A Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

By Sandra D’Souza

Having the ability or being able to work with someone who has the ability to influence others and affect change is a powerful attribute many marketers want to posses. After all, having the capability to easily convince others to do something simply by virtue of being popular or an expert in your field can definitely have a huge impact on the success of your business. This thought process, along with other factors, gave rise to what we know today as influencer marketing.

For those who have no idea what influencer marketing is, Eric Enge, CEO at Stone Temple Consulting, offered a brief explanation. According to him, influencer marketing is “the process of developing relationships with influential people that can lead to their assisting you in creating visibility for your product or service.”

There are three major ways influencers can significantly affect your business, Enge explained. First, they can write a blog post/article about you. Second, they can share information about you in their social media accounts and with their respective communities. And third, they can ask you or permit you to guest post on their site. All of these methods can give you more exposure and boost your online visibility, which are helpful in creating bigger brand awareness and attracting more potential clients or followers.

However, one does not simply approach an influential person to aid your cause. According to Evy Wilkins of Search Engine Watch, marketers should look beyond demographics. If you want someone to help you influence your prospects, you should look for influencers based on their interests and passions. Wilkins said people are more inclined to listen to influencers who produce and share content that can get them excited about specific things.

And before you get influencers to help you establish a solid reputation online, first you must help them serve their audience. At this point, influencers care more about their own community than your brand. After all, it is through this community that they were able to become influential. As such, if you want influencers to help you, you must first lay the groundwork by understanding their community. Help them address the needs of their audience and it is very likely that they will return the gesture.

Also, don’t ask influencers to endorse you right from the get-go. Chances are, any attempt you make at winning their trust (and ultimately, their assistance) will be ignored. Not to mention asking someone you don’t know to do you a favour can be quite rude. Therefore, you should treat them well and “focus on their unique passions, interests, and personalities” so you can convince them to back you up. Wilkins stressed out that you have to build connections with influencers before you can “unlock their value.”

Once you have earned the trust of influencers and successfully convinced them to help you out, you should take the time to maintain strong relationships with them. According to Wilkins, the value of your influencer relationships grows over time. “Invest the time it takes to spark connections, earning trust, and sustaining relationships. The more you get to know each other, the more value you can create for each other,” she said.

It has proven time and again that most people follow and trust the opinions of experts, authority figures, and influential people. As such, it would certainly help to enlist the assistance of influencers.

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/user-experience/a-beginners-guide-to-influencer-marketing/

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