Start Thinking About Influencers Differently

A few years ago, bloggers were the most influential people on the internet. They were experts on food, parenting, fashion and tech. You had to have a blog hosted on WordPress or Tumblr to even be considered an influencer. Now, some of the most influential “influencers” aren’t writing long posts. Some of them don’t even have official websites.

These new influencers have become famous for posting 6 second Vine videos, Instagram selfies, or funny Snapchat stories. What are they experts in? Today’s influencers are simply experts in entertaining people.  If you go to their social media channels you may not see a common theme. They are aspiring actors and actresses that take on various personas and scenarios in their videos. People don’t follow them for the latest product review, but notice what they eat, wear, and are listening to in their videos. Teens and Millennials adore these influencers as if they were celebrities. Based on their followings, recognizable faces, and influence, they are indeed celebrities.

This new wave of celebrity opens up a new wave of marketing for you and your business. Unlike bloggers, these influencers are not boxed into one category of endorsements. They are storytellers that can weave any product into a storyline and make it a supporting or main character. Some of these influencers are just famous for being attractive and might be willing to be the next face of your marketing campaign. What else is great about these new influencers? They aren’t writing long form, outdated content. They are creating short, shareable, branded content that can cross platforms and channels. Instead of a 500 word product review on a blog, these influencers are snapping a selfie with products and just posting one short hashtag. That’s all it takes.

Each influencer is well known for a particular platform, but usually is willing to post on multiple platforms. All of that is for the right price of course. There are two ways to get an influencer to post about your brand. The first is a guaranteed post through a paid agreement. Given the demand for influencers now it can be expensive. The second is a surprise and delight of some kind. The second is not guaranteed and it is up to the influencer whether they post or not and what they say.

With the second method, you have to ensure you do your research. Are the influencers you’re targeting interested in your industry and thus would they be interested in your product and consider posting about it. Surprise and delights work best with new products. Influencers want to feel they are the first to review or receive a sneak peek. Here are a few tips to help you start thinking about your influencer surprise and delights differently and how you outreach to them.

  1. Do Your Research

You have to do your research on each influencer you intend to work with. Ensure they are not working with competitors and they are interested in your industry and would like your product. Show the influencer you have done your research when outreaching. Influencers know when they’re part of a mass mailing instead of being hand-picked by the end. Influencers are more likely to open and engage with your product if they feel they were sent the surprise for a reason.

  1. Offer More Than Your Product

Create a branded experience for the influencer. Don’t just throw your new product in a box. Give them an experience when they open the package. Make sure everything is branded and ties to the new product somehow. This is more compelling and will help the chances they snap a photo and post on social media.

  1. Choose Your Quantity Wisely

Depending on your budget you can go after a few big fish and hope they bite. You can also pick a few differential influential people with nice followings that will still help you reach your impressions goal. Sometimes, it’s better to place a few small bets rather than one or two large ones. In the end, if the impressions are the same it’s okay.

Remember, influencers are modern day celebrities. While some are expensive, they are still less expensive and just and influential as Oscar winning actress. The investment is worth it as consumers trust recommendations from other consumers more than the brand itself. We are moving into an age where influencer marketing will be a core part of the overall marketing campaign. Given the pay to play model on Facebook and other social platforms, you’re not going to be able to reach your consumers without influencers. We have to start thinking about influencers differently to stay in the game.

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