The influencer marketing industry is set to reach $16.4B in 2022, as many now favor social media over search engines for discovering new things. Influencer partnerships are one of the most effective ways to boost your brand’s online presence – and sales. Good influencers work hard to build and maintain a high level of trust with their audience. As a result, they have the ability to encourage others to make a purchase or engage with content. In spite of their success, it’s not enough to just choose any influencer to represent your brand. But how should you go about finding the right one?
Using social listening is one of the most effective ways to find people with brand affinity online. For most companies, getting to know every single customer would be impossible – even with the help of social media. These tools will allow you to identify who is frequently saying positive things about your brand. Results can then be filtered to reveal your fans, existing ambassadors, and any potential for new collaborations. Here are our seven steps for using social listening to achieve the perfect influencer partnership.
1. Identifying Influencers
When it comes to influencer marketing, actually finding influencers is often the hardest part. The best part: when you do get a good fit, you can use them again. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop looking for potential new partnerships. In fact, using social listening to run influencer marketing campaigns can be an open-ended project.
2. Finding Brand Ambassadors
It’s a common misconception that all brand ambassadors are paid. Though most are, it is possible for them to take the form of superfans who regularly talk about your products or services. These people might love the way a product fits or feels, or how it differs from others on the market. They’ve likely tried almost everything else and view this one as the answer. And their enthusiasm is so valuable because they haven’t been paid to say anything until now. This type of brand ambassador will prove invaluable when trying to build up your brand, and social listening can help you to locate them. With a strong Boolean keyword search, you can do it quickly, too. From the data, you’ll be able to choose the perfect candidate for a paid partnership.
3. Looking For Brand Mentions
When it comes to influencer marketing, you can also employ social listening to find mentions of your brand online. By setting up alerts for names, products, and other keywords, you can gain access to everything that is being said publicly about your brand. This will include any negative conversations, which is more than likely given that people often use social media platforms like Twitter to complain. In this case, it’s the positive mentions that are most important. If someone is regularly talking about you, that is your sign to get to know them. You’ll then be able to begin researching those with large followings to find out if they’d be a good fit.
Positive mentions without sponsorship indicates affinity towards your brand as either a customer or admirer. If, for example, someone says they love your product but can’t afford to buy it, this creates an opportunity to exchange goods for their services.
4. Influencers Without Affinity
Just because someone isn’t talking about your brand doesn’t mean you should rule them out. In fact, it just means that they haven’t yet been vocal about how they feel. When someone mentions a competitor, it could indicate that they are open to trying what you’re offering. Those who are less loyal and willing to try alternative products make the perfect candidates for sponsorship. Particularly useful if you’re new to the game, and people aren’t posting about your brand or products yet, this is the main reason for using social listening with influencer marketing.
5. Making Your Choice
When you’ve gathered enough information on a few influencers, you can begin to narrow them down. Decisions should always be made with your target market in mind, which may differ depending on the campaign. As a result, having a diverse range of options will prove more useful. The power of micro and nano-influencers is not to be underestimated when making your selection. Smaller followings often have closer relationships and better engagement rates. Despite this, social accounts with large amounts of followers will help to boost credibility. Beware of the fake ones, though, as these can often do more harm than good.
6. The Right Fit
After you’ve created a shortlist, further research is required to ensure you choose the best fit. This includes making considerations such as whether their energy and aesthetic compliments that of your brand. It’s also important that their values align with yours; for example, a young and single influencer probably can’t speak for a family-oriented product. In addition a business-to-business brand to be affiliated with someone who is best-known for their party lifestyle. Again, this is where social listening comes in handy. By setting up alerts for mentions of certain influencers, you can find out what people really think of them.
7. Making A Move
Once you’ve found your perfect match, the next step is to reach out. Be sure to have a back-up, though, in the event of a possible “no”. Showing an interest in their content prior to this will help to communicate your desire for a mutually beneficial relationship over a business transaction. Missing this part may give your competitors the upper-hand! Once an agreement is reached, it’s time to start making sweet content together!
And what better way to track campaign success than with social listening!
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