If you spend any time online researching influencer marketing, you will find one thing that stands out: Traditional influencer marketing—once known as Celebrity Marketing–is on the decline.
By traditional, I mean famous people being paid mega dollars to promo a product because they reach the largest number of people possible. The thought was that if I see that famous person wearing those pants or feeding her bird that food, I will go out and buy it. That might move some product, but brands found that the messaging was getting lost and their target audience was, for the most part, not engaging.
Now, brands are seeing that the new influencer marketing has a better return and helps them to create relationships with their consumers. They look for people in their specific niche, those who are influencers who actually influence their target audience.
Is My Audience the Target Audience?
A brand’s target audience is rarely as broad as cat owners or people with both cats and dogs. It usually involves a specific age range or income bracket, or people who also participate in XYZ activity.
There is a lot of science behind finding the ideal influencer. To be ideal, they need to be influential with enough consumers to help the brand meet the goal of the campaign. Smaller influencers are better able to promote the brand in a way that helps engage their audience with the brand in a meaningful way.
Promoting Your Content Takes Confidence
Now that you have determined whether you are an influencer, it’s time to discuss promoting your content. To be clear: I am not talking about spamming your followings.
To promote your content you need to become confident in your ability to create content and share it in a way that engages your audience. Not everyone who follows you will run out and buy that brand of fruit for their iguana, but you should be starting a conversation where your followers share about their iguana or an experience they had with an iguana. The hope is that someday they do buy that product, but they are already taking the first step of engaging with the brand because of your efforts.
Promoting Your Content Takes Effort
Promoting your content takes a little bit of creativity, a little bit of science, a lot of analyzing, and good friends and followers to get the conversation rolling. As a professional influencer, we have taken it upon ourselves to be Editor in Chief, Chief Creative Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Vice President of Sales–no wonder why this endeavor can be exhausting!
We’re also writers, designers, and photographers; it lands in our lap to not only take the pictures, edit them, add text overlay when appropriate, figure out what image will play best on which channel, but also to come up with content that will engage our audience.
Pro Tip: Streamline those responsibilities by figuring out what size, shape, color, and style of image does the best on each social media channel.
Two of the most common questions about content promotion:
1. Where do I promote your content?
Use all of your channels to create awareness and drive pageviews to your blog. Just because you don’t feel a certain type of content doesn’t do as well on one channel over another doesn’t mean you should take the extra minute to at least share the content there. Find the channels that you have the most fun engaging on and the most fun sharing to, and make that the channel you put the most focus on. Don’t ignore the rest, but really take the time and energy to make this channel shine and be the place your community can find and engage with you. This will be different for everyone, and as you build this channel you might find that your community also loves to engage with you on a secondary channel. Don’t disappoint them! Give them what they want, but be sure to tailor the content you share to each channel.
2. Should I promote my regular content the same way I promote my sponsored content?
YES! The only way to grow as an influencer (and show your readers you’re not only about paid content) is to spend as much time promoting your core content and engaging with your readers, followers, and fans.
Yes, sponsored content pays the electric bill, the mortgage, and the grocery bill, but everything else you produce helps as well. By investing the time to promote all your content, you are setting yourself up for more successful digital ad sales (banner ads), more engagement on affiliate posts (rounds ups of favorite products, adding links to products that match you evergreen content), and more pageviews and engagement on your social channels equals more sponsored opportunities.
Value all of your content equally. If it is not good enough to promote, why are you writing it? Spend the time that you are not creating sponsored content to hone your skills. What can you work on to become more influential in your space and your community? Dig in deep to find out what they want or figure out what it is you want to deliver and start creating that type of content. You likely will evolve over time, but you should always be learning and growing as an influencer.
Promoting Your Content Takes Self-Promotion
This is the big, fat, scary part of being an influencer. It is easy to promote content, but what about promoting yourself? How are you getting the word out about who you are and what you do?
Once your branding is in place, it is time to invest in yourself and your business. Order business cards now. Don’t wait for a big event to come up that you have months to plan for. What if a brand wants you on a plane in a week? Will you be ready to promote yourself to those in attendance at the event? If not, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to not only meet some great people and stay in touch but to convert them into reads and followers.
Are you promoting yourself locally? You should be. If you have created an online persona and brand for yourself, but your next door neighbor has no idea what you do, think of all of the free promotion you are missing out on. Whether that means cute business cards you use locally or a car decal, the amount of effort you put in is the amount of return you will see on your investment.
Are you asking your friends to share your content? They probably would if you said: Here is a great post about why it is important to take your cat to the vet or here is a great post about an easy way to get rid of horrible doggy breath. Writing about fleas and ticks? You must know at least a few people who have had to deal with an infestation, and if your product offers a solution, they are going to shout it from the rooftops.
Take the plunge, influencer!
Promote your brand and not just your content. You will see your community grow–not just in size but in trust towards what you share and the products you promote.
Every Friday in September, Felissa is sharing more insider info on influencer marketing and how influencers can improve their working relationships with brands. In case you missed the first three, check them out:
- What is influencer marketing?
- What is your role in influencer campaigns?
- How do brands choose bloggers for influencer campaigns?
And share with us in the comments your questions about influencer marketing and working with brands! We’re here to help!
Felissa Elfenbein is the Director of Influencer Marketing for BlogPaws. During the day Felissa can be found creating proposals for new campaigns, on the phone with brands, working on VIP events for the conference, and Skyping with the Pet360 Media Sales Team. Felissa lives in the Northeast Georgia Mountains and has two senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniels better known as the Two Little Cavaliers.