Influencers have always been around (remember when you were younger and your mom wanted you to hang out with a certain kid she considered a good influence?) and these everyday people have swayed both small and large decisions. Influencer marketing should not be taken lightly.
That doesn’t mean you have to pay huge piles of cash for some celebrity endorsement.
So who are these non-famous celebrities, and how can you convince them to support your brand?
It is important to understand that there are several types of influencers. Learning about some popular types makes it easier to discover how they can help you as well as how you can work toward gaining their attention.
These social influencers are out to change the world and are encouraging others to follow suit. They use social media to spread awareness and to inspire others to take action.
The best activist influencers offer specific ideas about what their followers can do to make a difference, from signing petitions to taking part in community projects and more.
If your company or organization’s mission is to solve a social or political problem, activists can be your brand’s best friend. Connect on social media –Instagram and Twitter are likely your best bets– by commenting on and sharing several posts.
Once you start to build a rapport, start a conversation about the steps your brand is taking toward making the world a better place and ask if they would be willing to help.
YouTube has spawned a subculture of micro-celebrities that have earned faithful audiences. Some are humorous and publish comical videos that are widely shared on other social channels. Others are more akin to reality TV, sharing unfiltered slices of their daily lives with their fanbase.
This trend has made its way to Instagram and Facebook as well, thanks to stories and live-streaming capabilities.
Followers view these influencers as trusted friends and take their advice, reviews and recommendations to heart. Finding entertainer influencers who meet your core demographic attributes and showing them how your product or service meets their needs is the key to a beneficial relationship.
These influencers eat, sleep and breathe whatever it is they are passionate about. While they may share tips or tutorials on occasion, they are different from their instructor counterparts (who you will read about next) because their goal is not to teach.
Rather, they share their opinions and experiences with their followers. Some of the most popular niches of gurus include makeup, travel, home décor, food, and fitness.
To attract these highly selective influencers, seek those who have demonstrated a fondness for products or services similar to yours (especially when yours is clearly superior). Reaching out with samples and offers for their followers is an effective way to engage guru influencers.
Similar to gurus, these influencers are passionate about a certain topic, but their aim is to teach their followers about the niche. These might be food bloggers/vloggers who share recipes, DIY crafters or life hack experts, to name a few.
If you have a product that fits, consider collaborating with one or more of these creative influencers. Sponsored posts and vlogs are highly popular, and seeing your product used in a fresh, fun or practical way can help the instructor’s fans become yours, as well.
5. Local Celebrities
You might not be able to attract any A-listers, but if you have a location-specific product or service, celebs from your area can be highly influential. Think local athlete, television personality, politician or others who are easily (and for the most part, positively) recognized in your neck of the woods.
This can be an especially beneficial relationship if the influencer is already a fan of your brand. If not, you can work towards that goal with an invite on his or her favorite social media profile.
Don’t let the name fool you. These influencers might not boast the same numbers as some of their more well-known counterparts when it comes to social media followers, but the who do follow them are highly engaged.
In fact, a study by Experticity found that 82% of consumers are extremely likely to follow the advice of a micro–influencer.
Since they have highly-specific audiences, keywords and hashtags can help you pinpoint micro-influencers who might be the perfect fit for your brand. Reach out with requests for reviews, sponsored unboxings and of course freebies with discounts for followers.[clickToTweet tweet=”82% of consumers are extremely likely to follow the advice of a micro–influencer. ” quote=”82% of consumers are extremely likely to follow the advice of a micro–influencer”]
7. Topic Or Brand Evangelists
Your brand may already have its own evangelists. These are the faithful customers who love what you do and let you know by actively commenting on your channels, on forums and other blogs or on their own social media profiles.
In addition, they will let you know when they are not thrilled about something, such as a new product or changes to a favorite service, which can be tremendously valuable information.
Connect with these influencers by creating and inviting them to an inner circle. This could include anything from beta testing to members only live videos, to samples before new products hit the market and more.
Finding and attracting the right social media influencers for your brand can take some time and effort, but the benefits will be well worth the work. Make sure that a potential influencer ticks certain boxes for the best results. The ideal influencer will:
- Align with your brand’s message or mission
- Engage well with their own audience
- Be authentic, genuine and trusted by their followers
Once you have discovered who and where they are, attracting the right influencers is as easy as starting a conversation, which can quickly lead to a rewarding relationship for both parties.
Writer, editor and client advocate specializing in reputation management, content marketing, technology and non-profit topics.