Social media platforms are the main stage of advertising efforts for most companies nowadays. Results of viewer engagement on these pages can affect your ranking on search engines as well as improve – or deteriorate – your brand entirely. Companies have been looking for ways to legally and organically boost their numbers on social media and came to the unified answer that are influencers.
However, influencers aren’t new to the scene of marketing. For decades, companies have been using celebrities and famous people to showcase their product and attest to its viability and legitimacy. Back then, it was done differently than it is now.
Marketers used to focus on mainstream celebrities such as movie stars, singers or athletes and even though those people had no expertise in company’s niche, they were featured in newspapers, billboards and television commercials.
That was a good way to market product at the time, but customers are nowadays more educated and information is easy to find. This is why new marketing trends tend to employ influencers that are focused on a specific niche related to the products they are featuring. They may not be experts, but they do extensive research, have some knowledge and deliver information to people daily.
Now, as social media platforms are essential to any company, there is a trend of integrating influencer strategy with social media content strategy. It has proven most useful and provided good results. As much as 70% of millennial consumers look up to influencers when buying a new product.
Here is some more information on this integration if you think that it would suit your business.
Why you should consider including influencers in your social media content strategy
One of the first things you’ll want to know as you work towards building a successful integration between social media and influencer strategy, you’ll probably want to know what kind of benefits you can expect to get. The truth is, no one can know for sure – social media is fickle and you might get some benefits that no expert can predict. The same goes for downfalls. But in an average situation, there are some results that are surely going to happen.
1. Influencers can help increase your social media reach and engagement
The most common and the most essential benefit that influencer strategy can give you on social media is that influencers can boost engagement to your social media pages. Since being heard and seen in the crowd of brands and their messages on social media is one of the biggest challenges modern marketers have to face, this is a good thing. Being unable to have this wide reach on social media – which consequently leads to plummeting of your website traffic – can result with your website moving negatively on search engine results.
Influencers add credibility and value to your product, which in turn, results in engagement. According to study, 67% of customers make decision to buy product after checking reviews. People are unlikely to engage with your company if your product is not, according to their subjective feeling, credible.
Paul Sommers, a marketing strategist at Paper Fellows, states, “With their wide reach, they can help you gain more visibility which leads to more chances of your website visits increasing which leads to your search engine ranking rising. This is a chain reaction that you want for your brand.”
2. Influencers create interesting content
Content creation is vital for your search engine ranking. Google not only looks at keyword usage, visitors and likes, but it also considers the quality and usefulness of your content – which is shown through social engagement, according to Moz.
For most marketers – even the most seasoned ones – content creation and coming up with ideas doesn’t come easy. But a sole purpose of an influencer is to produce quality, shareable content that appeals to the audiences.
You can, of course, use help of copywriters from services like Upwork or ask influencers to create content but by adding their name, you also get a wide reach. Even the smallest bit of content – like a tweet with a carefully crafted hashtag, can and will raise your brand awareness.
3. Influencers can help build a strong link profile
The quality of your link profile directly affects your search engine ranking.
Link profile is comprised of both internal and external links – this means that you’ll need to get backlinks from popular websites in your niche and that is not so easy to do. Working with influencers can get you access to these sites. This can happen if an influencer has his own blog or a website and has some level of communication with authoritative website you want to reach. He can share the link to your website or your post and improve your link profile.
This can result in your link being further shared on social media and it can get those big sites to notice you.
How to find an influencer
Once you have realized what a good asset to your social media content strategy influencers can be, you are probably wondering how to find one for yourself. Here are some steps you can take.
1. Find content similar to what you create
The simplest way to find an influencer is by first looking up the most popular content in your niche. You want your influencer to be in your niche because this adds a note of authority to everything that they have to say about your brand and your products.
You can conduct a search on social media or on Google – both are equally effective. The most popular content that you find is likely going to have a popular writer behind it. Find one that strikes you as interesting and amusing and look up its writer. Use plagiarism checker first – like Copyscape – to determine whether it’s legitimate or copied from another source.
2. Find the creators of that content
This is another step in your search for an influencer. Once you find a perfect article and its writer, look him or her up on social media platforms. If that influencer doesn’t have social media profiles or has a small following, go back to the step one.
If the following is suitable and the influencer is present and active on social media, that is your person and you should move on to the step two – trying to contact him or her.
