company's website
Generating more email newsletter subscribers
Amplifying your social media posts
Inspiring more User-Generated Content (UGC)
Improving your conversion rate
Boosting views of your content or social media posts
Influencer marketing can be a very powerful tool when used appropriately. You don't have to use it only for product promotions — it can also help you elevate your brand in the market.
That's why it's important to consider your options and choose the best course of action that will truly benefit your eCommerce business.
2. Influencer research
Once you've determined your objectives, it's time to research potential influencers you want to partner with.
The best way to approach the matter is to determine your needs once again. Influencers come in various forms. Some are very popular with millions of followers on social media, such as celebrities.
Others are niche-specific experts with a medium to a large following, such as YouTubers or dedicated bloggers. Then there are the so-called micro influencers with a small but reverent following.
Micro influencers typically have a follower count of up to 5000 people, but their relationship with their followers is strong. Because they don’t typically come from a background of fame, their success with their followers comes from authentic interactions and unique, genuine content.
Therefore, consider this: is it better to pay a celebrity a huge amount of money to endorse your product or opt for a micro influencer and have a much better impact for a reasonable price? Moreover, audiences often trust micro influencers more because of their authenticity.
So what kind of influence do you need? Any option is viable if you have the right strategy and the budget in place, so it all comes down to your choice entirely.
3. Choose the right platform
Engaging your target audience through influencers isn't something that should be taken lightly.
You must consider your audience's preferences, needs, and expectations before you decide how to leverage influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is fundamentally a social media marketing strategy, but that doesn't mean you must leverage it on social media only. Influencers will create almost any content that involves brand mentions or product endorsements. How and where you use that content is what's truly important.
For example, you can publish influencer content on your website and blog so that you can use it as a form of a testimonial. However, you must have a well-designed and optimized website or blog to ensure your audience will stay there long enough to consume that content.
In that case, you might consider hiring a Chicago web design agency to help you out. This is especially true if you operate in the state of Illinois and want to attract as many local consumers to your online business as possible.
Other platforms include social media platforms, such as TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, video streaming platforms like YouTube, as well as other relevant sources, such as websites, blogs, and forums.
Which platforms you'll use will depend on what kind of an impact you want to make, as well as on the online habits of your target audience.
4. Set up a budget
Enlisting the aid of an influencer usually means paying them a commission to help you out.
That's why it's important to set a budget before you sign a deal. The more influential and popular someone is, the higher the commission will be.
Fortunately, influencers are people too, so you can always try to negotiate the price with them. For example, micro influencers don't usually ask for much and they will accept free products or services as means of payment.
On the other hand, if you'd like to hire a celebrity to endorse your product, you may face fees higher than your entire company's worth. Then again, it all depends on the celebrity. In any event, having a budget in mind allows you to consider influencers suitable for your price range.
After all, you want to have the best result without overspending. Here are some of the findings of a 2017 research regarding influencer marketing costs on Instagram:
The overall average price of an influencer post on Instagram was $271 per post
The average price for a micro influencer with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83 per post
The average price for an influencer with 100,000 followers or more was $763 per post
Many small businesses stores have a tight budget. That's why it's important to determine how much of your resources you can allocate to influencer marketing before you find an influencer to partner with.
5. Reach out to influencers
Outreach is a very important step in finding the best influencers for your online business.
However, there's still a bit of research left to do before you make a contact. Here are a few things you should focus on:
Is the influencer you have in mind already posting about similar products or services?
Is the influencer in question legitimate? You can check their newsfeed for any signs of fraudulent behavior.
More importantly, has the influencer in question worked with similar brands before? If you're going to invest in influencer marketing, you might as well invest in someone with experience in endorsing products or promoting brands.
Once you've found out what you need, you can reach out to influencers to negotiate a deal. In most cases, you can send them a personal message on the platform they frequent the most.
In some cases, more established influencers have contact forms on their profiles where you can contact them or their representatives.
The rest comes down to frequent communication and negotiation until both parties are satisfied with the result. Influencer marketing was pretty much only celebrities only just a decade ago. Today, there are more and more individuals online who are considered influential enough to endorse products or brands effectively.
The key is in finding the best influencer for your online business, as well as securing an affordable deal that will yield the best results.
This article is a guest blog written by Thomas Wilsom. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.