Influencer Discovery Tools

,

Social media influencers can serve as a useful shortcut to help you market your business. But first, you have to discover them. Fortunately, there are a number of tools that can help.

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is someone online, such as a blogger, or at a social network, who has a large following online and is working in relation to a certain niche or industry. The goal is to find influencers related to your niche and connect with them. Through the connection, your company can become more visible.

Influencer Discovery Tools

BuzzSumo

This free tool will show you the top social media posts related to keyword searches, such as the niche or industry you are working in. You can read the content to get inspiration and discover who has posted the content. You can create a spreadsheet with all of their details and then start to follow them to see what kind of content they post.

If they make recommendations about products and services, chances are they might be a good fit for you. Interact with the content they post by being helpful, not spammy. When you have increased visibility this way, you will be ready to contact them to ask if they would be willing to share your content. Track your communications with them on your spreadsheet, and note down if they charge money for a mention.

Influencer.co

This site allows individuals and brands to list themselves as an influencer and post sample content. There are free and paid levels of service. The free service will allow searches and people to contact you, and vice versa, but will limit the numbers. The paid option will give you unlimited access but can be very pricey for a small business.

Social Blade

Social Blade allows you to look up businesses and individuals by company or username to see how they rate in terms of followers and content. They rank sites A, B, C and so on. You can see the number of followers, level of activity at their account, and more. It’s a good place to also check your own actions while you are at it to see if you can improve your rankings and become an influencer yourself.

Zoho Social

Zoho Social is a useful tool for tagging and then interacting with influencers on social media. You can locate and tag them using keywords and then connect with them easily. The lower tier of service is less than $10 per month.

Trendspottr

This tool costs around $50 per month, but is full-featured and can help you find and track influencers. You can plan content based on the top content you find, and which campaigns you would like and which influencers to promote.

FollowerWonk

This tool will help you find top trendsetters on Twitter in order to grow your business with niche-related content.

HypeAuditor

This tool assesses the quality of the following on Instagram accounts. For example, Justin Bieber may have nearly 70 million followers, but only 3 million ever actively engage with his content. This tool can, therefore, help you determine if the person with a large number of followers really is an influencer, or may have bought followers.

Reaching Key Influencers & Audiences

,

To build your brand and increase awareness, one of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal is to leverage the power of influencer marketing. But to grab their attention and gain endorsements or recognition, you have to establish yourself as a credible brand that the influencer’s audience would be interested in.

There are many different ways to reach key influencers. You can and should post often, you can and should engage with them online, and you can and should engage with your audience.

Most of us default to one type of content. For example, you might prefer to share images online and you may stick to Instagram. However, if you want to reach key influencers and grab their attention, you will have stronger results if you vary your content formats and social channels.

Share Across Channels, Carefully

Did you know that your Instagram posts can be shared on Facebook? The opportunity to “Cross Post” is available between other social channels as well. When appropriate, share posts across channels. Keep in mind, however, that it’s not always appropriate.

For example, you might share a screenshot of your latest blog post on Instagram, but that same screenshot is going to look quite flat and uninteresting on Facebook. On Facebook, you’d be better off posting the first few paragraphs or a key paragraph and sharing a link to the post. When you post on one channel, ask yourself – before you publish – if it would work on other channels as well. If the answer is yes, then cross post.

Fit the Content to the Channel

You post videos on YouTube, right? You can also post videos on Facebook and Instagram. But on Instagram and Pinterest you post images; long-form content posts generally don’t do well on these social sites. And on Twitter, you post short posts, but on Facebook, you can share longer content.

So the key to remember is to embrace multiple channels, making sure your audience is present on those channels, and to fit the content format to the channel. Yes, there may be some overlap and that’s when cross-posting is a good strategy. Otherwise, take your message and communicate it in different formats.

For example, you might create a three-minute video for YouTube, share a quote from the video on Twitter, with a link to the video. On Facebook, you might share a few transcribed paragraphs or a key point and link to the video, and on Instagram, you might share a screenshot from the video or 30-60 second highlight with a link to the video in your bio. So you can share the same message across multiple channels, but each message is geared toward the medium. This is all, of course, keeping in mind that your audience is present on those channels.

