How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Influencer Marketing Best Practices

Influencer

By: Courtney Gibb

When it comes to finding influencers, what should you look for? Someone clever? Sure. Someone in-the-know? You bet.  An industry thought leader? Absolutely.

But what’s the difference between a know it all and someone who’s in the know? Is your ideal influencer the type of person everyone turns to for advice and guidance, or are they a thought leader known for the ability to make every person feel like they were the only one in the room?

Truth be told, influencers come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing the right influencers is just one thing to keep in mind when you start planning your next influencer marketing campaign.

As one of the hottest trends going, influencer marketing serves as the bridge between advocate and digital marketing. Instead of focusing on an entire general audience, influencer marketing works with key individuals to heighten the impact of a brand, product or message in a more direct and organic way. In order to be successful marketers must It means seeing the potential and know who the important influencers are, how to target them and what the campaign’s impact will be.

That’s where influencers come in – by leveraging an influencer, you’re speaking directly to their followers/audience. 74% of consumers say third party endorsements from influencers impact their purchase decisions, and 81% do independent research on products and services beyond brand-generated content.

It’s critical to get your brand’s message out where the consumers are in order to increase brand awareness, brand affinity and your target consumer’s intent-to-purchase.  That’s where influencer marketing comes in. So now what?

To help you plot and plan your next (best) influencer marketing campaign, follow along on our blog each week as we explain the following influencer marketing best practices.

  1. Build manageable campaign deadlines
  2. Set campaign goals to measure success
  3. Fully integrate your influencer marketing
  4. Pick the right social platform
  5. Find the right influencers
  6. Communicate frequently
  7. Provide feedback to your influencers
  8. Scale, and repeat

Stay tuned for more at blog.findyourinfluence.com. Do you have any tips or tricks that have made your influencer marketing campaigns successful? Let us know!

 

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5 Easy Ways to Get Blogging Topic Ideas

rsz_5_ways_to_get_blogging_ideas

 

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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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 Massive Mistakes That Influencers Make

typewriter_smallThis isn’t a post about little mistakes that nobody notices, or mistakes that happen on accident. This is about three colossal mistakes that might cost an influencer a campaign, their audience or even a partnership with a brand, or advertising agency. So pay attention and try to not to let any of these three mistakes be your fate.

 

1. Not paying attention to Google updates

if you’re a working influencer, you probably already have at least a basic knowledge of SEO. That’s great. The thing about SEO is it’s highly dependent on Google algorithm updates, which occur regularly.

 

It’s crucial to pay attention as soon as these updates happen. Set a Google alert for “Google algorithm update” or make sure you have a tech publication in your reader. The key is to make sure you find out immediately, and then quickly learn if it means anything to your blog.

 

In theory, Google is often updating their algorithm so that they can provide their users with a better search experience—better content, more relevant content, less spam. However these updates aren’t foolproof, so it’s possible you’re doing something on your blog that Google is filtering for. And this is why the effect could be colossal.

 

If you’re blog includes some sort of linking or tactic that Google has deemed negative, you could see your site traffic plummet. Really, it could plummet.

 

For instance, one of Google’s recent updates was to their Payday loan algorithm. This algorithm itself helps filter out spammy sites, however the latest update is scanning for sites with spammy queries.  With this update, if you happen to link to a payday loan company on your site, your search traffic might have completely dropped off the face of the digital earth.

 

Stay aware of updates and make changes to your blog fast.

 

2. Not paying attention tothe social media campaign instructions

So your site is performing well and you’re partnering with brands and you’re feeling pretty confident about your influencer growth and status. Pretty cool, huh? But your new ego results in a bit of carelessness.

 

A campaign offer comes in. Since you’ve done this a million times, you could read campaign specs in your sleep. So you quickly scan over the instructions, skim the blog prompt and grab the hashtag. Easy peasy. You’ll have this campaign done in no time.

 

Flash forward two weeks and you’re suddenly receiving hate mail from a brand you thought would LOVE your content. What gives? Turns out those instructions you just skimmed were pretty important and you forgot one crucial step.

