The Rise and Rise of Influencer Marketing : How to find yours.

There are thethree things every marketer wants from their marketing strategy. Simplicity, affordability and effectiveness.

Sadly, some marketers are stranded on islands. They put messages in bottles and throw them into the sea, hoping something will come back. They work alone.

Others are connected. They’ve learned that collaboration leads to better content, better reach, more traffic and long-lasting relationships. They’ve discovered the power of influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing, spending on which is forecast to reach US$ 10 billion by 2022, up from a mere US$ 2 billion in 2017, has a huge potential to deliver, powerful, effective and  lasting results.

When influencers were initially identified as an important part of event marketing, their authority was measured by how many followers they had. The problem was that fake followers can be bought. Today’s marketers not only look at follower numbers but also how actively they are engaged with them and how targeted the marketing is towards the needs of the audience.

Influencer marketing is more important, more relevant and more popular than ever. If you’re not making friends, you’re doing it wrong. So how do you find the right influencers and get them interested in you?

Tip 1: Determine who you’re trying to influence: Have a clear picture of theaudience, possibly from other marketing efforts, and dive into the audience’s interests a bit deeper to determine who they follow and where they consumeinformation.

Tip 2: Target the right influencer: Uncovering effective influencers is key to growing an audience and this means targeting the right influencers. If there are multiple audiences, multiple influencers may be needed for varying demographics. Focus on the top audience first and go from there.

Tip 3: Beware the fake influencer. A higher number of followers does not necessarily mean that the influencer has a high engagement ratio. To overcome fake influencers, actively look at micro influencers as they have more engagement, a higher impact on their followers and are more localized in their reach resulting in better conversion rates.

Tip 4: Don’t be afraid of online tools: There are several tools that can help you uncover your influencers, including Buzzsumo, Followerwonk and Hootsuite.

Tip 5: Research:With a plan set around what types of influencers you want to target, research is the only way to find the right ones to work with. To start, simple Google research will lead to groups, blogs or websites that your audience frequently visits.

Tip 6: Content: Is the person generating conversation, triggering shares, creating compelling content? Are they trusted by their followers? Are they writing for authoritative publications? Are they creating high-quality content?

Tip 7: Approach gradually, then boldly: Don’t sloppily start messaging your target influencers. Have a strategy behind your outreach efforts. There is no need to turn into an overly eager salesperson. Join an online group your Influencer participates: start by lightly participating and as time goes on your influencer will start recognizing you. Then, when you reach out it won’t feel random, and  they will be much more likely to respond.

Tip 8: Make a Human Connection: Nothing tops making a real, human connection. Study after study has proven that interacting in person is far more impactful then communicating online. Take time to meet and nurture your influencers at your event.

Tip 9: Leverage your network: Not a ground-breaking strategy but use the people you know to get connected the people you want to know.  The world is smaller than you think. Reach out to the person you have in common and ask them to make an introduction.

 Tip 10: Keep an organised list of your outreach efforts: Track and manage your efforts to ensure you’re not either overbearing or forgetting about your influencers. Keep tabs to ensure you’re making the best effort to engage with, but not annoy influencers.

Do it right and you’ll naturally attract advocates who will create more advocates until you have a small army of loyal influencers.

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