Why Cover Multiple Channels?

You could focus on one channel and become the expert on that channel. However, it’s generally better to diversify, at least a little bit. And if you’re reaching the same people on multiple channels then you’re simply reinforcing your message. It helps you strengthen your brand awareness and credibility amongst key influencers.

Brand Exposure

,

When it comes to influencer marketing there are many goals that you can choose to focus on. You might choose to leverage influencer marketing for an increase in traffic, to grow your list, or to boost sales. You might also leverage it to gain exposure. Let’s take a look at how that can be accomplished.

Host an Event

Whether the event is online or off, using social media influencers can help you gain exposure for your brand. For example, you might hold a live webinar. Having an influencer share the information about the webinar prior to the event can help you increase the number of people who sign up, as well as the number of people who are exposed to your business. Why would an influencer share information about your event? They may share the information organically to benefit their audience and followers. You can, of course, also pay them for signups that come from their link or a flat rate.

Launch a Product

Prior to launching a new product or service, reach out to influencers in your niche and let them know about the launch. Offer a free demo or a free product sample to review. When they talk about your product or service on social media, prior to the launch, it will help you gain the exposure that you need to achieve your launch goals.

Partnerships

Partner with influencers to host a contest or giveaway. This is a very popular way to gain exposure and work with influencers. For example, a sports nutrition influencer might partner with a protein powder company to give away a free package of protein powder. The sports blogger leverages their influence to help the protein powder company gain awareness. The influencer offers benefit to their audience and the protein powder company may gain more leads and customers.

Real-Time Engagement

Make sure you’re tracking brand mentions and responding to comments, shares, reposts and likes in real time. The more engaged you are with influencers and your audience, the better your social posts will perform and the better your results.

Anytime you do have the benefit of an organic influencer endorsement make sure you leverage it. Repost it, share it, and get the most return on investment possible. If you’re leveraging paid influencer marketing efforts or you’ve partnered with an influencer, plan your marketing and efforts in advance so you can control the message and respond and engage in real time.

“Success” Budgets

Marketing budgets can vary depending on your company goals and your size. Your budget can also vary based on the marketing tactics that you embrace. For example, paid SEO is more expensive than organic. You’ll likely gain faster results with paid, but at a price. The same is true for influencer marketing. As you begin to budget and plan for your first influencer marketing campaign, there are several considerations to make when deciding how much to spend.

#1 A Percentage of Your Overall Marketing Budget

How much do you plan on spending this year, or this quarter, on marketing? What can you afford? With that number in mind, sit down and allocate it. What tactics are you planning on using and how much of your budget do you want to allocate to each tactic?

For example, you may use content marketing, influencer marketing, and paid advertising. You might decide to allocate 50% to influencer marketing, 20% to content marketing, and the other 30% to paid advertising.

#2 Your Anticipated Return on Investment

Another way to look at your potential influencer marketing budget is the return on investment you’d like to have. For example, if there’s a $10 to $1 return on investment then you can anticipate the expense based on the sales you’ll make. With influencer marketing, the data varies but generally runs between $6 and $7 per dollar spent. Of course, not all influencer marketing campaigns are designed to generate sales, so you’ll also have to consider your goals.

#3 Rules of Thumb

If you prefer to work with a “Rule of Thumb” when creating your influencer marketing budget, here are a few rules to consider:

25% of your marketing budget – Many experts recommend investing a quarter of your marketing budget on influencer marketing.

$10,000 to $20,000 – In general, most influencer marketing experts state that if you can begin with $10,000 or more, then you’ll have the most flexibility in your campaign and you’ll be able to scale. With an investment of $20,000 or more, you’ll have better results.

Deciding how much to spend on your first influencer marketing campaign is a big decision. It’s always recommended to focus more on strategy and the quality of the influencer than to worry too much about spending a ton of money. Start small and grow your budget as you learn how influencers impact your audience and grow your business.

