You’ve maybe heard of influencers. They are the well-known bloggers, celebrities and super-shoppers. They are the super fans, “experts” and critics others listen to. For some well-known influencers, the size of their following can easily make or break any company or brand.
Does your company or brand have such powerful, loyal customers who have many followers that regularly share and advertise their excitement and satisfaction of your brand, products or services? If you don’t, you are missing out on a great lead generation opportunity for your pipeline sales.
How to Engage and Utilize Influencers
Maybe you have a new startup company and haven’t yet built-up a substantial customer base. Maybe your small company has been around for years, but you don’t know who your influencers are or never thought much about utilizing influencers.
While it may seem like your company doesn’t have an influencer, take another closer look. As you’ll see later in this article, your brand has multiple influencers right under its nose that you may not be aware of. Regardless of whether the influencers are a big name with hundreds of thousands of followers or an unknown average joe with less than a hundred followers, every company has at least one influencer.
Identifying who your influencer (s) is/are is the first step. Once you know who they are, you can come up with an influencer marketing plan to reach out to them and get them more involved in your lead generation.
Utilizing influencer marketing for lead conversion and for generating marketing qualified leads leverage the influencer’s number of followers, the authentic, trustworthy, regular engagement between influencers and their followers and the expertise and knowledge of the influencer in order to amplify the company’s image, brand and messaging.
Influencer marketing strategies may seem straightforward, but they involve much time and thought. You’ll need to communicate with the influencer and come up with some sort of perks and content to get them interested. Keep in mind that the influencer has taken time to create their following and if you request irrelevant, salesy content, the influencer may choose to turn your offer down.
If you’re not sure who the influencers for your company are, there are some tools available to help. Some of the top ones include: Buzzsumo, Klout, Kred, Revfluence and Traackr.
- Utilize Employees
Your company’s employees are some of the best influencers you have. Not only are they passionate about your brand, they are also familiar with how your company’s products and services work. Try to set up an employee reward system that encourages employees to share pre-written content about the company on their social media channels.
- Use Customers to Advocate for Your Brand and Products
Happy, satisfied customers are an invaluable asset and resource your company can use for its influencer marketing strategies. Instead of looking for only the popular, most active influencer, spread the involvement around to multiple happy, loyal customers. Chances are, your brand influencers are a part of this customer group anyways.
Create a streamlined process through which you can ask customers to share their experience with your product, service or brand via print such as an email or in a short video. You can use these materials in one’s marketing and sales material to garner marketing qualified leads that result in better lead conversions.
- Look for Relevant Micro-Influencers
It is the dream of every company to get endorsed by some uber famous influencer who has millions for fans and subscribers. However, an influencer with a bigger following isn’t always better nor is it always realistic to go after these mega influencers. Instead, aim for “micro-influencers” who have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. These influencers don’t have the large number of followers, but they are better and more personally engaged with their followers. These “micro-influencers” have better engagement rates which can make them a more valuable lead generation tool for your company.
Before you go and market every one of your company’s “micro influencers,” do some research about their relevancy. These smaller influencers have a distinct personality, passion, style and type of content shared with their audience. They are close to their audience and followers and when they start featuring unrelated content that is merely for advertising and sales, they can lose some of their hard-earned followers.
Look for “micro influencers” whose passions, interests and values align with those of your brand, products and services. Additionally, do some research on each influencer to validate their expertise.
- Allow the Influencer to Use Their Unique Voice
Followers have come to love and expect certain content from an influencer and influencers know what kind of content interests and is of value to their followers. To boost your pipeline sales and lead conversions, let influencers craft and share your company’s sales and marketing content. Simply inform the influencer of your brand’s objectives and expectations and let them do the rest. It’s a great way your company and the influencer can build and maintain trust with followers and provide authentic, relevant content followers would enjoy.
- Utilize Influencer Reviews
When influencers speak, their followers listen. This is because influencers are seen as authentic, trustworthy and credible. If an influencer goes public with a glowing review of your brand, product or service, share the heck out of it. You can also encourage influencers to write positive reviews by offering free samples for the influencer to try or ask for affiliate links or discount codes when your brand is mentioned in a blog post. With these links, the influencer can also get a cut of the sales, whereby solidifying your company’s relationship with the influencer.
- Do Some Guest Blogging
Swap content and space on your company’s and influencer’s websites and social media channels through guest blogging. Work with the influencer to come up with blog topics that will resonate and interest the influencer’s followers. Conversely, reach out to influencers and ask them to write a blog post on your company’s website. Inform them of the relevancy and similarity of content your brand produces and what they provide to their followers. Give the influencer free-reign on the topic, length and detail of the post, granted it is on a topic that is relevant to your brand. After you put the post on your website, share it on social media.
- Collaborate With Influencers on a Piece of Content
Whether it’s an interview video, a co-written blog post or ebook, you can get your influencers involved in a way that picks their brains and lets them demonstrate their passion, knowledge and expertise. After all, when it comes to the online world, content is king and if you want your pipeline sales to improve, working with influencers to help produce informative, interesting and fresh content is a must.
Conducting influencer marketing is a great way to utilize a valuable resource to improve your company’s pipeline sales and lead conversion as well as boost the number of marketing qualified leads. There are numerous tactics you can utilize to involve your company’s influencers.
At Aktify, we can help your influencer marketing strategy succeed by digging up and identifying possible influencers in your “dead” leads. To learn more about how we can help boost your sales pipeline lead conversions, contact us today.