Social interaction and online content are becoming increasingly important for any B2B company when it comes to consumer spending and buyers’ purchasing choices.
As a marketer, you create online content with the goal of engaging with your target audience and persuading them to purchase your product, brand, or service. But consumers of the internet age are typically skeptical and savvy. The minute your content appears suspiciously “ad-like”, they lose interest and move on.
However, no matter what type of business or industry you are in, or whether you sell products or services from home, one single positive recommendation online from a source your audience trusts can make more of an impact that the best-crafted ad copy or compelling video. Of course, great content can help build trust in your brand, but like-minded crowd-movers your audience identifies with can be more influential.
Finding the Right Influencers
While there are many advantages to investing in influencer marketing, it is completely wasted if you don’t find the perfect ones. Here are some key factors to consider when thinking about partnering with a social media influencer:
More important than how many unique visitors an influencer gets on their posts and videos is whether they are aligned with your brand messaging. For example, if you sell sustainable building materials, a recipe vlogger probably won’t be a good partner. Likewise, just because the influencer operates in the same industry, such as recipes doesn’t mean they’d be a good fit if your product was all-organic vegan foods. Read through their content and watch their videos to ensure you really are on the same page, and they are a viable speaker for your brand. Do they consume and promote specific products within your industry?
How often does your possible partner engage with their audience? Do their followers comment and share their posts? How much steady interactions do they have with their fans? Look for influencers who have meaningful exchanges with their readers.
How Often Do They Post?
There is often a direct link between how often a social media influencer posts and what their overall traffic is, as well as the rate of their return visitors. Because it usually takes more than one incidence of exposure to convince a visitor to check out your product or service, pairing with a blogger who posts often is key. Look for a partner who posts often, as they usually have a more loyal follower base.
Does the possible influencer seem authentic? Do they make use of personal stories that mention products, or do they do wide-sweeping reviews of any and all products and services? Do they pack on the sponsorships in their content? In this case, influencers who have less sponsored content appear more trustworthy and authentic. Readers need to believe that the blogger uses the product or service themselves. Engaging content with compelling stories also enjoys more likes, comments, and shares than content promoting deals or reviewing multiple products.
No matter what your niche, by pairing with an influencer you can engage your target audience with the kind of high-quality, authentic content their followers expect while at the same time associating your brand with their brand. Don’t forget that online influencers aren’t just bloggers. Influencers often have multiple social streams with loyal audiences on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and many other social platforms, so look for an influencer with a strong presence on multiple networks.