How do you use influencer marketing for your business?

How do you use influencer marketing for your business

Influencer marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years.
Something I like to remind people is that 5 years ago, the term “influencer” had just started to evolve into a title for people with large social followings.
7 years ago, it didn’t even exist.
And 10 years ago, if you had a YouTube channel with 10,000 subscribers, you weren’t called an “influencer.” You were called “that weird kid at school who posts videos on the Internet.”
I would know—because I was an influencer 10 years ago.
My niche wasn’t YouTube. It was blogging.
10 years ago, I had one of the first e-famous gaming blogs on the Internet. I wrote about high-level World of Warcraft gameplay, detailing the strategies I used in 3v3 arenas against the other top players in North America. But more than that, I wrote about girls, and puberty, and what it was like being one of the highest ranked Mages in the country online, while simultaneously being a reclusive, awkward adolescent in high school.
I had about 10,000 people reading my blog every day.
Back then, brands weren’t thinking about influencers as a way to promote their products. Even us influencers didn’t understand the value of what we had built for ourselves. As a 17 year old, I just thought it was cool that so many people read my writing on a daily basis.
I didn’t know there was monetary value in having acquired the attention of thousands of fellow gamers.
Fast-forward to today, and influencer marketing happens everywhere.
Half the time, you probably don’t even realize that the photo you’re staring at on Instagram is subtly promoting a brand.
Brands are quick to find people who have the attention of highly targeted audiences. For example: if you’re a fashion blogger or YouTuber, that means your audience is made up of people who love fashion—and are most likely in the market to purchase new clothes and accessories.
The brands that execute influencer marketing the best are the ones that find influencers that perfectly align with their brand story. They’re able to create content that does not stray from the influencer’s normal content style. And most of all, the content they create still prioritizes the influencer’s voice above the brand’s.
After all, that’s the whole point of influencer marketing—having someone else tell your brand story.
One brand that does this particularly well is MVMT.
Best known for their watches, MVMT has built an entire brand around a vast network of influencers. These influencers create content on social media that looks no different than the content they would otherwise post on a daily basis—except they are wearing an MVMT watch, and in the caption they are providing their own unique discount code (which MVMT can use to track conversions).
In addition to running campaigns with influencers, where they post on their own large social channels, MVMT can then re-purpose that content on their own social pages.
So many brands underestimate the value created here. When you work with influencers, typically these are people who have built an entire career for themselves out of personal branding. They know how to create content that resonates. Which means, when working with a network of influencers, you’re essentially working with a team of creative directors, each with their own unique voice and style.
The reason I cite MVMT here is because very few brands are able to build an entire business out of influencer marketing.
A good handful of big brands see influencer marketing as another “bucket” to allocate a portion of their entire marketing budget. It’s a diversification strategy, and often times provides net-positive returns.
However, not very many brands can say they’ve built and scaled through influencer marketing. It’s a difficult thing to coordinate and execute well. Getting handfuls of social influencers to all work toward the same goal, with the same general branding style, is no easy feat.
So, how do you execute influencer marketing for your own business?
1. Start small, then scale.
Too many brands dive head-first into influencer marketing without first taking the time to understand a few key components:
  • What’s the goal? Pure awareness? Clicks? Purchases? How are you measuring “success” here?
  • Who do you want to reach? What sorts of audiences?
  • Which influencers have your ideal customer paying attention to them?
  • What is your “influencer marketing” style guide? How can you ensure that every influencer you work with still stays true to the pillars of what makes your brand, your brand?
The big mistake a lot of brands make is they go searching for the biggest influencers, and then shell out a ton of money to have them post about their brand—with no strategy.
They have no idea if these influencers have the targeted audiences they’re looking for.
They don’t know how, specifically, they’re going to measure success from the campaign.
And most of all, they end up with a bunch of disjointed content that might work on an individual basis, but has no context to the brand as a whole—which means the brand can’t repurpose it effectively (this is something MVMT has done extremely well, which is why I encourage you to look at them as an example).
2. Test your content first with low-budget ads.
How Ferriss came up with the title for his best-selling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was he ran a few different Google Adwords campaigns with different potential book titles. $200 later, he saw that The 4-Hour Workweek had the highest clickthrough rate, which he took as validation for the potential book title.
This same method can be applied to influencer marketing, in the sense that you never want to spend money on things you aren’t sure are going to perform well.
So, the best thing you can do is work with 1 or 2 influencers, have them create some content on your behalf, and then before they post to their own channels, run them on Facebook with a small ad budget to see which pieces perform the best.
That way, you can tell the influencers which content pieces you’d like them to share with their own large audiences, to maximize performance.
3. Invest in quality, so you don’t have to spend as much on ads.
Most big brands think about marketing like this:
“We’re going to spend $X to create this piece of content, and then we’re going to spend $5X to advertise it.”
I wholeheartedly disagree with this mentality.
If done correctly, content should spread on its own. If a piece of content needs an ad budget to survive, it probably isn’t a great piece of content—and a lot of brands aren’t willing to be honest with themselves about that.
Instead, spend $5X to create a truly magnificent photo or video or written piece, and then spend $X to give it a nudge in the right direction.
A really great piece of content only needs a small ad budget to get the ball rolling. But a mediocre piece of content will need a hefty ad budget in order to stay relevant.

>> Also you can read: The best techniques for off-page SEO

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