Keys to Building an Influencer Program for Your Brand
When brands decide to work with influencers, the first thing that comes to mind is a celebrity or other public figure. But the truth is, working with smaller influencers can be equally, if not more, effective than working with larger ones.
We talked with Nick Schaffer, founder of the digital marketing consultancy PDCA Social and author of The Age of Influence, about how to build a successful influencer program for your company. You can find the full video of our discussion here.
Working with a smaller influencer in the magic middle of followers — someone who doesn’t have millions of followers but also doesn’t only have a couple hundred — can lead to a tighter relationship and deeper connections. It also gives you a larger pool to work with and choose from, making the overall process of creating an influencer program much easier.
Choose who you want to work with wisely
Influencers aren’t just social media users with millions of followers who regularly get tons of media attention. Finding influencers to work with is more about relevance, not their popularity.
Some of the questions you want to ask yourself might be:
- Are their followers part of the audience you want to engage with?
- What community do you want to speak to, and how do they connect with them?
It’s especially helpful to seek out influencers who already use your product or service. That way, the content they create will be more authentic and educated because they already have an affinity for your brand and are familiar with what you do and provide.
Be on the lookout
It’s important to listen for people who are already talking about your brand. You can do this by looking through your Twitter mentions, email database, or Instagram followers.
There are plenty of social media tools, such as Twitonomy and Tweepi, that can help match users with their demographic information and social media handles to help you decide who would be the best fit for your brand’s needs.
When you do find someone you might be interested in working with, utilize a one-on-one approach to build a better, more genuine working relationship with them. Take the time and effort to study their work and reach out to them with specific ideas of how to work together instead of generalizing your approach.
Know what to offer
There are many ways to form mutual relationships between brands and influencers. Here is a list of just a few ideas mentioned:
- Offering free products to consumers and asking them to write a review about them, or to have them post about them or use specific hashtags to get the word out about them.
- Paying influencers directly for their work.
Influencers can help you create content for your brand, but when you do work with content creators, it’s important that your demands always match your remuneration. The more you tell them what to do, the less authentic their content will be, and the less it’ll resonate with your target audience. Giving influencers more freedom leads to originality and allows for you to get real attention and engagement from the community you’re trying to reach.
Offer original, unique benefits to the influencers you want to work with and give them the freedom to create what they want, how they want it. As long as you always disclose your working relationship and follow the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Endorsement Guides, you’ll be on the road to gaining attention, engagement, and connections with customers through your social media.