A Guide to Using Influencers and Brand Advocates to Increase Sales
Statistics show that brand advocates have an almost 50% chance of influencing purchase decisions and are 70% more likely to be trusted as a source of information. What this means for business owners is that investing in influencers and brand advocates is the way to go if you’re looking to boost sales.
By using this strategy, you can leverage influential individuals in your community, bloggers and other brand advocates to increase your sales both online and offline. Want to see how much different this marketing method makes? Follow our guide to using influencers and brand advocates to increase sales.
Who Is The Perfect Influencer For Your Business?
This is someone who has the right combination of engaged followers, loyalty and affinity towards a brand. In addition, he or she will create content (whether audio or visual) that is in agreement with the company’s message and the beliefs and interests of their existing and potential customers.
To be the right candidate for your brand, an influencer must meet these three important criteria: Scope, Significance and Resonance.
Scope refers to how many people access their content. Big brands get attracted to celebrities with wide scope, because they are able to achieve significant awareness about their products or services using these influencers.
Significance relates to the level of alignment between the influencer(s) and your target audience. If what you are selling is in line with and relevant to an influencer’s audience, it holds more meaning for them and will lead to success.
Resonance works with significance when it comes to the perfect influencer. Your product should be important to the influencer and his or her audience.
When choosing the perfect influencer for your business, ensure that there is a common ground or relationship with your goals in all the three areas. Using just one criteria to decide on an influencer or brand advocate for your business means you would be losing out on the benefits of the other two.
How to Find Effective Influencers for Your Business
If what you need for your business marketing strategy is influencers, the first step is to define your goals. Are you trying to get more people to visit your local shop or to visit your website? Then you need to find the people in your local community who talk about your industry. Even if your product holds mass appeal, try to narrow down the bracket of target customers as much as possible. The smaller your target market, the more personalised, relevant and appealing your content messaging would be.
For example, if you sell baby clothes to a Welsh target market, then you should search Google for ‘cute baby clothes in Wales.’ In addition to the online business listings matching that search phrase that would pop up in the search results, there would also be URLs that link to related online content. Usually, some of those contents would be blogs belonging to bloggers in your local area.
If you are unable to find great blogs and bloggers, don’t despair, there are other means of finding influencers with the right scope, significance and resonance for your business. Check some of the local news organisation websites in your area to find the information you need. Read through the comment sections, and you will likely find a few people with a good grasp of your industry.
Twitter is another great option for finding effective influencers. Go to twitter’s search page and carry out the same search. Make sure you are searching relevant areas to get the best results.
Influencer Monitoring Stage
Why do you need to monitor an influencer? Jumping right in to engage the services of influencers to market your business can greatly lower your chance for success. You are about to present them as representatives of your brand to your target customers, therefore the stage of influence monitoring should not be ignored.
Start by monitoring their daily activities, the kind of content they are posting and what their audience is relating the most with. At the monitoring stage, you can get to know a potential influencer and ease the process of building a working relationship with them in the future.
Who do you choose? An individual with a wide social media scope of about 200,000 followers or one with 20,000 followers?
Most businesses would go for the person with more followers as their brand influencer, but this is not always the better option. The fact is, influencers with a bigger following have less influence than those whose spheres of influence are smaller.
More often than not, it is the influencer with a smaller total following that holds powerful influence within their niche. Therefore, bigger is not always better when it comes to influencer marketing, and monitoring your prospects before engaging them is the best way to discover this.
Building Business-Influencer Relationships
After you have made a decision about the influencer you wish to collaborate with, the next step is getting them to notice you. These relationships take time to build. Some helpful hints for rousing your influencer’s interest include:
- Start connecting with them online. If they are bloggers, take the effort to read their posts and leave comments to show that you are interested and that you find their information valuable.
- You’ll need to scratch their back so that they can scratch yours in turn. Share their blog content on your blog, Twitter account, Instagram page, Facebook business page, and tag them on their different social networks too.
- When you have built up to a two-way conversation with them, it’s time to invite them over to visit your local establishment. Some businesses offer incentives at this stage so that the influencer feels more inclined to mention their businesses online, in order to gain more brand awareness and hopefully boost sales.
Not all influencers are created equally. Therefore, as effective as the method of using brand advocates and influencer marketing is, you still need to pick the right people who have the reach and relevance, and can also resonate loudly with your target audience to achieve your desired results.