Five Ways Influencers Can Up
Their Instagram Game

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So you’re a blogger, tweeter or Facebooker (now lovingly called an influencer by the marketing world) and things are going well. You’ve built a decent following, momentum and a strong voice. Good for you. But there’s one platform where you probably haven’t yet made a splash: good ol’ Instagram.

There’s value to every social platform, but it seems like Instagram is taking the marketing world by storm (the millennial storm hit, like, totally two years ago). If you haven’t already, it’s time to jump in – all in.

Influencing on Instagram
(how to improve your Instagram feed)

1. Keep your head on a swivel.

Look for the beautiful, postable moments in everything you do. You’re already accustomed to seeing the small moments in your day that are worth writing about. Now it’s time to see those small moments in the day that are pretty, hilarious, inspiring or just plain fun.

Consistency is always important when you’re an influencer, so these moments should align with your personal brand’s topics and themes. But from there, the possibilities are endless.

New shoes? Post it. Picked some wildflowers? Plop those babies in a mason jar and post it. Find yourself at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere? Post the kitschiest signage you can find.

Post, post well and post often. Remember – content is king!

 

2. Remember that your filters are like branding

Everyone loves a good filter. They make things (and people) look prettier, they give your posts style and they can accentuate some of the key features of the photo. But try not to go too crazy

Use a photo-editing app like AfterLight that gives you more filter options and allows you to adjust the intensity of the filter. Play with it and try to find a few similar filters that you like. The key word there is similar.

Look at filters as your Instagram style guide. Your brand needs consistency. So your photos need to have a similar look. Many successful Instagram influencers post pics with similar lighting, similar colors and similar filters. You should strive to do the same.

 

3. Learn how to write a good caption

The jury is still out on how long an Instagram caption can (or should) be, but here at Find Your Influence, we consider ourselves Instagram purists. You should let the photo speak for itself. Try to keep your captions short while keeping in mind your personal brand voice. Add a witty, sincere, silly or candid line about the picture and call it good. No need to write a novel. You have your blog for that, and some people are really turned off by it.

 

4. Get serious about tagging

Let’s start with hashtags. Do a little research to find what hashtags feature pics that also align with your personal brand – similar content, similar fans or similar industry. Then be sure to use them.

Some influencers post an entire paragraph of hashtags, some post only two or three. This is up to you. The former will give you more exposure but might compromise your style and voice. The latter looks cleaner and more authentic, but won’t get you as much action.

Moving on to tagging people and companies. If you post a new outfit, tag the retailer in your photo. If you went somewhere awesome, geo tag it and see if the establishment has its own hashtag. Friends in the picture? Tag them too. The point is to give credit where credit is due while also building your network. As influencer, you’re always networking (RIGHT?).

Pro tip on tagging: Be sure to use the “tag this photo” feature in the instagram settings right before you post. Unlike simply including the tag in your caption, this will ensure that your photos shows up on the tagee’s profile.

Remember – #hashtagshelpyougetnoticed!

 

5. Have fun

Remember authenticity is everything. Although the above tips are important, being yourself is always the most critical part of your personal brand. Post from your heart and be yourself. You’ll stand out more than influencers who are way-too-clearly hunting commercial partnerships.

 

Ready for the big time? Looking to monetize your passion? Wanting to connect with more brands? At Find Your Influence our industry-leading influencer marketing platform is always looking for the next social media star! Join the FYI Influencer Marketing team today!

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What your company gets out of influencer marketing

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It’s no surprise that influencer marketing has been steadily gaining traction over the last year. Article after article claim that influencer marketing can help boom your business’ reach and drive sales. But how can we really be sure it’s not all hype?

Measuring reach, voice and clout is hard and there seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there about which KPIs you should go with and how you should measure them.

We’ll make this easy for you. Here’s what you need to know.

“On average, marketers who implemented an Influencer Marketing pcrogram in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1.00 of paid media.” The 2014 Influencer Marketing Benchmark report by Burst Media found that companies really are seeing results—and dollar signs.

42% of consumers/advertisers/brands look to blogs for information about potential purchases while 52% say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions. Even if you’re not measuring your influencer campaigns correctly, which you should be, you can’t argue with this statistic. If your potential customers are looking for information about your industry on blogs, don’t you want to make sure the find information about your company?