Influencer Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

, ,

Influencer marketing has become a major focus of marketing campaigns around the country. Companies have realized that word-of-mouth marketing from social media influencers carry a lot of weight. Influencer marketing campaigns generate a high return on investment. In fact, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, marketers received $7.65 in earned media value for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. That’s a pretty good ROI. When you’re getting ready to create your influencer marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to know how promotions are different from your typical marketing campaigns.

Relationships are KEY

The biggest difference between an influencer marketing promotion and a typical marketing promotion is that your focus is largely on the relationship that you have with the influencer. You, of course, want the influencers to be interested in your products or services, so they have to be relevant to your industry niche.

Additionally, you want to make sure that they’re not promoting your competition, so there is some research involved. Some influencers will promote anything for a fee. It’s probably a good idea to steer clear of these folks. Their credibility will be damaged over time and their audience will stop paying attention. Instead, make sure you’re building a relationship with someone that promotes with transparency and authenticity.

Whether your influencer marketing efforts are organic or paid, or a combination of both, it’s important that the person representing you reflects your values and the values of your audience. Conflicting messages can harm your brand.

Not Always Planned

With organic influencer marketing, you’re not going to know when someone is mentioning your brand online. This means that it’s important for you to create real-time systems to both track your brand and to respond. If an influencer mentions you, you want to be able to engage and respond immediately to get the most from the mention.

Using Different Tools

Any marketing tactic requires tools for you to measure and track your results. Influencer marketing means you’ll probably be using specific codes for your paid influencers to use so you can track results or sales from their posts. You’ll use tools like Sprout Social or Tap Influence to find and engage with influencers. And you may use UTM codes for tracking your influencer results.

Strategy is different too. While your goals may be the same or similar, how you arrive at those goals will be different. Influencer marketing is most closely related to word-of-mouth marketing, but there are still many differences. Create your strategy first, keep relationships at the forefront, and know how you’re going to track results.

3 Mistakes to Avoid with Influencer Marketing Campaigns

,

Influencer marketing is at the top of most business marketing strategies. The power that influencers can wield to help an organization increase their reach, awareness, and conversions is unprecedented. When a marketing tactic is this powerful it’s tempting to jump right in and get in on the action. That, however, would be a mistake. Let’s take a look at why it is important to create a solid strategy, and three mistakes to avoid with your influencer marketing campaign

#1 – No Goals

What is a strategy without goals? It’s an idea, nothing more. It is critical to establish goals for your influencer marketing campaign and then to set key performance indicators (or “KPIs”) to support your goals. KPIs are your measurements. They answer the question, “was this tactic successful?”

Common influencer marketing goals include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Brand awareness
  • Sales/conversions
  • Increasing exposure
  • Growing followers
  • Product launch

#2 – Wrong Influencer

There are many reasons why people choose the wrong influencer. They may choose someone because they fit the budget. They may choose someone because they’re flashy and have a huge audience. While budget and reach are important considerations, it can be a mistake to focus too much on them.

When you’re looking for influencers to both pay and to connect with (depending on whether you’re choosing an organic or paid influencer marketing tactic), it’s important to make sure they are 100% relevant to your audience. It doesn’t matter if they have a million followers. If those followers aren’t going to buy your product or service, then you’re wasting your time. And if your current audience doesn’t know or care about that influencer, then again… more time and energy (and possibly money) wasted.

#3 – Lack of a Long-Term Approach

Lastly, it’s important to remember that influencer marketing isn’t a one and done tactic. It is something that improves over time. It’s about building relationships and establishing trust and credibility with your audience. Don’t make the mistake of being shortsighted. Start small with your strategy, stay true to your mission and values, and grow your influencer marketing relationships and strategy. This gives you the power to adapt and leverage what works. Treat influencer marketing like your other marketing tactics, set goals, measure results, adapt and improve.

Influencer Marketing Metrics

What are you measuring? How do you know if you’re successful? It’s the age-old question that must be answered with any marketing tactic. With some marketing tactics, it’s an easy answer.

