The term “influencer” may conjure up images of extremely edited, filtered, and posed photos on Instagram advertising certain products or brands. Although this is the highest-profile influencer type, there’s a level of influencers who are less prolific but more targeted who may better serve you – and there are easy tools to take advantage of their audience reach.
Merriam-Webster defines an influencer as “one who exerts influence: a person who inspires or guides the actions of others.” By this definition, an influencer is anyone who influences others to take action, including bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and so on – not just Instagram stars.
There are many types of influencer marketing, and the concept itself shouldn’t be dismissed as superficial. It could be the missing cog in your overall marketing and conversion success wheel. Here are some key strategies for influencer marketing to consider for your brand or business:
Due to the rapid growth of influencer marketing, influencer tracking systems such as Influencer Fee or Pixlee have emerged as reliable tools for brands that employ influencers to track conversions from their sponsorships.
With these engagement and conversion tracking systems in hand, businesses are now tapping into micro-influencer markets. Micro-influencers are typically focused on a targeted niche or audience, and often come with the advantage of high audience engagement. A micro-influencer is commonly defined as a person with a following of 10,000-100,000. Since their audiences are smaller, these influencers can engage with their followers more frequently and build relationships and loyalty – driving more conversions from endorsements and ads.
Start your search for micro-influencers by looking through your social media platforms and your blog or podcast engagement. Look for people who are either commenting or sharing the content you post. If a micro-influencer is actively engaging with your brand’s content, that person may already be aligned with your audience goals. Once you find an influencer who could be a fit, search for them on an engagement tracker such as Influencer Fee to research their engagement and costs.
Discount Codes & Custom URLs
Brands and businesses are taking advantage of these tools due to easy tracking and a strong return on investment. Custom URL tracking systems like Google Analytics show the traffic and conversions that generated from a specific URL used in a sponsorship or promotion. In addition, brands are offering custom discount codes, which are easily embedded into media and easily shared across social media posts, podcasts, and so on.
Giveaways & Referral Contests
Giveaways and contests are extremely useful for building brand awareness, creating buzz, and increasing engagement. For example, pairing up with an influencer for a product giveaway based on referrals to your social media page or your mailing list builds your audience reach, following, and list all in turn for some comped product.
Another approach is offering giveaways or sending PR packages to influencers. Many influencers host unboxing videos and review the products or boxes they receive on their social media/YouTube channels, mentioning the brand or company. This generates brand exposure, buzz, and increased sales at a minimal cost.
The digital landscape shifts quickly. Brands who don’t keep up with trends will lose market share and opportunities to grow. Influencer marketing isn’t just about forced poses or perfect Instagram photos. Done thoughtfully, it can be a lucrative way to build brand awareness, generate buzz, and drive conversions.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.