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Marketing

Published February 7th 2014

You’ve Found Some Influencers. Now What?

So you’ve listened to our webinar and know all about how to find online influencers. Now what?

Earlier this month we gave an overview of influencer marketing in this post and then hosted a webinar where we talked a bit more about its benefits, as well as explaining how to use the Brandwatch platform to find influencers on different platforms (if you missed it, you can view the slides and watch the recording).

Lots of the (many, many!) questions we received from attendees asked about the ‘what next’ – what do you do once you’ve found the influencers you want to engage with? What’s the best way to approach them? Which platform should you use?

Of course, the answer to all these questions is ‘it depends’. It depends on your marketing strategy, on your brand’s voice and approach to social media, on your specific influencer strategy and so on.

However, that’s not a particularly useful answer, so here’s some tips for some things you could do to proceed once you’ve identified your market or brand’s influencers.


How do I harness influencers?

 

In the webinar, we discussed some of the benefits of influencer marketing, including the boost to word of mouth marketing. However, there are many more ways that you can harness the influence of your, er, influencers. For example:

  • Co-present at events or invite influencers to speak at your own events, to help increase visibility
  • Give influencers ‘first look’ or privileged access to new products or ideas, and take on their feedback, to not only help your product development but also help them feel valued and invested in the brand
  • Send influencers services or products for free in exchange for honest reviews and organic sharing
  • Invite influencers to your office or events to meet your team and see more ‘behind the scenes’ so you can connect with them on a more personal level

These are some great ways to involve influencers in your brand and activities, so that they feel special, included and invested in the brand – and, hopefully, they’ll begin to share that affinity with your brand/products with their networks, becoming a brand ambassador/advocate for you.

It’s worth noting that you can’t make influencers do anything for you and any advocacy/relationship should be transparent, honest and come from a real interest in the brand, rather than the lure of payment (well, if you want it to be ethical, anyway!)

brand-advocates

How and where should I approach them?

 

As Joel said in his earlier post, you need to approach influencers with a tailored message that makes them feel like engaging with you is going to be beneficial for them.

Consider what the benefits are to them, so that it doesn’t just feel like you’re asking for their time and interest without any reward.

You might have found your influencers on all manner of sites, from forums to blogs to Twitter.

Depending on how you intend to engage with the author, you might want to communicate with them on the platform you found them on –i.e. their natural ‘territory’, or you might need to contact them in other ways to get round the platform’s limitations – for example, Twitter’s 140 character issue, or the need to register to post on a forum.

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We find that good old fashioned email – whenever we can find it – tends to get the best response rate, as we can include more details and even attachments where relevant.

However, if email fails to get a response (some people’s inboxes might just be a bit too overwhelming!) or you cannot find an email address, we’d recommend using social media or direct contact through comments/forums to get in touch.

Don’t pester too much though – no one likes to be harassed! Plus, make sure you scope out the lay of the land first – some niche communities and forums might be resistant to brands or companies ‘interfering’ in their discussions.


How should I measure it?

 

Measuring the impact of your influencer marketing is very important. It depends what your objectives are, but some suggested ways of measuring are:

  • Track your brand with an SMM platform so that you can measure the number of ‘earned’ mentions on blogs and social media that come from your influencers (use author/site lists to keep track of specific authors if using Brandwatch)
  • Track referrals with Google Analytics or similar tools so you can understand how many people have visited your site due to link backs and recommendations by influencers
  • Track changes in sentiment towards your brand overtime to see if your influencer marketing strategy is having an impact on the volume of positive chat

There is a useful post here (complete with obligatory tape measure picture) that details some real-life approaches to measurement.

Have you got any great examples of influencer marketing, or any tips for your fellow readers? Let u know in the comments below, or tweet us @brandwatch.


Join our next webinar

 

Thank you to all those who attended our webinar, and to those who gave us feedback (we LOVE feedback).

If you didn’t attend, and you want to hear our voices rather than just read our words, you can do so on our next webinar, all about understanding your online audience.

Sign up here:

February 20 3.30-4pm GMT  

February 27 1.30-2pm EST 

 

 

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