Finding a Brand Influencer: A 4-Step Process
The game is changing for marketers of businesses and brands across every industry, as trained professionals work to understand the impact of social media networks. Like style trends, traditional marketing tactics tend to circle back - just in a modern way. While Radio personalities and celebrity endorsements still work for major brands who have the budget, social media brand influencers have become the most powerful way to build influence and grow a business.
Usually an internet icon, brand influencers command the attention of upwards of five million, 20 million, or 30 million followers. They have extraordinary reach through their social media accounts, and they are cherished and trusted among their followers. However choosing an influencer to represent your brand shouldn't just be about the amount of followers they have.
By following these 4 steps, you'll learn how to bring influencers into your marketing mix and take advantage of this powerful way to market your business.
1. Know your audience
Every good marketer understands that it’s important to know your audience and have defined customer personas, but when you are choosing someone to represent your brand and grow your company’s impact, this is vital. Learn as much as you can about your customers, so that you can get a better idea of what influencer might appeal to people like them.
Understanding your customers journey is the key component in selecting an influencer to represent your brand. How do your customers shop? What do they do for fun, what are they doing on the weekend? Are they introverts or extroverts? Then go deeper into layering on standard demographic targeting as to what their income level is, and how their behavior on the internet affects their decisions to make a purchase. Once you understand your customers, identify a popular icon in an industry that matches their lifestyle.
2. Choose your options carefully
As you get to know your customers better, you should also identify the social media channels they use the most. If your brand influencer has established influence and a personal brand on Instagram, the marketing content they share may never reach those who rely solely on Facebook. Again - It’s important to know your target audience, and choose the social media channel they use.
You’ll also want to vet your brand influencer carefully. There are many people out there who offer product placement and champion brands on social networks, but there are also many issues to consider. While some celebrities may charge a high price, others may post content in a voice that is not suitable for your business. Choose someone who will represent your brand in a professional manner, but whose services won’t break the bank.
3. Find a match
Finding the right personality to represent your brand can be tough, but here are a few places to start; Consider individuals you have encountered in the past, who either shopped in your store or raved about your product. Maybe one of your existing customers is a super user on social media, and they have already elevated your company by posting rave online reviews. Think of businesses or organizations you have partnered with, and whether someone on the team might advocate for your brand.
As you generate ideas for potential influencers, start local. Consider the geography of your business or brand, and find a local celebrity that fits the bill. Then build your social media presence. As you make a bigger splash on social media, you may see potential influencers start coming to you. When you find the right person, set up coffee or lunch, or conduct an informal interview. Look at the content they already post online, to confirm that they are a match.
4. Collaborate for better results
Now that you’ve found the perfect match, make sure you collaborate with them to produce a successful and mutually beneficial partnership. Support your brand influencer by sharing their content on your own platforms, and marketing their projects to your customers. Then take advantage of your new partnership and your combined reach.
Invite the celebrity personality to post a few live videos, host a Twitter chat, or present at an upcoming event. Offer to produce a profile on the brand influencer, to both introduce this personality to your existing customers and grow their reach. These collaborative efforts, when done well, can lead a long-lasting business partnership. They will also result in a huge boost for your brand.