 

Could this really be a colossal mistakes? Yes. Brands are trusting you to follow instructions and act professionally so that they can accurately track the performance of the campaign. A missed instruction could screw everything up.

 

We’ve seen bloggers forget a special link, no-follow tags, a special content instruction, to announce an event or to meet a certain deadline. These mishaps can burn bridges. Frankly, brands work fast and depend on campaign performance. If they don’t feel like you did your job, they’ll move on to a different influencer.

 

3. Writing low-quality content

This one seems obvious but we see it every day. Bloggers are creating content constantly. Some are juggling many brands and many requirements. It can get hectic, and it’s tempting to rush assignments. Hey, it might be even be tempting to write your post quickly so you’re getting paid more an hour. Bad choice.

 

If your blog is thrown together, it’s obvious. It’s obvious to everyone involved—the brand, your fans and the communities you’re working with. A poor-quality post could mean you never work with that brand again. But what’s worse, is you could lose your fans and connections.

 

Sure, your fans might forgive 1-2 poor-quality posts. But string a few together, and you’ll see your readership start to dwindle. A dwindling readership can have a domino effect on your partnerships and connections. So be weary.

 

Treat each campaign with respect, think about what the prompt really means to you, and write a high-quality post. It’s as simple as that.

 

If you need help, we hope you’ll check out what Find Your Influence (FYI) has to offer. FYI helps influencers of all levels connect with brands and manage their campaigns more efficiently. We even provide an easy way to move up in our marketplace as your success grows. If you’d like to see how we could help you, we encourage you to sign up. It’s completely free for influencers to join. Always.

 

 

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How to set your prices as a content creator or influencer

teeshirtsOne of the hardest and most uncomfortable things to determine is how much you should be charging as an influencer. You can likely get by for a while just letting brands pitch a price to you. But eventually, if you really want to start treating content creation as a business, you’ve got to set up pricing.

 

If you think about your craft as a business, it seems simple. You’re selling something. That something is your content, voice and influence. Just like every other business in the world, your goods need a set price.

 

True, price negotiations will often take place between brands and influencers. If you want to participate in price negotiations, maybe you’d give a discount to a brand you love, then that is completely up to you. But negotiations need a starting point, and more importantly, a stopping point. Here’s what you need to consider.

 

1. Your experience

Just like any job, the more experience you have, the more money you can make. So if you’re just starting out, you probably can’t ask for the same amount as your favorite blogger who has 500,000 followers and ten years of experience working with brands. You’ve got to be realistic and fair. What would you be willing to pay you for a post?

 

The good thing about starting out low is that you can likely build your experience quickly. Reach out to brands who likely have a smaller budget, and start building your client base. Once you have a few campaigns under your belt, raise your price by 20-30%. Every time you’ve gained a substantial amount of new experience and expertise, raise your prices again until you reach your goal.

 

2. Your expenses

Based on your experience level that you identified in the step above, determine your starting wage. Your pricing really comes down to your expectations and needs. What would you expect to be paid if you were starting a brand new job in a brand new industry?

 

Consider looking at average salaries for copywriters and content writers in your area, and use that as a starting point. Keep in mind you’re self employed, you need to bake in some extra dollars for the time you spend finding your own clients, managing your own payments, making your own coffee, paying special taxes, taking a vacation now and then, etc.

 

So for instance, if entry-level writers in your state make around $30,000 a year, your starting hourly wage could be $15/hour. But you’re self-employed, so you need to bake in about $10 more an hour to get by. So now you’re looking at $25/hour to start.

 

3. Your time

Next, you need to consider how long it takes you to do your work. It’s really important to be realistic and fair. Don’t inflate these numbers, and don’t skimp on them either. If you have no idea, do some detailed time-keeping for 2-3 weeks. Record how long it takes you to write a blog, research, update your social profiles, get your readers engaged, etc. After 2-3 weeks, take an average for each task. Some gigs will take longer than others, and that’s fine. It should work out at the end of the year (if it doesn’t, you need to reevaluate your prices).