For example, if you’re striving to grow your email list then you’re going to look at click-through rates and conversions or sign-ups, right? With other marketing tactics, it can be more difficult to measure your results. That is certainly true for influencer marketing, yet there are metrics that you can take a look at.

The Most Important Metric is ROI

Your return on investment is the most important metric that you can look at with influencer marketing. Yes, depending on your goals there will be other metrics to review like:

  • Website traffic
  • Referral visitors
  • Social media engagement
  • New leads/subscribers
  • Social media reach

However, the bottom line and the most important thing to measure is your return on investment. What does this mean for you? It means careful tracking of everything that goes into an influencer marketing campaign and everything that you get out of it.

How do you measure ROI?

First and foremost, you want to make sure you’re tracking expenses. If you pay an influencer to take over your Instagram, the cost is easy to measure. It’s what you pay them. However, if you’re using less straightforward tactics, then the expense can be a little trickier to track. Create systems to stay on top of those expenses.

Tracking income or return can be easier in some instances. For example, if ABC brand takes over your Instagram and sends everyone the same coupon code, then your return is easy to track because you can track sales via that coupon code. But what about those people who didn’t purchase right now but did sign up for your email list from that Instagram takeover? That may generate a sale down the road.

Determine your parameters and create systems. Determine what you want to measure as it relates to your goal and your investment. Then create systems to track it. Look into things like tracking pixels and Instagram’s Click to Buy feature as means to track and analyze your return on investment.

All in all, it’s good to know that influencer marketing tends to deliver a better return on investment than any pay-per-click advertising campaign. Dollar for dollar, you make more money and it can pay off down the road as your brand awareness and credibility grow.

Improving Your Reach

, ,

With any marketing plan there are a variety of goals. Companies and brands want to increase conversions, boost traffic, grow their list, become an authority, and of course improve reach. Reach is defined as the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a brand during a specific time period.

With social media you may think it’d be easy to increase reach. However, that’s not always the case. Reach is important because it helps you connect with more people who may be interested in your products or services.

There’s a lot of competition on social media, and you can post day after day and grow your audience, albeit slowly. The good news is that there are some proven tactics that help you reach a more significant number of people. Let’s take a look.

Sweepstakes, Drawings, and Contests

Have you ever noticed those posts on social media where you’re required to like or share or comment or tag someone to enter? Guess what? That is designed to help increase reach, and followers. If the entry is to tag two friends to win a prize, there’s a good chance those two friends who are tagged are new to your content and boom, you’ve just increased your reach. It’s not a tactic that you should use every week or even every month, but it can be an effective part of your strategy.

Invitation or Encouragement to Share

There are other tagging options that are effective and perhaps a bit more passive. You can invite someone to tag a friend. For example, “tag a friend who could use this”-type posts pop up often. You can share information and invite readers to tag friends who may be interested as well. Depending on your niche, you can also encourage sharing to spread the good news, whether you’re promoting a launch or sharing important information.

Earned Media and User Generated Content

Encourage or invite your audience to tag you in content, to talk about you, and to create content for you. For example, you might invite followers to share photos of themselves using your product and to tag you in the photo. (This can also be a contest tactic). Their friends will see their content and you’ll expand your reach.

Influencer Marketing

Finally, influencer marketing can help increase your reach. When a social media influencer talks about your company, thousands (perhaps millions) may be exposed to you for the first time. You can pay influencers to post on your site or to talk about you. It can also happen organically. If you do use this tactic, be sure to have plenty of valuable content on your site and ready to publish so you can leverage the recognition.

3 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Influencer marketing is at the top of most business marketing strategies. The power that influencers can wield to help an organization increase their reach, awareness, and conversions is unprecedented. When a marketing tactic is this powerful it’s tempting to jump right in and get in on the action. That, however, would be a mistake. Let’s take a look at why it is important to create a solid strategy, and three mistakes to avoid with your influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer Marketing Campaign Mistake #1 – No Goals

What is a strategy without goals? It’s an idea, nothing more. It is critical to establish goals for your influencer marketing campaign and then to set key performance indicators (or “KPIs”) to support your goals. KPIs are your measurements. They answer the question, “was this tactic successful?”

