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The Rise of Influencer Marketing and how it can help your business

Written by Jacob Salem

Does that athlete or supermodel REALLY use the product they’re promoting?
Probably not.
Most celeb-endorsements are done because of Influencer Marketing. 

Everyone understands the power of connectivity social media provides.  It’s a fantastic revolution in human communication that allows us to stay connected with people across the world, in real time. 

And, those of us who are entrepreneurial-minded, also know something about social media that most users do not: in every communication platform there is an opportunity for profit.  The source of profit comes from interpreting and leveraging this inter-connectivity to a brand’s advantage, and one of the best ways to do this is via influencer marketing.    

What is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is basically collaborating with individuals and business leaders who are active and interested in what you offer, and daily interactions can make your brand stand out with sought-after trusted sources in your niche.

It’s basically the practice of finding key industry players that have influence in your niche and approaching them with a proposal to try your product, guest blog on your site, or cultivate some other form of professional relationship that can be seen online. 

Cross-promotions can create win-wins in the right environment.

Though it might sound simple, there is actually a very specific process involved in generating an influencer relationship… 

Step 1: Engagement

You should never approach an influencer out of the blue with a proposal to review your new product.  Without a personal bond of any sort, the influencer is almost certainly going to ignore you. 

The solution?  Engage with their social profiles.  Read their posts, comment on them in an informed way, and generally make it clear that you respect their opinion. 

Step 2: Discussion

After a bit of engagement, which can take weeks or even months, you may begin to discuss the potential of a guest blog post or a featured article.  You will want to keep it informal to gather information about how the influencer prefers to work – because they may do it for free if they find value in the relationship you’ve created – or, when they know, like, and trust you.

Step 3: Proposal

Make a proposal to the influencer once you have a strong working relationship.  The proposal can be as simple as mentioning a new product and asking what they think of it, or it could be more direct such as offering a paid placement campaign of your brand on their channels. 

Will Influencer Marketing Help My Business?

There is no question that influencer marketing will help your business.  To go back to the question of leveraging: you want to get as much positive press as possible, always, while spending as little money as possible.  You can leverage your industry connections and expand your market simply through a recommendation from an influential voice. 

Here are a few interesting stats, taken from digital media studies, to highlight the effectiveness of influencer marketing on your bottom line:

  • 74% of people believe that social media is a trusted source in guiding them to buy a product
  • 49% of people rely on influencers to make buying decisions
  • 47% of people use ad-blocking technology (and I wager this is actually higher across the board)

What Does the Rise of Influencer Marketing Illustrate About Digital Marketing?

It shows that in addition to conventional ad channels, consumers will always place higher value on recommendations from those that they know, like, and trust.

It shows that small business owners can save tons of money in marketing spend by forming strategic relationships with key industry voices. 

It shows that consumers see through major advertising initiatives to the core of the product on offer.  If the product does not appear to have “social proof”, then it’s a much harder sell.