If you are an entrepreneur or small business you are probably asking yourself the famous question: “how do I find more people to buy my product?” You’ve probably discovered social media by now, and chances are that you are working with several channels to build your brand and expand your influence.
But sometimes social media can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack right? You spend countless hours publishing and promoting your content and you don’t see the results that you are expecting.
The new trend and most effective tool of marketing your product online is by using influencers! An influencer is someone that people are inspired by, and who shares content that users are more likely to engage with.
For example, if you have a makeup brand you don’t have to pay loads of money to get your product into the most famous makeup or fashion magazines. You can easily find 10-15 micro influencers, people with 1-100,000 followers, and have them advertise your product.
According to Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the biggest problems in marketing today is “that people are using social networks for distribution instead of as native storytelling platforms”. Story-telling is the most powerful way to present your product, and influencers allow you to just that because they have the followers that are bought into their story.
Here are 6 easy steps to market your product online using influencers:
Step 1 – Look for Influencers that Already LOVE You.
The most obvious place to look for an influencer would be your existing following. You might already have influencers that love your brand and that you can reach out to. There are a few ways to do this.
Search through your followers list.
I know that this might be tedious, but well worth it. I looked at my own followers today and noticed Scott Eddy, a serial entrepreneur that has over 1.2 million followers. Though this is not the best example, because his following is HUGE and it might be more worth it for me to target a smaller influencer, I messaged Scott and asked for a review of my product.
Look for keywords or branded hashtags
Another super powerful tool is to look up hashtags or keywords that someone would use to talk about your product. This is another way to find influencers that already love your brand. I looked up a hashtag with my company’s name on it and I found someone already loving it:
Turns out, Mike Pitt (@themikepitt) is a micro-influencer with 22k followers that loves our product. Now I can reach out to Mike and ask him to make a video review of the product, offer to write a guest post for his blog, or to create a webinar together.
Step 2 – Use a Tool to Search for Influencers
If you maxed out your own following, or didn’t find anyone to target you should definitely use one of the awesome influencer tools available. Here are a few tools that we love:
- Upfluence – A super easy tool to use that allows you to search for influencers using search terms, to see all the analytics on them, and to contact them either 1 by 1 or all at once.
- Influence.co – a free tool that allows you to search for influencers based on location, follower count, and category.
Here is an article that lists the 10 best tools for finding influencers, for your pleasure viewing.
Step 3 – Perfect the Influencer Pitch
The last step to successfully market your product using influencers is to pitch the influencer. If you are using a tool then some of them allow you to contact them directly. If you are using your own following then you will have to do some research. Never be afraid to contact a person, it is the key to your business success, and never take a rejection personally. You might get a lot of NO’s before you get your first YES.
Here are some general guidelines to follow:
Explain the Benefits
Clearly explain the benefits and the value that you are bringing to the influencer. How is your product or your expertise help them build their brand? How will it help them create better content to engage their audience?
Describe exactly what you want the influencer to do. If you want to do a webinar, tell them when, how, and where you will be doing it. If it’s a review, tell them which product you will send them, when, and how many.
Create a Deadline
Provide a deadline by which you want to complete your project. If it’s a webinar tell them when it will be happening. Don’t be afraid to give them a small window of time, it will help them decide and respond to you faster, and you can always move the date back if needed.
Here is an example of a simple pitch I used this month that landed me a guest post opportunity:
My name is Ben Kazinik,
I love your blog, and I’m already using the tools that you described.
I work for a social media management platform called eClincher,
we are the most powerful platform out there, with the most features.
Can we do a guest blog post with you guys?
I want to title it something like this: “5 Easy Steps to Save 50% Time on Managing Your Social Media”
Please let me know this week if you can,
Step 4 – Search for Influencers By Topic
Another great way to search for influencers is by looking for people that have posted about a specific topic. For example, the team behind Brightech wanted to branch out and started an account called @_farmhouseinteriors_. The company sells lamps and they figured that if they create a second account around Farmhouse, the style, they will get a lot of impressions and traffic back to their site. So they started searching for people that live in farmhouses or that take shots of farmhouse-style homes.
As a result, they were able to grow their account to almost 100k followers in around 6 months and get millions of impressions.
How did they do it?
They reposted the best farmhouse shots and tagged the influencers that took them, slowly developing steady relationships with these guys. Then they sent them product in exchange for more posts and so the collaborations continued.
This brings me to my next tip.
Step 5 – Use a UGC Tool to Get More Traction
For those who don’t know, UGC stands for user-generated content and it has literally blown up on Instagram. Companies, big and small, send their products to influencers on Instagram to take pictures of videos of them.
What’s really cool about this is that brands can put collections of UGC images on their websites using really easy tools. Some of my favorites are Pixlee and FourSixty which have totally customizable UGC galleries that allow you to display all the images of a specific product on each of your product pages and even allow you to embed UGC images into your email campaigns!
One really amazing tool is called Loox that not only collects image and video reviews of your brand and then you can choose to display them on Instagram and other social media channels.
Step 6 – Start an Ambassador Program
This is a really great tip for any brand. If you really want to build long term relationships with influencers then you should start an ambassador program. What does this mean? It means that you make annual agreements with influencers and in exchange for a steady stream of posts and coverage on their accounts throughout the year you provide them with product and a flat fee.
This makes sense to do with the larger influencers, with those over 100k followers on Instagram. Again, every platform is different so depending on your business and industry you might need to use different social media channels. For example, if you sell physical products that are very visual you should double down on Pinterest and Instagram. On the other hand, if you are a B2B marketing company, Twitter and LinkedIn will be your best places to get leads and traffic to your site.
Influencer marketing doesn’t have to be rocket science or a secret channel that’s only available to the top brands. Any brand and business can use influencers to promote their product or service on any social media platform – and do it successfully. The power of using an influencer is the exposure you get to their engaged audience.
If you’re not sure where to start then just use these 6 simple steps:
1. Look for influencers that already love you
2. Use a tool to search for influencers
3. Perfect the influencer pitch
4. Search for influencers by topic
5. Use a UGC tool to get more traction
6. Start an ambassador program
I hope this guide has been helpful for you,
If you have any questions/comments/concerns please reach out to me below.
Happy influencer hunting!
Ben Kazinik is a marketing manager at Brightech, the world’s coolest lighting shop. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world.
Instagrams: @brightechshop, @_farmhouseinteriors_, LinkedIn