One of the current marketing trends at the moment is working with influencers to get better exposure for your brand, commonly referred to as influencer marketing.

I am finding very mixed opinions in this method of marketing and so decided to pull together some tips on how to make the most from any influencer marketing should you decide to implement this form of marketing to your business in 2016.

But first, here are some reasons why influencer marketing is becoming so strong.

In a survey of 125 marketers online in March 2015 conducted by Tomoson they found the following information:

  • 83% of responders stated that for every dollar they spent on influencer marketing they returned around $6.50. The top 13% of this group where earning $20 or more.
  • 59% of respondents are increasing their influencer marketing budget in the next 12 months.
  • Influencer marketing is the fastest growing online customer acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search and other marketing.
  • Email marketing and influencer marketing are the most cost effective online customer acquisition channels.
  • Better customers are obtained through influencer marketing.
  • Most effective forms of influencer marketing were blogs (37%), followed by Facebook (25%), You Tube & Instagram (6% each) and then the other social media channels. [*As this survey was conducted in early 2015 I think Instagram figures may have improved here from results I’ve seen.]

If all the above figure are true, then why is influencer marketing not working for you? Or if you haven’t tried it, how can you make sure you are in the percentage of people earning great returns from this form of marketing?

Define the purpose behind using influencer marketing

The first thing you need to decide is, what is the actual purpose of this marketing exercise? Do you want brand awareness, increase social media followers, sell a particular product or service, launch a new product, build database subscribers? There are many reasons why people will use influencer marketing and it’s important to know the reasons why you are using this form of marketing. This in turn will help you choose an influencer to work with.

Ensure the influencer you use is going to compliment your brand

When looking for influencers, keep in mind that the content, influencer and audience must all click, you want to be sure that your product or service blends in naturally and that the influencers audience would be interested to hear about your offering and benefit from it. A big part of this is having 100% trust in the influencer you choose to yay in which to present the information you provide in the way their audience would like to see it. You chose to work with them for a reason so trust them to do their part.

Ensure the end experience is easy and professional

Finally, review what it is that these potential new customers are going to see when they arrive at the place you are driving them to. Are they going to be able to immediately see what you do, the information you want them to see and most importantly your contact details?

I often here from people that influencer marketing didn’t work for them and they got nothing out of it. On further investigation, there was plenty of traffic going to them, the new customers just had no idea what was expected of them when they arrived – so left, never to return. Make sure whatever the goal is, you have systems in place to achieve this [often called a sales funnel].

Ie: To gain subscribers – make it easy and appealing to sign up with a great opt-in and a link straight to them.

Want more social media followers – ensure your social media is appealing to look at and has a link to your website and all your contact details so they can find out more.

Want to sell a product – make it really easy to do this, point directly to the product and most importantly, ensure you have enough stock!

Brand awareness – make sure everything with your branding on it is in alignment with what you want your end user to see. Have great copy, great images and no dead links!

As you can see, there is more to influencer marketing than just sending someone your product and asking them to post it. If you find you aren’t getting results from your influencer marketing consider getting an independent analysis on your website/social media done to see where you can improve.

The number one rule of influencer marketing is to get your own house in order before inviting people over – you want to make a great first impression, as that’s all you’ve got.