92% of consumers trust their friends and family more than ads, and they’re more likely to make purchases based on recommendations than billboards (Marketo 2014 influencer marketing infographic). You might be thinking “duh”, but what you should be thinking is “right, that’s why our ads aren’t working.”

86% of marketers assess that marketing has changed more in the last 5 years than in the 50 years preceding (traacker.com). If you don’t evolve with the times, you’re going to be left behind (and see your ROI for traditional ads drop lower and lower)

One of the most important things not to forget is that influencer marketing campaigns works with any budget. You can go big and pay for celebrity influencers or launch an interactive campaign with lots of perks and rewards.

Or you can go small and invest in several smaller Instagram influencers. With Find Your Influence offering a self-service platform and the option to start connecting with influencers for free, you don’t even need to spend thousands of dollars on an agency or consulting firm to help you.

Everything influencer marketing is at your fingertips at whatever price your company has budgeted for the initiative. If you’d like to learn more about how influencer marketing can help your business,

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5 Easy Ways to Get Blogging Topic Ideas

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Some weeks content ideas and blog posts flow from your mind to your fingertips like water through a Brita. Cherish those weeks. They feel like a million bucks. And then there’s the days, weeks or even months where you feel like you have nothing interesting to say, nothing new to give and no desire to write. Don’t panic and don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to the best of us. In fact the syndrome is so popular there’s a name for it: writer’s block.

 

Yes, what you’re experiencing is good old-fashioned writer’s block and it’s no excuse to stop writing. If you’re having trouble writing your next blog post, don’t simply leave your readers hanging until the blogging spirit moves you. Suck it up and start writing! It’s the only cure. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.

 

1. Use a content idea generator

There are quite a few out there, but the HubSpot blog topic generator tool is our favorite (and it’s free). Simply fill in a few relevant words and the tool will spit out 5 unique blog headlines that are totally awesome.

 

2. Get lost in a Twitter rabbit hole

This tip is one of our favorites because we call it work but it feels like fun. Log in to Twitter and scroll through posts looking for a topic that interests you, click on the relevant hashtag. Then scroll through those posts until you find a post that interests you, click on a new relevant hashtag. And then keep going. Keep clicking hashtags until you stumble upon the golden topic you’ve been looking for.

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How to effectively manage multiple influencers

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If you’re trying to manage an influencer marketing campaigns without the help of an influencer marketing platform, things can get a little chaotic. Taking on a several different influencers can feel a bit like taking on several new employees at once.

 

Similar to your employees, you want to keep your influencers happy so that they are excited about your brand resulting in high-quality content. This can get difficult when you’re juggling many influencers – not to mention all your other career responsibilities – at once. Here are a few things to focus on when you’re managing influencers.

 

1. Choose influencers that make sense for your brand

One of the most common mistakes we see is brands and advertisers choosing the wrong influencers for the wrong reasons. Brands will often choose an influencers with a huge following, even if that influencer’s content has nothing to do with the brand’s industry. We see brands making similar choices over cost, reach, SEO and more.

 

Ensure you’re contacting influencers that make sense for your brand. Ask yourself, “could I see this influencer writing about my brand even if we weren’t paying him/her?” If the answer is no, consider moving on to someone else. Finding influencers that align with your brand messaging is one of the key factors that will impact your campaign success.

 

2. Make the campaign fun

If you have an influencer who already loves your brand, you’re already ahead of the game. A great way to motivate your influencers to write fantastic content is to launch campaigns that are a lot of fun. Try to think outside of the box. Instead of a simple blog post or social promotion, consider a Twitter party, a creative contest, or something that provides your influencer with a fantastic experience. We’ve seen brands send their influencers on scavenger hunts, trips, conferences and more. Get creative.

 

3. Emphasize communication  

This is really important with influencers. These content creators are often working outside of the typical office life. They’re working on the go and they don’t have executives hustling them about revenue and sales. They’re in a different mind set. So you’ll need to be an effective communicator. Set expectations up front. Check in often. Tell them what they’re ding right and what they could be doing better. A consistent and friendly stream of communication will have a positive impact on both your campaigns and your long term management of influencers.

 

4. Consider your influencer’s business

Ultimately, your influencers are building and promoting personal brands. They worry about their messaging, reputation and income. Consider this when you’re coming up with campaigns, and make sure you pay them on time.

