There’s been a ton of talk about social media influencers as of late. And really, it’s for good reason. They’re relatable people who reach wide audiences. Plus, they’re perceived as credible without having a publication behind their names. What’s not to love?
Take in that 40 percent of Twitter users have bought something because an of influencer’s tweet, and your answer will likely be “absolutely nothing.” Social media influencers are an incredibly powerful weapon when it comes to raising awareness about your brand.
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But what if you don’t produce a popular video game, or sell a beauty product for an influencer to review? While some may think influencers are reserved for more trendy industries, that is definitely not the case. Anyone who shares your announcement or story on social media is effectively an influencer, and can help get your message out to the audience you’re trying to reach. Plus, you’re audience will likely trust them more. Eighty-one percent of people say they trust a recommendation from a friend over a company advertisement. When finding the right influencer for your industry, there’s a few things to think about.
Highlight your target audience
Simple, yes. But incredibly important. Just like at the beginning of any marketing campaign – whether it be PR, content marketing or SEO – you need to ask yourself: who is the audience I am trying to reach? And if you don’t target the right audience, your marketing efforts will fail. You’ll end up wasting money trying to talk to people who don’t care about the announcement, product or story.
Find out who can reach your audience
Once you know who your audience is, you need to find out who has an influence over them. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do. What if you sell something like… drain pipes? Well, then you need to find out who’s talking about them to an established following.
So how exactly do you do this? Firstly, try setting up Google Alerts to monitor keywords pertaining to your brand – things like plumbing, DIY home repair, pipes etc. You’ll have to track this closely, to discover the people who regularly use the keywords most related to your niche.
You can also track hashtags to search for influencers on Twitter and Facebook, and record potential influencers on a spreadsheet or simple Google Doc. For a more in-depth search, check out blogger outreach platforms BlogDash or BuzzSumo to find the right people to promote your content.
Develop a strong narrative and sell it to an influencer
You need to figure out a way to fit your company into ‘the bigger picture.’ It could be how you’re changing a broken industry, or why you founded your company. For example, if you decided to launch your health startup after a problematic trip to the ER, well, then you’ve got a pretty solid narrative. You experienced something negative, and set out to change the situation for the better.
A strong narrative will help you prove to influencers your story is important. So when pitching to an influencer make sure to say what your product does – but more, why it matters to their audience.
Try something like this:
My name is Victoria, and I’m the founder at [company name]. I think your blog has some great content. We have an opportunity for health bloggers at [company name] and were wondering if you might be interested.
Our app helps users to monitor their food intake, along with the way their body reacts. I had the idea for the app after I ended up in the ER after a bad allergic reaction last year, but doctors couldn’t figure out what I was allergic to. Happens to thousands of people each year.
We’re launching in one month, but we’d like you to be the first with access to the app. We’d like you to try it out for two weeks, and write two blogs posts about what you think. Let me know if this is something that interests you.
Work out how much you want to pay
While some have been a bit in the dark about how much influencers really make, a new tumblr page sheds light on the subject. Who Pays Influencers is a crowd sourced list of how much brands pay influencers for their work (or sometimes, don’t pay them at all). Anyways, it’s a good resource for figuring out what’s being paid out. American Express, for example, paid an influencer $800 dollars for Instagram/Twitter posts. HP paid $1000 and gave the influencer a tablet for one Instagram, one blog post, and two photos in a Vine.
Clearly, influencers who work with large companies have a high price tag. Check out this new chart by social media management platform Captiv8, which outlines how much some influencers are earning. If you’re a smaller company, it’s likely best to speak with your influencer to figure out a price that best suits you.
There’s lots of things to consider when hiring an influencer. But if you target the right ones and manage to sell your mission to them effectively, there’s no reason you can’t reap the benefits of influencer marketing, too. Even if you sell drain pipes.
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