Why Online Influencers are Vital to Your Business

Why are online Influencers vital to your business?

“Brand influencer” sounds so…hipster…but it’s really quite critical to growing your business’s share of voice. In fact, influencer marketing—designed to tap into and leverage your existing social media communities—is a vital tactic that many big brands deploy.

But what, exactly, are influencer marketing and brand influencers? And how can they help your business expand its footprint in a saturated market?

Influencer 101

In the simplest of terms, influencer marketing uses key brand influencers—people with large social followings who are considered trusted experts in a particular industry—to organically spread your message.

The benefits of doing so are numerous. As Social Media Today explains, influencer marketing is an effective way to quickly build trust and follower engagement, raise brand awareness, reach your target audience and create authentic content. It’s particularly valuable in today’s “post-trust” world, in which consumers are weary of big businesses and unlikely to believe what they read or hear on television—but they will heed what others say.

This is why identifying and partnering with trusted, popular “experts” to promote your brand is savvy; they have your customer’s ear and know how to speak their language.

Several companies have really nailed influencer marketing. For example, cosmetics powerhouse Anastasia of Beverly Hills posts videos of popular makeup artists using their products on Instagram, and has amassed 18.2 million followers on that one social channel alone. Similarly, H&M used fashion industry influencers in their social campaigns to drive user engagement, and it paid off. Other examples of successful influencing campaigns include those by Mercedes Benz, Fiji Water and SAP.

Influencer 102

OK, we’ve covered the what and why of influencer marketing, now let’s tackle the how.

First thing’s first: Do your research. Learn what and who grabs your target audience’s attention, what products and services they like, and which social media platforms they utilize the most. Once you have a grasp on these basics, you can properly identify the influencers who best align with your audience’s needs and would be a good fit for your campaign.

Next, take a deep dive into the top influencers you’ve ID’d. Get to know them (from afar). What is their style? Their story? How do they interact with brands? What campaigns are they currently working on? If you’re going to approach an influencer, especially one who is in demand, you must have your proverbial ducks in a row.

When you’re ready to reach out, be prepared to explain your campaign strategy and clearly delineate why you think s/he is the best person to help execute your vision. And have a budget/compensation plan in mind; they rightfully deserve to be paid for the work they’ll undertake on behalf of your brand.

Assuming it’s a perfect match and all parties agree to collaborate, you can begin marketing to your buyer persona. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Develop content tailored to your influencer. Ideas should target top keywords for his/her audience and fill in any gaps in existing content.
  • Disseminate shareable content, like video clips, infographics, compelling images, and blogs posts that will appeal to your audience and are likely to be shared on social media.
  • Leverage influencer testimonials in your marketing materials. Quotes can be used for emails, your website, social media channels and more.
  • Embrace the fact that video killed the radio star. Videos featuring your brand influencer talking about or using your products/services puts your business center stage in a fun, interactive way.
  • Regularly reevaluate. Is your influencer campaign generating social engagement? More followers? Translating to sales? If not, adjust accordingly.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing and how it can benefit your brand? Drop us a line!

 

 

What is True Brand Recognition?

What is True Brand Recognition?

If you’ve ever wondered how true brand recognition works, think about how many times you’ve said, “I need a Kleenex” or “Do you have a Bandaid?”

Sure, you need a tissue or adhesive bandage, but your go-to lingo is asking for a brand. Never thought about it that way, huh?

Well – that, my friends, is brand recognition: When a company or product line is so ubiquitous that you can identify it from a logo, tagline or packaging—and in certain cases, you conflate the item with a brand, per the above examples. It’s subliminal and it’s genius marketing.

Every entrepreneur wants his or her company to be a household name, and building brand recognition is key to achieving that goal. But it’s not always easy or apparent how to go about doing it. So let us help you!

Here are five simple ways to grow your brand recognition:

First thing’s first: Master the logo. A logo is the first visual representation the public will associate with your company or product, so you want it to be compelling and memorable. McDonald’s has the golden arches, Twitter has the bluebird, Starbucks has the mermaid. What do you have?   

Partner up. A fantastic way to spread word-of-mouth recognition is to partner with other brands. For example Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing brand, sponsors free Friday evenings at the Museum of Modern Art and likewise sponsors athletes. This helps get the brand in front of audiences it might otherwise not reach.

Use the interwebs to your advantage. Seriously, invest in good Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Integrating SEO into your online content will help elevate your company’s search engine rankings, which can translate into more eyeballs on your brand (and dollars!). A 2016 study found that search drives ten times more traffic to websites than social media sites. Let that sink in: Ten. Times. More.

Tell a story. Great brands tell great stories; they understand that creating a moving experience or emotional connection with their audience gives them staying power—and a leg up on their competition.

Blog up a storm. A very cost-effective and easy way to build brand recognition is to contribute high-quality guest blogs for sites that are proverbial watering holes for your target audience. It’s an excellent way to engage the public while showcasing your industry expertise. Just ask Buffer; guest blogging helped this company grow from 0 to 100,000 customers.

Of course, engaging a reputable agency with branding experience (*cough, cough*—oh, hey there) will help you navigate not only your overarching brand strategy, but the most effective ways to build the recognition you deserve.  Want to chat about how we can help with your company’s branding? Drop us a line!