 

So let’s take our starting wage from #3. You’re currently thinking you can start at $25/hour. But most brands are going to ask for price per campaign or post. After 2-3 weeks of detailed time-keeping, you know that on average, it takes you 2 hours to research and write a blog post. So you’re starting price for a sponsored blog post is now $50. Easy easy.

 

4. Your numbers

Ultimately, brands are looking for influencers with high numbers. They’ll be more likely to pay more if you have a strong KPI (Key Performance Indicator: marketing speak for the most important metric used to evaluate the performance of an initiative or campaign).

 

They’re looking at things like your: followership, site traffic, social followers, social and blog engagement and more. If you’re numbers aren’t incredibly high yet, that’s fine. Just make sure that’s reflected in your prices.

 

Similar to the impact of your experience, start small and increase your pricing by 10% or so as your numbers gain strength.

 

Setting your prices takes a little time and research, but the good news is you have the ability to change them whenever you need to. If you think you started to low, adjust for next time. If you think your high pricing is hurting your ability to get clients, lower them and see what happens.

 

Of course, if you join Find Your Influence, we can help you figure out all of this stuff and make sure you get paid appropriately. Check it out for free.

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7 Reasons Why Agencies <3 Working With Online Influencers

Let’s talk about bloggers. It’s no secret that these online influencers are a powerhouse of opportunity in today’s social world. But trying to convince clients to invest in blogger relations is not easy. Most brands don’t recognize how valuable online influencer initiatives can be. After all, bloggers have more power than ever to truly activate an audience. Sometimes that results in an increase in sales and other times that means a spike in brand preference. No matter what the end goal, there is no doubt that the rise of online influencers impacts how consumers choose products.

Ready to get started? Here are some tips to help you sell the idea of an influencer campaign to your boss and clients:

Benefits of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

1. The personal touch

  • There are no big-name marketing companies behind the products these influencers post about. Their words are typed and posted by them, usually from their homes after actually using the products or services.

2. People trust them

  • Influencers and bloggers are normal people. They aren’t millionaire celebrities, or part of the royal family. People follow them for honest and real reviews of products, and genuinely trust the influencer’s opinion.

3. No hidden agendas

  • They don’t deal with an editor or “red tape.” They write what they want, when they want. And that is powerful.

4. Truly powerful paid content ― much more than just an ad

  • No flashy $3-million commercial spots or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it banner ads. Even when paying for content, influencers post only products they use, making the ad more impactful than nearly anything else you can buy.

5. No politics

  • No bosses means that no one else is controlling content. Nobody with a secret agenda is telling them what they need to write about.

6. Target marketing made easier

  • Looking for a peanut-butter-loving stay-at-home dad of three? There’s a blog for that. Seriously. Engaging with bloggers allows brands to market to uber-specific audiences that will be more apt to connecting with their product/service. It’s just smart.

7. Cost Effective

  • Compare to a running ad in a magazine or a commercial slot on television and you’ve got yourself a good deal. No production costs!

Word-of-Mouth is the Strongest Influence

A Nielsen Study indicates that 92% of consumers around the world trust word-of-mouth marketing more than any other form of advertising. There is little doubt that the time for influencer marketing is now. The question remains is how to connect with these influencers. The current process is a tedious one, to say the least. If a brand is going to contact a blogger to promote its brand, it usually reaches out to blogs after spending hours trying to find the right one. Then they have to pitch to them – not knowing if they even do paid advertisements. All in all, it’s a ton of back and forth, “what if’s” and “no, thank you’s” without a guarantee of how many consumers it will actually engage and help your brand when they do talk about you. Do you see the problem?

How to Find Influencers

This is where we make our sales pitch. Use the Find Your Influence influence marketing platform to identify the type of influencer you need, and the fee is calculated based on the influencers’ reach. We’re a cloud-based application that enables brands to connect with digital influencers who are already having regular conversations with your target audience.