 

If you’d like learn more about managing influencers listen to our next podcast featuring Find Your Influence co-founder Cristine Vieira and influencer manager Lyndsey Jones.  It comes out Thursday so stay tuned!

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Influencers: How to Launch Social Media Campaigns

rsz_how_to_launch_a_social_campaignWhat we’ve got here is a case of the middle child syndrome. There’s a ton of content out there for novice bloggers — the youngest child has to be coddled afterall. And superstar bloggers have paved the way for their siblings and our now making it to all of the grownup events like conferences, meetups and more. But what about the middle children? Is there any educational content for them?

 

Well tweener bloggers, this is an article for you. If you’ve been blogging consistently for a while and have seen your readership grow, you’ve probably got this blog thing down. But how do you turn your blog into a personal brand? How do you become an influencer?

 

A great way to take your blog to the next step is to start <thinking like a marketer> and launch a social media campaign. Now before you get overwhelmed with all the overused marketing jargon (strategy, metrics and optimize – oh my!), take a deep breath and read this easy step-by-step guide to launching your first social media campaign for your personal brand.

 

1. Establish a specific goal

First things first, why do you want to launch a social campaign? To gain more followers? To get links back to your blog? To get email subscribers? Figure out what you want out of this campaign and be as specific as possible. Try to have only one goal for this first campaign. Write your goal down.

 

2. Decide on a metric

Once you have a goal, you have to figure out how to measure it — otherwise how will you know if your social campaign worked? This is where your marketer hat needs to come in. We wrote a <great blog about metrics> a while back that may help. Buf if those metrics seem too complicated, keep it simple. You can focus on something easy like new likes or a boost in traffic. Just make sure it’s something that can actually be measured. “Spreading your brand voice” might sound good in theory, but how will you know if you actually did this effectively? Be specific and pick a measurement.

3. Write a one-page proposal

This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. You don’t need to get out a spreadsheet and calculator and write a 15-page report. Keep it to about one page and include these things:

 

  1. Goal
  2. Measurement
  3. Purpose and background information
  4. Details about your brand
  5. Summary of the steps and events
  6. Timeline of key milestones including a start and end date

 

4. Gather assets and create content

Now that you have a solid plan in place, get everything you need ready. Write the social media posts, write the blog posts, gather images, PROOFREAD, prepare your survey or newsletter, set up a promo code, set up your analytics. Prepare as much as you can before you actually launch so that things can go smoothly. Keep it all in one folder, schedule what you can and get excited.

 

5. Launch your social media campaign and do a post-mortem

Ready, set, launch! Once you launch your campaign, don’t change your plan. Don’t decide mid way through that you think newsletter signups would be a better measurement than likes. Don’t decide at the end to throw in a giveaway. Just stick to the plan, interact with your followers, promote your campaign and try to enjoy it. And try not to obsess over your analytics. Some marketers prefer not to check them until the very end.

 

Once it’s all over, you should do what marketers, advertisers and brands like to call a “post-mortem”(uplifting, huh?). It simply means gather all of your data and spend some time thinking or talking about what went well and what could be improved next time. It’s a good idea to turn your metrics into percentages. For instance, 50 new likes might not sound like that much but if that’s a 30% increase in likes, you might consider it a success.

 

Try to gather some insights for your metrics, write down what you think you should have done better and give yourself a pat on the back for doing such a good job!

 

Once you’ve made it past #5, it’s time to start all over again using what you learned to launch an even better campaign the next time. Use your data from your first campaign as a baseline. In your next campaign, you should try to improve them!

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7 Reasons why bloggers should partner with brands

Creating a blog is a bit like creating a piece of art. You worked hard, you passion went into it. The idea of letting someone else impact your creation is equal parts annoying and terrifying. We get it. But if you have great content, there are a ton of reasons to share your blogging love and partner with brands and advertisers you already adore.

 

Don’t believe us? Check out this handy infographic the team at Find your Influence created!

Already working with an influencer? Share this infographic with your favorite blogger who never partners up.

 

bloggers info

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3 Reasons your campaign content failed

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If you have a blog with an engaged followership, you know how great success can feel. Your fans get excited, they comment, they click! The end result is you feeling great about your content. However when you’re partnering with a brand, there’s a lot more on the line. You have to consider meeting the brand’s measurements and hitting the brand’s goals. If your blog post doesn’t perform the way you expected, don’t get discouraged. Instead, take this as a learning opportunity. Here are three things that we at Find Your Influence think might have made the campaign go south.

