More than 40% of consumers base purchase decisions on influencer marketing, such as seeing someone use a product on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram, according to Twitter analytics. That’s a fancy way of saying: seeing is believing.
Whether it’s a yelp review, a blog post, a YouTube “unboxing” video, or Vine tutorial – you’ve probably consumed your fair share of social influencer marketing content. As a marketer, it’s hard to control the messaging your customers release into the wild, and even harder to generate enough organic buzz for anyone to take notice. That’s why working with an influencer marketing agency or social media influence team is so helpful when launching a new product.
Okay, so how do you find social influencer marketing champions?
Think of your influencer marketers as your brand champions, enthusiasts, and experts. If you sell beauty products, they should be the first people to grab your products from the shelves and the first to post a makeup tutorial on YouTube. If you’re a restaurant owner, they should be the first to review new menu items and enthusiastic evangelists within the local community. You get the idea. But how do you find them?
An influencer marketing agency can help you determine which platforms are best for your product because you won’t be able to have a strong presence everywhere. Certain platforms are more naturally aligned to different industries or product types. For example, Twitter is very popular within the technology sector, but far less popular in the hospitality market. Your agency partner will guide where you invest your time and resources to ensure the right people are seeing your efforts.
They can also help you identify people who are already using your brand and understand what motivates them to write blog posts and share your content (hello, product samples and gift certificates). Influencer marketing agencies are familiar with the wide array of tools that support customer relationships and loyalty so they will have a few tricks up their sleeves to jumpstart your program with your budget and needs in mind.
We have a social following…now what?
Once you build a place where social influencers can congregate and share ideas, it’s time to test the waters with a product launch. Make sure you already have a foundation of followers before using influence marketing to unveil a new product so you can measure the impact of your efforts. Remember, if a tree falls in the forest and no one posts it on Instagram, it never happened.
Your agency will take care of three critical elements of your product launch:
1. Defining your audience: They will meticulously target the types of social influencers who will be most beneficial to your launch and use market research to contact them or engage them with your brand.
2. Determining launch placement: This may include sending product samples, hosting a “soft launch” for key influencers, organizing a Q&A panel, and much more. Although you may want your influencers to post online, chances are, you’ll need to do something to get their attention first.
3. Tracking results: Building a community or curating social media can require a surprising amount of manpower and resources, which is why tracking your ROI is so important. Your agency can determine the value of your effort through metrics such as ad equivalency value (AEV), social reach, and engagement.
But the most important thing to remember is that influencer marketing takes time. So click here and learn more about some of the programs we have built for clients just like you, and let’s start thinking about how to build your social program today.