How to Utilize Influencer Marketing in Your Earned Media

No doubt you’ve seen products sponsored by popular home chefs, DIYers, and other creators while scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. These prominent figures, also known as influencers, are ordinary people who have become experts in a certain niche. Their charismatic personalities paired with compelling content typically attract a large fanbase and hold substantial sway.

Influencers hold a unique position in transferring trust to products or services. If I’m searching for a meal kit service and one of my favorite food influencers is promoting a certain brand, odds are I’ll choose or highly consider that brand because of the confidence I already have in its promoter. From a marketing perspective, that power is a potential game-changer. Digital marketing companies place high importance on influencer marketing campaigns, with 1 in 4 marketers currently capitalizing on influencer marketing, according to HubSpot. In the coming year, 89% of marketers plan to increase their budget in this arena, according to the same source.

Benefits of influencer marketing

Why should you invest in this direction? The advantages of influencer marketing are far-reaching.

  • Increase brand awareness — With influencer promotion, you have the potential to reach demographics that may never have considered or even heard of your brand.
  • Brand loyalty — As I stated above, I’m more likely to get behind a product if someone I follow is promoting it, and I’ll be less likely to look elsewhere.
  • Produce quality content — Influencers are popular for a reason—their content is engaging and trustworthy.
  • Increase in traffic — With a push in your brand’s direction from a trusted source, influencers can be the catalyst to generating leads and creating conversions.

Making the most of influencer marketing campaigns

Leveraging influencer promotion for your brand can potentially be a huge asset! But how can you enlist the power of sponsorship for your earned media?

  1. Compile a list of candidates — Determine what type of influencer (macro, micro, etc.) best suits your media, and then create a list of candidates for your content. Remember, just because someone is a top influencer in your niche doesn’t mean they share your vision and narrative voice. Evaluate whether they attract the right audiences for your brand and have a high engagement rate. Research angles such as channels and posting schedules to see if they match your audience’s habits and preferences. How authentic does this influencer seem? Have they worked with brands like yours, perhaps even competitors? These factors can help you hone in on the right (and the wrong) influencers for your needs.
  2. Determine your parameters — Once you’ve vetted your list of influencers, choose your strategies, like a tentative posting schedule and what channels you’ll want to use. What will you offer in return for influencer recognition? Commissions-based compensation and free products are the norm. Brand recognition through your licensed products can also be a good incentive. Say you’re trying to promote a certain cosmetic line that’s received a “Best of” award from a noteworthy company, and you’ve licensed the award. For the influencer, endorsing a product with this kind of recognition enhances the value of his or her offerings.
    Consider the type of influencer you’re targeting. Some may be happy with free products, while others may want extra perks to sweeten the deal. Whichever method(s) you choose, make a game plan in advance.
  3. Reach out effectively — Before asking for collaboration, first show you’re invested in the influencer. Follow them on social media, react to the content they produce, and perhaps comment on their posts. Then craft a private message to send to each lead. Avoid generic mass emails or messages. If you’ve already shown interest in their content and reach out intentionally, you’ll have a much better chance at a partnership.
  4. Track your progress — You’ll want to keep tabs on your ROI so you can plan and budget accordingly. Management programs like HootSuite and Sprout Social track the metrics you need, or you could enlist the help of an agency to keep an eye on your progress and recommend suggestions for improvement in your overall marketing strategy. EVGMedia has years of experience with earned media and knows the ins and outs of licensed content.

An agency can help

To sum it all up, influencer marketing is a multi-faceted strategy that, if done correctly, can be extremely beneficial to your brand. But it takes time, tact, and continual monitoring. Does researching, weighing strategies, and networking on your own feel overwhelming? If so, let an experienced brand agency do the heavy lifting for you. EVGMedia has established a reliable reputation, creating partnerships with a vast network of industry influencers and notable companies such as America’s Test Kitchen, Newsweek, Android Authority, and more. Contact us to learn how we can move the needle on your marketing objectives.

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