With the explosive growth of social media, the way brands communicate with their audiences has drastically shifted. Rather than using traditional methods of marketing brands are tapping into influencer marketing to increase their online presence and boost brand awareness. However, influencer marketing only works when done properly. The need for trusted influencers is becoming crucial, but how do you choose the perfect influencer for your needs?
Influencer marketing: The basics
Before you can dive into choosing influencers who best fit your needs, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the basics. What exactly is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing focuses on promoting and selling products or services through influencers. Influencers are specific individuals that can spread your brand’s message to a larger audience. In its most simple form, influencer marketing is finding someone to tell your story for you, to an audience you may otherwise not be able to reach.
Influencers hold the capacity to have an effect on the character and image of your brand. If done right, influencer marketing can yield unparalleled sales and growth, build engagement, and motivate your audience to take action.
With 74 % of consumers stating that word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decision, being endorsed by industry influencers is an effective way of increasing brand awareness and credibility. Influencer marketing allows companies to obtain additional visibility by engaging with individuals who are trusted and respected by thousands of social media users.
Your employees, your perfect influencers
While Influencer marketing is clearly vital to any marketing strategy, finding an influencer who is the perfect fit can be tricky. Which brings us back to the original question; how do you choose the perfect influencers to suit your needs? Many organizations are turned off by the amount of time, effort, and money it takes to find the right people to serve as influencers. You need someone you can trust, who knows and understands the benefits of what you are offering. Someone invested in your brand on a personal level. Who better to fill those shoes than your own employees? Leveraging your employees as influencers gives you all the benefits of using external influencers while saving you time and money. Therefore, rather than overlooking the power of employee advocacy, use it to your advantage and turn your employees into influencers.
How to leverage your employees as influencers
- Make it easy.
Many employees won’t instinctively share content to their personal social media accounts. Often it is because they are too busy, or they don’t know what to say. This is where social selling and employee advocacy tools come into play. Using an employee advocacy platform that aggregates content and makes it easy to share across social media channels is the perfect way to cultivate employee influencers. When things are made easy, they are more likely to happen.
- Make it worth their time.
The best way to convince someone to put their time and effort into anything is to give them a purpose. Always start with why. Demonstrating both the organizational and personal benefits to sharing brand content is essential to leveraging your employees as influencers. Knowing that they will be increasing brand awareness and personal authority on certain topics is a powerful motivator in convincing employees to get on board as brand advocates and influencers.
- Make it rewarding.
Your employees need to feel heard. Simply asking them to share your content is not enough. You need to let them contribute to your message as well. Seek input on what types of content employees want to share and what they find engaging, and provide them with the tools to create and share their own content. This not only gives them a voice it also increases the authority of your content.
- Make it fun!
Implementing gaming strategies such as campaigns and challenges in which users earn points for content shared, not only creates an atmosphere of sharing, it also engages your employees and rewards their efforts. By making the process informative, engaging, and fun you give your employees motivation to grow their influence. This ultimately allows you to tap into audiences you may otherwise not be able to reach.
Endless Possibilities For Your Brand
Never underestimate the influence your employees can yield. Many have influence in circles you aren’t reaching and may never truly reach. Leveraging that influence to elevate your brand can make an immense difference in your marketing success. It will also engage your employees in ways you never thought possible, and help you reap the benefits of a truly influential marketing strategy.