“With great power comes great responsibility” is probably one of the most misused quotes in the English language. And I’m about to totally abuse it right here.
Are you popular? Even marginally so?
Do you have connections? Know some of the most influential and awesome bloggers and social media elites in the world? Then you’ve got the power!
And I’m going to hold you accountable for that power. Because there is no excuse as to why you’re not making money off your power.
But if I’m preaching to the choir here or the future choir, then I say keep reading. I’m going to lay down the law on influencer marketing. So you better be paying attention.
1. Don’t Be Aimless
You wouldn’t create a PPC campaign without a goal to increase traffic or sales or leads, right? That’d be plain stupid. No benchmarks? What?!
Somehow, people think influencer marketing is too nebulous for goals. But it’s not.
You can measure specific KPIs. Indicators like website views, referral visitors, brand buzz on social platforms, and social media reach of your influencers.
Decide on a metric or two to track. Set benchmarks. Then set goals.
You’ll know pretty quickly how valuable your influencers are or how realistic your metrics are.
2. Don’t Rub Shoulders With the Wrong Crowd
Like mama said: if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you? And the inevitable smart-ass answer: depends on the bridge.
But if your influencers are dragging you off a bridge, you chose the wrong influencers. It doesn’t matter how many followers they have, if they don’t align with your brand’s values, don’t give them the light of day.
Do you want a great example? Ever heard of PewDiePie? He’s a YouTube star of great repute. At least past great repute.
He said a few inflammatory things about Jews and Nazis and his sponsor dropped him like a bag of feces.
Who was his sponsor? None other than the mighty Disney, of course.
This wasn’t a good thing for either Disney or Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. So learn from Disney’s mistake. Investigate your influencers thoroughly before taking them on.
3. Don’t Make Followers the Sole Qualifier
Yes, you want influencers with a lot of, well, influence. But that has to be genuine influence.
Fake followers or uninterested followers are a real thing. It could be that El Vlogger made a ton of videos once, gained a lot of YouTube subscribers, and mostly quit.
Maybe they make a video every year or something. They’re resting on their laurels and don’t even keep up their social media presence anymore. But if you were to merely look at their subscriber count, you’d think they were a great influencer.
Don’t bite. They’re a bad investment.
You want someone who produces often and gets a lot of engagement on either social media or the influencer’s main media platform.
Also, beware of fake followers. While major platforms like YouTube penalize fake subscribers and views, some places don’t.
The best way to know if you’ve got a real influencer: engagement. Look at whether they actually respond on social media or in the comments section. This will tell you if they’re at least active.
4. Do Make All the Links
If you give an influencer a link…they’re going to want a cookie. Or your business.
Maybe even both.
But getting an influencer’s attention, especially if they’re majorly popular, can be difficult. But if you’re giving them loads of traffic through your links to their content, they will notice.
Even if they don’t notice right away, it’s a nice thing to do. And if you keep at it, they will have to notice.
If they are a blogger, link to their blog. If they are a YouTuber, link to their videos.
Don’t link out to other mentions of the influencer. This will not get their attention.
Only direct links will work.
5. Do Reach Out Without String Attached
If you’re a popular influencer, you most likely get tons of annoying queries a day. And when someone messages you with a “Hey [Influencer]!” You probably say, “Gee, another query.”
But what if that message were just a friendly hello? What if it were just small talk with a fun little compliment sandwiched in? How do you think the influencer will feel?
Refreshed, I’m sure.
If you’re looking to grow your social influencer network, do nice things with no strings attached. Strike up conversations. Leave the asking until you actually have a real relationship.
Relationships are the only sure-fire way to gain someone’s trust. So build those relationships to gain the trust of influencers.
They’ll be more willing to promote your business if they know you’re trustworthy.
6. Do Be Open About Your Relationships
Not your romantic relationships. That’s none of my business. But your influencer relationships should be public.
Besides, they’re promoting you. How do you think you’re going to keep this thing a secret?
Most influencers are open and honest about who pays them to promote. It creates trust with your followers.
You too should be honest about who you’re paying to promote your brand. And honesty will actually boost your brand name.
If you’ve got truly influential influencers, then naming them is a commendation. Doesn’t matter if you’re paying them. These people like your brand enough to wear it on their bodies or use it in their own content creation.
If they didn’t somewhat like your brand, they wouldn’t promote it, period. You can only be a brand influencer of a crummy brand for so long. It wears on your soul and eats away at your conscience. And someone will probably call you out eventually.
Conclusion: Hard Work and Ingenuity
Influencer marketing might be tough to break into. But gaining influencers and being successful are two real possibilities for your brand.
Yes, it might take a bit of luck at times. But mostly, it’s hard work and ingenuity that gets the worm in this case.
Do you have any tried and true ways to find and keep influencers? Let me know in the comments below.