 

1. The brand wasn’t a good fit

It can be really exciting when a brand or advertiser wants to work with you, especially if it’s a large brand or a brand that you love. But don’t let that cloud your judgement. Your fans come first — to you and the brand. That’s why you have to make sure that the brand is a good fit for your blog. Otherwise your fans may be surprised, annoyed or bored with the content in your sponsored post. You not only lose credibility, but you won’t hit your numbers for the campaign because your fans don’t engage. Everyone loses. In the future, remember to only partner with brands that make sense for your blog.

 

2. Your post lacked your usual passion or voice

When you’re writing a post for a brand, there’s often a lot of specifications, requirements and suggestions. It can get disheartening fast. The result might be a post that hits every single requirement, but lacks your usual passion and voice. This is a problem. The brand is paying you because your voice is so powerful. If you lose your passion, you’re not producing the type of content that a brand (and your fans) is expecting. Just because the post prompt isn’t what you expected nor wanted, doesn’t mean you can slack off. After all, you’re getting paid. Put just as much work — or maybe even a little more — into that post as you would your favorite posts.

 

3. You didn’t measure the campaign correctly

Measurement is key when you’re working with marketers. If you miss the instructions on how to track your post success correctly, you’ve basically disrupted the entire marketing universe.  Your brand won’t know how to justify, analyze or learn from the results of the campaign. So make sure you track appropriately. The great thing about data, is you can usually find a measurement that works best for you and your strengths. If you think the brand should be measuring a campaign a different way, tell them! And even if the brand says no, consider adding your metric to the mix. This way you’ll have something to fall back on if the brand’s metrics don’t work out for your post.

 

Have you run into any other pitfalls with campaign posts? Tell us what you learned.

 

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3 reasons your influencer marketing campaign failed

computerkeyboard_small74% of marketers are reporting that they are planning some type of influencer marketing campaign in the next 12 months. If you’re one of the marketers who made the jump in 2014, nice work! Influencer marketing is effective (At Find Your Inflluence, we see higher click through rates on influencer posts than on industry-standard Facbook ads). But it has to be executed correctly. If your influencer campaign didn’t go as planned. Here are three things you might have done wrong.

 

1. You didn’t choose influencers that know your fans

One of the key reasons influencer marketing exists, is that the right influencers are already reaching your potential customers. They have a fan base of your consumers. Instead of forcing yourself into your customers’ web experiences, you can leverage influencers who are already there. Seems simple enough, except we regularly see brands completely missing this point.

 

If you only focus on site traffic, social media reach or some other metric that you consider key, you’ll likely be missing the opportunity to find influencers and brand ambassadors that would relish the opportunity to work with you. You need to first focus on whether or not an influencer’s interests and his/her fan base’s interests align with your brand messaging. Ask yourself, does this really popular fashion blogger have fans that are interested in my sports equipment? Maybe. But they’re not looking for your equipment there. Your now interrupting their experience. Start with content then move on to metrics.

 

2. You didn’t make the campaign engaging to your influencers

A professional influencer will meet all the campaign requirements and put in some extra effort to make the blog or social posts strong. But have you ever read a promoted post that seems forced or boring? That right there is the result of an unengaged influencer.

 

Engagement partially goes back to number one – is your influencer actually interested in your products. But assuming you picked the right influencer for the job, you might just be launching boring campaigns. Besides the obvious monetary benefit, bloggers don’t really benefit from sponsored posts on their site. Sponsored posts don’t bring in more readers necessarily or improve their brand. So where’s the incentive to make the post awesome? That’s up to you.

 

Find a way to get the influencers excited about your campaign – whether it be through a giveaway, fun activity, Twitter party or partnership. If your influencers are excited about the campaign, they’ll produce better content.

 

3. You didn’t measure your campaign correctly

Understandably, we have a tendency to rely on conversion. If the campaign was successful, we’ll see an increase in revenue. Right? For some campaigns, yes. But for some, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

 

First of all, conversion can be a long game. If your campaign is more about education or if you were branching out to new audiences, you might see conversion trickle in over the course of several months. People are doing their homework before they buy.

 

Influencer marketing is also fantastic for branding purposes. If you’re trying to get your brand message, voice or mission out there, then you should be measuring reach. You can then measure the success of the campaign with a CPM-style metric.