3. Build a rapport with influencers and request them to share your content
This is the interesting part. It’s a game that you have to play well in order to achieve some results. First thing that you should know is not to contact them with your proposal right away.
What you should do instead is comment on their social media, blog or website – or all three. Try to be subtle and let some time pass between your first contact and your proposal email.
Sara Cornwell, an influencer, who works with Australian Help and other brands, explains, “In that email, inform the blogger on why he or she should share your content. Keep it short, you don’t want to overwhelm them – companies that have tried with longer emails were seen as spam more often than not. But you are more likely to get an influencer to share your content if you have had some previous contact.”
How to involve influencers in your social media content strategy
Now that you have an influencer – or at least an idea how to gain one – you want to know how to work with them on your social media content strategy. Even though the possibilities are endless, here are some of the most utilized ways of incorporating influencer strategy into your social media content strategy.
1. Co-create content
There is a reason why influencers are popular in their own niches – they know what kind of content their audience likes. This is why it’s smart to use their insight to create engaging content. Not only that, but the content you co-create will be shared on their page too – which will result in more people seeing it and potentially reacting to it.
2. Convince them to feature your products
Another amazing usage for influencers is to let them share their insight on your product or service. This is the most common way to integrate influencers in your social media. A few short, positive lines on your product, effective hashtag and a picture or video of your influencer engaging with your product or service is all it takes. Tweets from influencers can increase the purchase intent by 2.7x according to this study. They can also create blog posts for their blog on your products where they elaborate and share their opinion and this blog post can be shared all over social media – again, resulting in your viewership increasing.
34.4% men and 15.4 women look up to blog reviews when buying a new product.
3. Create unique discount codes that your influencer can promote
Discounts are more than a good way to increase your conversions. Even case studies support this. However, marketers and business owners are not too keen on giving out large-scale discounts. Here is where influencers work amazingly.
For instance, if your influencer’s name is Anna Berry, and you have a 15% discount, use a code like AnnaB15 or ABerry15. Essentially, this code can be whatever you want it to be as long as it’s unique to each of your influencers and it’s accurate.
After that, you can allow your influencers to share the code among their following and therefore increase your chances of getting sales. The good example is Big Assignments company, which increased their conversion on 38% by using discounts with influencers. Huge.
Also, a good idea is to feature them on noticeable, colourful images and interesting following text. You can do this or allow your influencers to share the code in their own way – be it with images or not. Your customers – or their followers – will then see them and use them. Even though this strategy is sometimes questionable due to the sudden rise and plummet of sales, most of those people will return to your brand if what you are selling is good and useful to them.
4. Host contests and giveaways with influencers
If your goal is mostly to increase engagement, creating contests and giveaways through your influencers is a good idea. With them promoting your giveaway or contest, they increase your brand awareness and encourage their audience to engage with you. This wouldn’t be possible if you hosted it on your own contest or giveaway but with influencers, it’s a fun event.
Nick Jonson, an SMM manager at Eliteassignmenthelp, confirms, “The key in hosting contests or giveaways is to set a specific set of rules which will increase your numbers of followers, number of likes or shares. For instance, a person would have to like your page, your post, share a link to your page and comment on your post to enter the contest.”
Keep the rules simple yet worth the giveaway. If you make the rules too complicated – or rewards too simple – this might result in less people being interested in your giveaways and contests.
5. Feature influencers in your content
An easy way to impress your audience is by featuring one of your influencers in your posts. For instance, if you want to promote a book, a model reading that book, or an excerpt might be a good idea, but getting a writer to read it, comment and take a picture with it will create a much better impact on your overall results.
People are no longer impressed by models – what they are looking for are real people with achievements that make them a credible source of information and approval for a certain product.
If you have ever wondered how to improve your social media content strategy, influencers are a simple yet effective answer. With them, they bring many strong benefits like having a large and devoted readership, trust that people have in their opinions and their creativity. Finding a perfect influencer for your particular brand or company isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile.
First of all, you need to understand your content and find content that is topically and style-wise similar to yours. Then, you can proceed to look for creators of that content – be it amateurs or professionals and create a strong relationship with them. As you allow them to create for you and feature you – providing rewards in return, their viewership will become yours and you’ll see your business results growing.
Author Bio: Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com
Feature image via Feepik.com