How To Influence The Influencer

Building the relationship might be the most important part of influencer marketing

Behind some of the biggest digital success stories of 2016 you won’t find a major brand or an agency with a fancy award but instead a funny, relatable, smart and strategic influencer.regular person who can be a trusted source to a niche audience. An audience you are dying to tap into and win the hearts of.

In fact, 51 percent of marketers believe they get better customers from influencer marketing. That’s because they know relationships begin with trust, and an influencer can provide that level of authenticity and trustworthiness that traditional and digital ads can not.

Participation from an influencer doesn’t only give you the relatability factor, but it also can impact your traffic. One share from the right influencer can drive people to your site, impact your sales significantly and can also get you noticed by other influential people in the industry who will be eager to work with you to create the same results!

But we aren’t the only ones who have noticed just how great working with an influencer can be. In the past couple of years, this has become such a desirable form of marketing there are now agencies solely focused on working with them! So don’t think they aren’t just waiting around for you to come knocking. They are busy, sought-after people! That is why building a relationship with them is the most important step you can take.

Here are five ways you can conduct a successful influencer outreach process.

Why Do You Need Influencers?

The WHY is the most important piece of the marketing puzzle. Why do you need influencers? Because they are the missing link that builds trust between brands and their consumers. New research shows that social media influencers might have nearly as much clout as a friend or neighbor and that is something brands need to tap into!

Influencers can convey and spread your message in a way no ad can. Around 40% of respondents said they’d purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer. That means influencer marketing can work; influencers can actually drive people to buy something.

Influencer marketing works because they already know and understand their audience, brands then tap into their ability to target a certain demographic and use their authenticity and passion to promote products and influence buying decision making.

But getting there isn’t a one-way ticket. Before any results like these can be seen you first have to take the time to research, find and build a relationship with influencers who fit well with your brand and message.

1. Get To Know Them

Remember influencer marketing works because it feels real and genuine- it’s like when a friend recommends a product, and suddenly you can’t live without it. The feeling of trustworthiness you want your costumers to feel is also the feeling you have to have when working with an influencer. It’s crucial you do your homework so you can find an influencer who wants to engage with your product or service as much as you want to with their brand!

Identify relevant influencers and take the time to connect with them. There are plenty of tools out there to help make this part easier but doing this yourself can help you see what they are doing first hand. Ask your current followers who they follow, find them on Twitter and Instagram (or whatever social platform you want to use them on) and see what they are doing, how they are engaging their audience and who they already work for.

Don’t expect them to reach out to you and don’t only think about how you can help them. Reach out to them and let them know why you are interested in building a relationship. Understand how a working relationship with your brand can also help the influencer and make sure to highlight their strengths when creating a content marketing strategy with them.

Look through their social media account and make sure your vision aligns with the content they are already creating. Feel free to show your interest by sharing their pictures, posts, and stories they are already putting out there. These social signals will let them know just how interested you are and is a great way to get a feel for how your social media audience would respond to them as well.


2. Be Persistent

Influencer outreach is not easy. You need to be willing to commit as much as you are hoping to get. The best thing to do is to start looking for an influencer before you really need one. That way you can build up relationships before you have to trust them to sell your brand or you are counting on their results to come quickly and favorably to prove your marketing success.

Social media influencers are busy and get contracted by lots of people. When you focus on building a relationship first (rather than results), you can find the best fit for your brand. Make sure you are always talking to a few different influencers, so you never find yourself in a position of need and taking part in a deal that is not mutually valuable.

3. Make It Effortless

When you ask someone to become a part of your brand, it’s best to communicate expectations from the start to make it as easy as possible. Remember this is a partnership so the more comfortable you can make it for your influencer to talk about and share your product or service the better, the relationship and content will be.

The reality is the influencer is doing a lot of the heavy lifting.  You might suggest ideas and content but if it is truly an authentic relationship they will be thinking about how your brand can become a natural part of their story. Whether that means that they are pulling content, designing collateral materials, emailing or engaging with fans through comments, they are the ones that should be executing all tasks. The more information you can give the better the relationship will be!

Influencer Marketing Tips

4. Follow Up

With influence marketing, results come in slower, and your focus should be on the long haul. Whether you are connecting with them to talk about partnering on a project or going over the results of a recent campaign- make sure you are always focused on the relationship part first- not how much money or traffic you are going to see. These are real people, and you need to recognize that their time is valuable and important to the relationship.

Wrap It Up

Don’t get so wrapped up in your content marketing strategy and schedule that you forget to surround yourself with some key players- being influencers.

78 percent of brands increased their content output in the last two years, but average content engagement decreased by 60 percent. Content marketing really needs influencer marketing to succeed. When you find the right person, and they are given a clear idea of what you need and want from them- influencers can do a lot of the heavy lifting!

Just remember, influencer marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And just like with any relationship it takes time to build. The pace of influencer marketing might be slower, but the success can be bigger!

If you want to take your influencer marketing to the next level take a second to connect with us and see how our Marketing Dashboard can easily track, measure and highlight the success of your campaign!

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