 

Finally, things like new email subscribers, clicks through to your site, use of a hashtag and more can be fantastic ways to measure efficacy of a campaign with branding or lead nurturing goals.

 

In fact, it really comes down to your goals. Make sure you set clear, specific goals before the campaign and cater your campaign to those goals. If you want to drive conversion, consider using a promo code and ensure that you’re reaching people that are already likely to buy, people in the consideration stage of the buying cycle.

 

Have you had an influencer campaign fail? Tell us what you learned from your mistakes.

 

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6 things to look for when your brand
is choosing an influencer

rsz_imageblogLet’s be honest, there are a lot of bloggers and social media users out there. How’s a brand to know which one to go with? The truth is, there are a zillion factors you could consider when choosing influencers. A few key metrics will certainly make the search a bit easier, but it’s more important to consider the big picture. Does this influencer make sense for your brand or advertiser?

 

When evaluating influencers, here’s the 6 most crucial things to consider, from the bottom up.

 

6. Traffic

The easiest metric to rely on is blog traffic. If an influencer has a lot of daily visitors, then you can pretty much guarantee a certain amount of impressions. This is a great starting point and a metric that should always be considered, but it’s rarely the only thing you should be looking at. Plus, have you learned anything from banner ads? Impressions don’t necessarily mean engagement or conversion. There are a lot of other factors.

 

5. Social networks

One of the main reasons you can’t only depend on blog traffic is that influencers span many networks. It’s possible for an influencer to have a low or mediocre blog following, but have a huge social media reach. This is important, because social media is more of a conversation. An influencer with a large social fan base could easily be more influential than an influencer with high blog traffic.

 

4. Total Reach

Best of both worlds is total reach. Consider the big picture. Start by figuring out your influencers’ blog traffic or blog subscribers. How many people is the blog reaching? Then move on to every single social platform that the influencer is using. Either combine total fans or ask the influencer for more specific data about his or her reach. Finally, calculate total reach and compare to other influencers. If you use this metric, you might be surprised. For instance, it’s possible for an influencer with an average following on many platforms to have a higher reach than an influencer with one stellar platform.

 

3. Engagement

This next point is key: it’s not all about numbers. An influencer can have high reach but also a high bounce rate. If your campaign goals are more about engagement, like if you’re measuring new subscribers or promoting a contest, then engagement might be more important to you than reach.

 

Start with the influencer’s blog. Are people commenting? Does the influencer have subscribers? A mailing list? These are all normal questions to ask and measure if you’re considering working with an influencer. Then, move on to the social platforms. Are people commenting, liking, retweeting and sharing? Don’t be afraid to ask the influencer for concrete engagement metrics as these can easily be accessed from Facebook and Twitter for free.

 

2.  Fan demographic

Now we’re down to the top most important things to consider. One of the reasons influencer marketing is so successful and popular is because it helps brands reach new consumers–more importantly, targeted consumers. For the best results, you want to find influencers that have a fanbase that’s going to love your brand.

 

Start with your own demographic data — what age groups, location and marital status make up your biggest customer segments? Now find influencers that have an audience that likely falls in those specific targets. It’s likely that the influencer’s fans’ general demographic, is similar to the influencer’s.

 

If you’re a local brand, be sure to find influencers that have an active voice in your city or state. If your customers are often married with children, mommy bloggers might be a great fit. If your customers are wealthy and without children, consider a travel blogger. There’s a lot of ways to go about this, all depending on how much you know about your segments and demographic data.

 

1. Content

The number-one most critical thing to consider when choosing influencers is whether or not the influencer’s content, interests and voice matches the interests and goals of your brand. This is crucial to launching a successful influencer marketing campaign. An influencer with high reach in an unrelated industry is highly less effective than a small influencer with a passionate fan base in your industry. You want an influencer who is already engaged with your potential customers — people that are already interested in your industry. So make sure to choose influencers who are developing high-quality content about things that relate to your brand.

 

At the end of the day, it really comes down to your campaign goals. Before you launch a campaign, it’s crucial to outline very specific campaign goals. With the right goals and metrics in place, it will be a lot easier to choose influencers based on your campaign needs.

 

Of course if you need help finding influencers, we’re always available here at Find Your Influence! Simply shoot us an email.

 

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