Need an example? Massage Envy contacted us to help them increase their online reach and branding awareness for its 900+ locations throughout the US. Not only did they find the right influencers for their campaign, but they also found influencers who were already Massage Envy customers. Through their blog posts, tweets and shares, the influencers reached an estimated 900,000 potential Massage Envy customers.

 

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5 Simple Blogging Tips

5 Simple Blogging Tips:

Spell Check

Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be the winner of your 8th grade spelling bee, or have a degree in etymology, but you should be using a tool that spell checks. You also should be re-reading your posts. If you want to work with an advertiser make sure your posts are clean, spell checked, and the appearance is what you were expecting.

Links

You should check your own links, as well as have someone else check your links. If your social links go to a dead or private page, it’s doesn’t look good to a business who was hoping to work with you. Numbers aren’t everything, but in the corporate world, they matter.

Social Links

You don’t have to be friends with everyone, nor do you have to invite the world into your private life! That is why you should have both a personal social account, and a public blog account. If you’re posting for an advertiser and they can’t click and see the post they’re paying you for, that is a problem. Also, it’s nice to see how active your blog account is. Lastly, definitely don’t add a social icon to your site to just add it. Make an account, and make sure the link work on your blog.

Variety

You’re thinking variety!? I’m a mom, a wife, a blogger, a full time employee, a lover, a friend, a daughter, a sister…the list goes on, and there is no doubt that our Bloggers are busy women, and we won’t forget all you blogging Men and Dads out there! But, if you don’t have time to post new content at least once a week to get your readers engaged, you also aren’t going to get an advertiser engaged to pay you for a post. 2014 is showing a shift in how we search and review online, that shift is showing that more and more consumers are looking to you, the blogger, for advice. Advertisers notice that, and want to compensate you for the hard work you’re doing. But, they’re looking for someone who can be honest, as well as build out their own unique content. They’re looking to reach the audience you’ve already captured, so the more you can tap into your creative side the better. If you have writers block, that’s why finding a blogging community and following other blogs are so important. Which brings me to my last, but not least tip.

Community

I’ve already stated that numbers aren’t everything, but if you’re looking to grow your Mom Blog into it’s own brand and that’s profitable, you’ll need numbers. Not just high numbers, but real people interacting with you and the content you’re building.  Advertisers and brands are looking for a “new set of eyes,” per say, and you are what they’ve been searching for. Be you, honest, and unique and you’ll get the interaction you are hoping for. Joining a blogger network or community will provide you with support when you’re experiencing writers block, can’t figure out that techie thing, why your HTML code just won’t do what you expected, and just a way to vent your ideas, and make friends. Bloggers support each other, and when you find a mentor in your group they’ll help you grow from that baby blog to a Power blog.

So Lets recap:

Spell Check Every Post

Don’t be Private, Be Social!

Get yourself a public blog account

Put in the time, be unique, and tap into your creative side

Find a Community for support

This is just a small list, and we at Find Your Influence would love to hear your thoughts! Share a link with some of your blogging tips, or give us your feedback. What is your #1 Blogging tip to growing your blogger reach?

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What is Influencer Marketing?

Have you heard of the new word-of-mouth advertising – Influencer marketing?  If not, here’s why you should start paying attention to this fairly new method of marketing.

In 2012, 81% of U.S online consumers, purchase decisions were influenced by friends’ social media posts.  You know this, which is why your company has a Facebook and Twitter profile and you’re working on humanizing your brand and engaging with consumers.  But, how do you truly influence purchase decisions?  And furthermore, how can you scale social influence?

Influencer marketing, whether you’re engaging small brand advocates or large social influencers, is now giving brands and advertisers the ability to scale word-of-mouth advertising like never before.  Over the last two years, influencer marketing has become common practice among marketers; with 65% of Brands participating in influencer campaigns.  You can be a small to medium size business engaging a handful of influencers about your new product or service, or you could be a fortune 500 company with a long standing brand ambassador campaign.  Influencer marketing campaigns can spread the word about your company, help with natural SEO, help humanize your brand, and ultimately influence purchase.

Learn more about influencer marketing and start your own campaign through our own influencer marketing platform, Find You Influenc

e.

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