One of the most resurgent trends in contemporary marketing is what we call influencer marketing. It’s been around forever – think of every celebrity endorsement you’ve ever seen. It’s one of those things that’s ebbed and flowed in popularity, constantly going in and out of fashion.
Today we’re exploring how to utilise influencers in your digital marketing efforts – and how little it can cost.
Marketing School – “How to Find and Work with Influencers”
In a recent episode of one of our go-to podcasts, Eric Siu and Neil Patel broke down the economics and inner workings of influencer marketing (in less than 10 minutes, by the way).
While influencer marketing has been around for a long time, Eric and Neil point out how much social media has changed it. As Neil says, “influencers are now on YouTube.”
In other words, you no longer have to fork out the massive amount of cash required to pay some high-profile figure for their endorsement. Effective influencers are everywhere. There are Instagrammers and YouTubers driving significant engagement in specific niches that they’ve successfully identified and made their own.
So here’s what you do:
- Seek out online influencers who are relevant to your customer base.
- Reach out to them and ask them what their rate is for a “paid shout” – an endorsement for you.
- You mightn’t always get a response, but once you’ve found the right match and they’re willing to work with you, the results will be worth it.
But it doesn’t stop there. Both Eric and Neil warn that “doing influencer marketing once doesn’t work.” You have to keep it up if you want to see real results.
Refine this info so it’s relevant to your industry. Finding the right influencer is better than a bunch of just-ok ones.
Next, don’t forget that one of the most important aspects of influencer marketing is content. You’ve driven people to your socials or your website with the help of an influencer, but now, customers want to see useful, interesting content.
It would be a waste of you and your partnered influencer’s time and money to drive people to your socials and website, only to have them disengage at that next vital step in the process. Saturate your online presence with great content, and your customer will have an even better idea of what you’ll do for them.
One of the high-profile resources for finding social media influencers is FameBit. It’s mainly a platform for up-and-coming YouTubers that helps them gain access to brands so they can work on monetising their channels. And this is one of the best things about it.
It’s not just aimed at big YouTube stars – it targets rising creators. It’s worth looking into, as it’s a good resource to get you started.
How we’ve done it
We’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic influencers who’ve helped us promote our clients. In our experience, there are some high-profile influencers out there (we’re talking 100k+ followers) who are happy to just share a product without charging you anything.
So there are definitely options. But before you approach anyone, make sure they’re legit and have engaged followers – not spammers making automated comments. Weigh it up against the costs of spending money on advertising.
Keep at it
If you do all this and don’t see much of a return first time around, don’t give up. Analyse everything and see what you could improve. Usually, you won’t see much of a return on your first attempt – but that doesn’t mean people haven’t taken notice.
Keep at it, reach out to people and ask questions. You never know where the right influencer could take your brand.
David is Studio Culture’s Head of Digital Marketing.