When brands approach us looking for a way to grow their reach, make an impact, and ultimately increase their bottom line through social media, I typically throw the following two words back at them: Influencer Marketing.
We’ve seen first-hand the power of leveraging influencers, and how it can transform a brand’s visibility within the marketplace. After all, according to a Tomoson survey, 51% of marketers reported acquiring a better quality of customers from influencer marketing and 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
A perfect example of this played out not long ago when a business we partner with had an opportunity to connect with some out of town bloggers. My team got to work strategizing on ways to cultivate a memorable experience and transform a simple “instagram meet up” into real impact for our client.
When identifying influencers with whom you can partner, you need to consider brand alignment. There’s a vetting process that needs to happen before you throw valuable marketing dollars at someone with a large instagram following. For example, if you’re selling a product that has a niche market, it’s essential that your target audience engages with the person with whom you’re considering a partnership. Also keep in mind that demographics matter. If you’re selling to a male dominated audience, Instagram may not be the best platform for you. In the instance of this IG meetup, we were working with bloggers who had a collective reach of nearly 1 million followers with an incredible amount of engagement on each of their channels. This was a great start, but it was just the beginning.
We’ve got SWAGger
We began working with small businesses across our city to put together a “SWAG Bag” filled with a collection of items that ranged from hand-thrown pottery, to clothing and jewelry, to sweet treats and so much more. The total value of each bag rang up to over $300 of goodies, and almost all of it was 100% donated by local brands. Yes, the bags included items from our client’s business, but we wanted to the bloggers to feel like VIPs. Why does giving away free stuff matter? It matters because these ladies document everything in their lives. They created videos, and wrote blogs and posted pictures that covered each business who contributed, promoting these local Waco brands to a total of a million followers all over the world. Our client created a ton of good will and was seen as a collaborator and small business supporter.
Experiences > Things
As much as we emphasized the SWAG bag, we knew our work couldn’t end there. Experiences matter more than things, and we wanted to roll out the proverbial red carpet. We worked to create an exclusive experience, custom-tailored to fit this group of bloggers. We even arranged local media coverage to document the event and create real attention to the influencers who came to the event.
What were the results?
These ladies were simply blown away by the generosity and hospitality shown by our client and the local companies who donated product. They also recognized the amount of time and effort that went into making their weekend special. They responded in kind with promoting each and every detail of their stay, ensuring everyone who helped cultivate this experience had their moment in the limelight.
The results started pouring in immediately—our client saw a jump of 3,000 followers in one weekend. And it didn’t stop there. When you develop a relationship with an influencer, they typically keep that line of communication open. After our group of bloggers went home, they continued to promote our client’s products. Pair that exposure with our overall management of their social media feed, pushing engaging content on a regular basis, and 5 months later we were looking at an account with 23,000 followers, all because of one weekend. Those followers also continue to buy products and became loyal customers. That’s some legit ROI.
How can you replicate this opportunity?
Everyone wants results like this for their business, so how do you replicate our success story? First, take a long hard look at how you’re managing your social media. We have a whole blog filled with tips and tricks to help you out. Next, connect with some influencers! They don’t have to be local to your town or your state in order to drive impact for your brand. If your brands align, and you’re willing to provide the type of experience they are looking for, you’re already more than half-way there.
Content is King
My final point, and one I can’t emphasize enough, is the power of meaningful, dynamic content and its role in ensuring success. Once you draw new followers to your page or account, you’ve got to serve up content that means something to them. If you show up to deliver value to your fans every day, they will be much more likely to stick around.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to leverage influencers to create impact for your business, reach out to our Four Columns social media team today! We’ve got the strategy you need to see real results. Let us help you transform your social media accounts from a headache to a real revenue generator.