What is influencer marketing and why does it matter?
Influencer marketing is the lucrative marketing tactic in which brands leverage social selling power by collaborating with influencers with considerable social media following to increase their business’s reach and visibility. While brands drive sales and increase conversions for their products or services, the influencers’ captive audience benefits from the influencers’ recommendations and advice who are experts in their niche.
In 2021, influencer marketing is going to become more important than ever before. Influencers with strong online presence, loyal social media fans, engaging content, and reputation as an expert in their domain will play an important role in brand promotions in almost every industry and sector no matter how small or big.
How to become a successful influencer?
To be an influencer, you need to create and sustain your online community of followers. It requires consistent effort and dedication to maintain your credibility as an influencer. You also need to learn how to prioritize your followers’ interests and the brands you promote.
Here are 5 fundamentals to be a successful influencer-
To be a top influencer, follow the principle of B.R.A.N.D – Build- Retain- Attract- Network- Decode Digital Marketing Strategies.
Build – Build your influencer empire by gaining genuine followers
Slow and steady wins the race. There are no shortcuts to success in influencer marketing. If you are a beginner who has just started his or her career as an influencer, it can be quite tempting to quickly grow the count of followers on social media channels by posting content or a popular product but something you don’t truly believe in or genuinely recommend. Launching giveaways or freebies can get you some followers, but you can never be sure if they are truly your fans.
Other sleazy paid campaigns or follow-then-unfollow tricks will get you followers in the short term, but it will harm your reputation as an influencer in the long term. You might get thousands of followers, but they would be about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Such followers won’t be people who would care about your content, share it with their friends, or engage with you. They won’t enable you to consolidate your position as a real influencer.
Don’t worry if you are still growing as an influencer. Micro-influencers are favorite brands since they bring a small but truly engaged fan base that increases the brand campaigns’ effectiveness. You should optimize your social media profiles and churn out shareable content to prove your niche’s expertise to capture the authentic audience who would pay attention to the products or service you promote. Above all, be candid with your followers and the brands you promote.
Retain – To retain followers, keep consistency
For influencers, it is important to be passionate and knowledgeable in your niche. Influencers need to consistently post inspiring content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Without a penchant for your chosen niche, it would become cumbersome to post and engage your followers regularly. To safeguard your position as a serious influencer, be careful about the frequency and type of content you post. Maintain a post calendar or visual content planner to schedule your post after thoroughly analyzing them to avoid errors.
To retain your followers, you also need to engage and respond to your fans. Host a live AMA (ask me anything) session, reply to their queries, and encourage active discussions on their interest topics. Follow your fans back, like, retweet, or comment on their post if you find them useful. Being active and engaging with your audience will go a long way to retain followers and grow your clout as a social media influencer.
Attract – Attract followers and Brands through creativity
Get creative with the tone of your content. There is no substitute for creativity when it comes to influencer marketing. Use comedic or cheeky tone in your captions and headlines wherever appropriate. Use a Feminist or empowering tone if it resonates well with the brands you are promoting. Ask deliberative questions to spark conversations or employ euphemisms to get your followers talking to each other. Eye-catching bio, memorable cover pic, and trending hashtags will provide a differentiating factor to your social media profile.
Network – Realize the Power of Networking and Collaborations
Networking or collaborating with other influencers is one of the best influencer marketing strategies. Explore other influencers in your niche and make friends with them. Being an active member of the influencer’s community on various forums will get you more referrals and help you build long-term relationships that would help your growth as an influencer.
The biggest challenge for an influencer is to get noticed by the right brand. Register yourself on an influencer marketing platform such as Intellifluence to connect and collaborate with brands that are the right fit for you. It would provide you ample opportunities to work with brands looking for video reviews, product promotions on social media, or sponsored product reviews on blogs and other platforms. When you get to work with some of the reputed brands available on influencer marketing platforms, your credibility as a top influencer in your niche is consolidated.
Digital Marketing – Learn SEO and Digital marketing strategies
To reach your full potential as an influencer, sufficient knowledge of SEO tactics and digital marketing is crucial. Along with a thriving social media profile, you also need to build a website to provide an additional boost to your reputation as an expert in your niche. You should have an SEO-optimized website and dedicated landing pages to showcase your prowess as an influencer to prospective brands.
Evaluate your Google analytics, search console, and social media analytics reports to understand the topics and content your audience likes the most. Create personas of your target audience and demographics to develop strategies and social marketing campaigns to generate the desired response. Analyze keywords that bring you the most traffic and focus on the keywords that could lead potential audiences and brands towards your website. Additionally, create your business profile on top-ranking online directories. Securing a top position in Google search results would expand your reach and online presence.
An underrated channel for influencers is email newsletters. Well-designed newsletters with awesome content can greatly impact your ability to retain users, build your image, and win trust as an influencer with authority. Sending regular personalized newsletters to your fans boosts your promotional activities and makes brands like you even more.
On your journey to becoming a top influencer, you will need to have patience and strong willpower. No one can expect to become an influencer overnight. I hope the above tips can help you achieve positive results and enable your growth as an influencer.
Hunaid Germanwala is an INTP Author and digital marketing specialist whose mind is always buzzing with creative ideas. Hunaid graduated with a Masters Degree from Ulm University in Germany and has been working as a digital marketing professional since 2014. His motto in life is “Better to Light the Candle than to Curse the Darkness.”