With the explosion of information, media, and new technology, people are overwhelmed with choices. You want to sell your product or service but so do millions of other companies and with today’s world shifting away from brand interruption, forcefully pushing yourself on consumers isn’t going to lead to many sales.
People are tempted, and now have the increasing ability to, avoid your constant self-promotion through things like DVR and AdBlockers. In fact, today only 10% of people trust brands. So who do consumers trust? Influencers.
Who are influencers?
Influencers are people who have the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of their real/perceived authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. An influencer doesn’t necessarily have to be some sort of celebrity, journalist, or blogger. He or she can be an everyday person with the right connections and social pull.
People may not trust brands very much, but 90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends.
Say you’re scrolling through your newsfeed during your lunch-break and see Kimberly from your yoga class posted about her new Lululemon leggings. There’s a good chance you might click her link, check out the leggings she bought, and potentially buy your own pair based on her recommendation.
Kimberly may not be Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, or a famous journalist, but she’s influenced your purchase decision and therefore she is an effective influencer.
How do I identify influencers?
First, you need to determine who’s talking about your brand or relevant topics. Then, you need to find out whether their content gets shared and how much reach they have (how many followers/friends). It’s best to look for people who:
- Post often about your brand or about topics surrounding it
- Have a decent amount of friends
- Create content that is constantly shared/engaged with
This may seem overwhelming at first, but there are tools available to help. If you’re interested in finding press influencers, you can use JustReachOut or PressFriendly. When looking for a celebrity influencer OpenDorse can be beneficial. However, when it comes to purchase decisions, consumers statistically trust their friends’ recommendations the most.
How do I activate influencers?
First of all, let’s break down what it means to “activate an influencer.” There isn’t just one way to accomplish this, there are many different methods of which you can engage your influencers with your brand. For example, you could:
- Persuade people to follow your social media accounts
- Inspire people to create original content and valued content for your brand
- Get influencers to share a piece of branded content or boost a campaign
After you pick the type of activation you’re looking for, you need to persuade influencers to share. Not sure how?
You can start by simply making sure to include share buttons on the content you want to be shared. Next, to boost your shares, you should reward influencers for sharing your branded content. In return for sharing, give influencers exclusive deals like discount codes or free samples of your product. Inspiring influencers to share your content is much more effective than pushing out the standard advertisement. In fact, 75% of people don’t accept advertisements as the truth but – 70% of people believe consumer opinions. This means people trust strangers more than advertisements!
Influence Marketing is taking over as earned media is dominating traditional self-promoted marketing. Having fans of your company doesn’t mean much unless it leads to sales. In order for the money and effort you’re putting into social media and content creation to drive these sales, you need to find influencers to share your brand’s content. This way, people in your influencers’ networks will feel inclined to click and potentially buy your product.