At SizzleForce Marketing, we love to share a snappy headline or two when we run across them. The other day, one team member forwarded the following headline from a Benzinga article to us for discussion:
“Elon Musk Threw the DOGE a Bone”
Did we love it? Hate it? We weren’t sure, but there was yet another lesson to be learned from not only the headline but from the content of the article itself. In an age where GameStop and cryptocurrency have become a buzzword, Elon Musk seems to have become an influential person, the likes of which we have never seen in the finance world. With one word, Bitcoin topples. And with another word, DOGE suddenly has a very good day.
Influencer marketing is nothing new, of course. It has existed since the beginning of time. But perhaps, more than ever, it has become a commodity. And if you aren’t considering it as part of your overall marketing efforts, you might be missing out big time. Influencers have some pretty astonishing power. Consider the following statistic: 40% of millennials feel like their favorite YouTube stars understand them better than even their own best friends.
Talk about influence.
We are going to roll out the red carpet for your future social media besties, and tell you about some influencer marketing tools you can use to not only find the perfect match for your brand, but have a shot at reaching out to them. But first things first…
Are influencers a good marketing tool?
Influencer marketing most certainly is a good content marketing tool. It isn’t just a good content marketing tool; it’s a GREAT content marketing tool. The numbers state it as clearly as anything else. Just for example:
- According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 84% of marketing professionals (ya know, the people who know how to sell stuff) now use influencer marketing as a sales tactic.
- BigCommerce reports that nearly 90% of marketers think influencer marketing efforts pay off at least as well as other marketing methods, if not better.
But despite these statistics, many small business owners hesitate to invest in influencer marketing. And the reasons are understandable.
How much does it cost for influencer marketing?
It has become almost something worth rolling your eyes over every time you see a social media influencer’s sponsored post on Instagram. They are clear to see. Maybe someone who looks perfectly polished and like they rolled out of bed with impeccable style and makeup is holding up the latest and greatest lipstick shade, pronouncing it the best lipstick since the invention of Marilyn Monroe. And at the end, they say #ad or #sponsoredpost or something else. You wonder, how much did they get paid to wax on and on about the benefits of said lipstick brand?
This is a tricky question to answer because it is so specific to the brand and the influencer. But keep in mind the following points:
- According to a study done by Influencer Marketing Hub, Viral Nation, and NeoReach, businesses make $5.20 for every $1 spent from their influencer marketing budgets.
- Compensation for influencer marketing doesn’t always come in the form of money–it sometimes comes in the form of free products or services.
- If your brand is in a smaller niche, you might be able to find influences that speak to your specific audience in a powerful way for far less money.
How to Find Influencers for Your Brand?
- First of all, for most small business owners, it doesn’t make sense to go for the Kim Kardashians of the world. Keep in mind the following categories that generally apply to influencers, and start there:
Nano-influencers: 1,000–10,000 followers
Micro-influencers: 10,000–50,000 followers
Mid-tier influencers: 50,000–500,000 followers
Macro-influencers: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers
If you have done your customer avatar work, you should have a crystal clear idea of your target audience, as well as your audience demographics. Use that information to narrow down an influencer list that aligns with your brand. Remember that niche influencers can be extremely powerful too!
- If you have been doing a bit of social listening, you might already know who some of the influential people in your niche are. Other ways to find relevant influencers in your industry include:
- Ask! Your customers will probably be happy to share with you who they follow on social media or watch on YouTube.
- Try an influencer marketing tool like BuzzSumo Influencers to discover those with clout in your niche. Speaking of clout…
- You used to be able to use an app called Klout to calculate someone’s influence. That’s right; they would take all the data from social media and aggregate it into a pretty score. Unfortunately, that company no longer exists. So what is a small business owner to do? The answer is simple: look at their account and see what kind of engagement rate they are getting. Woomio recommends taking these numbers to a science, calculating what they call the “Reach Efficiency Rate,” a sort of number that helps you figure out your projected ROI for any specific influencer. Check out how to calculate that in their article here.
- Watch for scams and cons. Many so-called influencers pay for their engagement, and that is the opposite of what you want. Make sure your influencer inspires authentic engagement.
Know what your goals for your campaign are BEFORE you contact the influencer
Found relevant influencers in your niche but not sure what to do with the information? Here are a few tips to solidify your influencer marketing strategy (which includes knowing exactly what you want to ask for) BEFORE contacting them.
- Expect to receive a media kit from the influencer if they have any sort of established influence. It might have packages and prices already available to you. Some influencers might have this information available on their website.
- Have your graphics, branding, and campaign goals in mind before you reach out…. BUT…
- Trust them to tell your brand story in their OWN voice. They are the influencer, and anything that is too forced or contrived to match your brand might ring false to the very audience you are trying to influence.
- Get creative. From collaborations to contests, there are many more ways you can leverage influencer marketing to increase your reach beyond just an Instagram social media post of your product.
What are the best sites and tools for influencer marketing campaigns
Ok, so you have committed to making influencer marketing a part of your overall marketing strategy. You’ve done your research and identified a couple of influential people you want to reach out to. Now what?
Well, you need to reach out to them. Lucky for you, there are tons of excellent influencer marketing tools to make that MUCH easier. Here are just a few you should check out:
First of all, BuzzStream offers a browser extension that lets you see “behind the curtain,” so to speak, of blogs you might already be reading in your niche. But beyond that, it allows you to contact those people and keep track of your outreach campaigns. And for the price, it is well worth at least trying out. As of this writing, they offer a two-week trial. What have you got to lose?
NinjaOutreach is another influencer discovery tool similar to BuzzStream but with additional capabilities that add social media platforms to the mix, such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. The price tag is also heftier. You can, however, also try it for 7 days!
So you don’t want to use a templated, mechanized email system to contact your influencer prospect? Hunter might be the way to go. It can help you find their email address and contact them directly with personalized outreach emails. With their free plan, you verify up to 50 email contacts as of this blog writing.
Many of these and similar influencer marketing tools help you not only identify influential people in your niche but manage your overall campaigns. Take them for a test run and see which one works best for you and your budget!
If all of this sounds exciting and scary at the same time, you are not alone. We hope you will join our Facebook group, where other small business owners and entrepreneurs support each other in leveling up their marketing game! You can ask questions, learn a thing or two, and we’re pretty sure you will make a friend or two along the way as well.