How to work with influencers.
Written by Brad | JULY 2017 | Reading time = 2m30s.
Building trust is just about the most important thing you can do as a business owner. But building trust takes time. How do you build trust with people you’ve never met? The first thing you can do is build trust with your current clients and hope they use their sphere of trust. Spreading the good word to their network of family and friends. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. This is huge. You can literally turn your ideal client into a brand advocate, who will market your business with a 92% higher strike rate, for free. (Source)
But what about potential clients without a connection to your current world? How do you reach them and make them trust you? Influencers. According to NeReach, an influencer is an individual with an online presence who has the potential to influence the opinions and behaviours of your target market. And while influencers may not have quite the level of influence direct family members or friends do, they can advocate your brand to a much wider audience, building more trust than any advertising campaign ever will. According to a recent study by Tomoson, businesses investing in influencers are making up to a $6.50 return on every dollar spent.
Here are some tips for any health, fitness, nutrition or wellness business owner looking to begin or build their influencer marketing strategy.
Relevancy should be a no-brainer. You only want to work with influencers who have the potential to influence your target market and geographic reach. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work with influencers directly associated with your industry. The best opportunities will come from working with key influencers from other industries who share the same target audience.
Don’t reach for the stars
Do some research, talk to people. Your influencers don’t need to be big time celebrities. Offer a local health blogger / part-time bartender with 5,000 Instagram followers a free month with your product and service in return for a guest blog and a few social posts. This will be far more effective and authentic then had you bribed a celebrity to advocate your business.
Building trust requires trust
Trust is a two-way street, or maybe an intersection. If you want the audience to trust you, you need to trust the influencer really does back your product or service. If an influencer is willing to promote your product or service without actually seeing or hearing what you are all about, you should likely find a new influencer. If you don’t trust the influencer and the influencer doesn’t trust you, things aren’t going to end well. You will project a negative image of your brand, the influencer will lose authority, and the audience will feel deceived.
Influencers aren’t always people
Some of your best influencer opportunities will come from other businesses whose own products and services overlap yours. Look at your current ideal clients. What other groups, interests, circles and businesses do they associate with? Find relevant local businesses with a similar audience and similar values. Ideally, find relevant local businesses who you would be happy to promote yourself. Bartering with and promoting partner businesses is a strategy that is dramatically underused.
Gifting, giveaways, sponsored content
While you never want to overtly bribe an influencer, a little ‘buttering-up’ won’t hurt. Gifting goods and services won’t promise coverage, but it will certainly help. It’s also an excuse to stay connected with your influencer throughout the process. This should be looked at no differently to the way sponsors endorse professional athletes. If you have a product or service your influencers can genuinely enjoy and benefit from, you should be doing everything in your power to ensure others see this.
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