Common influencer marketing goals include, but aren’t limited to:

Brand awareness
Sales/conversions
Increasing exposure
Growing followers
Product launch


Influencer Marketing Campaign Mistake #2 – Wrong Influencer

There are many reasons why people choose the wrong influencer. They may choose someone because they fit the budget. They may choose someone because they’re flashy and have a huge audience. While budget and reach are important considerations, it can be a mistake to focus too much on them.

When you’re looking for influencers to both pay and connect with (depending on whether you’re choosing an organic or paid influencer marketing tactic), it’s important to make sure they are 100% relevant to your audience. It doesn’t matter if they have a million followers. If those followers aren’t going to buy your product or service, then you’re wasting your time. And if your current audience doesn’t know or care about that influencer, then again… more time and energy (and possibly money) wasted.

Influencer Marketing Campaign Mistake #3 – Lack of a Long-Term Approach

Lastly, it’s important to remember that influencer marketing isn’t a one and done tactic. It is something that improves over time. It’s about building relationships and establishing trust and credibility with your audience. Don’t make the mistake of being short-sighted. Start small with your strategy, stay true to your mission and values, and grow your influencer marketing relationships and strategy. This gives you the power to adapt and leverage what works. Treat influencer marketing like your other marketing tactics, set goals, measure results, adapt and improve.

Event Influencer Marketing

,

Event influencer marketing is all about inviting one or more influencers in a particular niche or industry to headline the event. The chance to network with them is a key selling point of the event, as is the opportunity to increase one’s knowledge of influencer marketing best practices and network with other online marketers.

 

Harnessing the Power of Influencer Marketing 2.0:

Marketing group MSL in London offers free one-day events based on key topics in marketing, such as influencer marketing and New Rules, New Talent.

 

Playlist Live:

Playlist Live is an annual video marketing event with a full day of courses and an entire weekend of events. It is held in Orlando, Florida each spring.

This year, a second event will be held in the Northeast, Pop Up Playlist Tri-State in Secaucus, NJ, from September 21 to 22, 2018 at the Meadowlands Expo Center.

If you want to take your YouTube Marketing to the next level, it’s worth a visit.

 

The Social Shake-Up:

The Social Shake-up includes interactive sessions, case studies, panel discussions, fireside chats and clinics on almost every aspect of social media marketing, including influencer marketing. The keynote speaker is always a top influencer in social media.

The next event will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, May 6 to 8, 2019.

 

Influence This:

Influence This is a gathering of many of the top influencers in Canada. They offer an annual meeting and workshops in Toronto, with many opportunities to network with influencer and top online marketing professionals.

 

VidCon:

VidCon is the largest video marketing conference, with workshops on YouTube and Facebook video marketing and more. It has three tracks, Community, Creator and Industry, so you can go just to engage with influencers, master your video-making skills, or network to form new alliances and strategic partnerships.

It is held annually in Anaheim, California, and the next event is June 20 to 23, 2018.

 

Content Marketing World:

This huge gathering offers more than 120 sessions and workshops on what makes great content, and how you can create it. It will be held September 4 to 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. If you create content or want to implement a new strategy for your content, this is the place to network and learn.

 

The Tastemaker Conference:

This conference is held in Salt Lake City, Utah from September 14 to 15, 2018. It is a food blogger conference for culinary content creators and foodie influencers. Learn how to create your own successful food blog, network with influencers, and learn all you can from the 25 speakers and instructors.

 

Influencer Marketing Show 2018:

This show will take place in London, England, from October 15 to 16, 2018. It will cover how brands, agencies, and influencers can work together to make the most of their marketing campaigns. Speakers will reveal tools, tips and strategies and how to use metrics to get the best return on investment.

 

Social Fresh 2018:

This conference will take place at Winter Park, Florida from December 5 to 7, 2018. It will focus on the hottest new trends in social media marketing and offer the opportunity for networking, connecting with influencers, and special industry-based training for the finance, higher education, hospitality, and non-profit sectors.