You have probably encountered a handful of influencers in your time while using the Web. Influencers are on top of the food chain when it comes to, well, influence, as they tend to have thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of followers, and people tend to follow their recommendations with little or no resistance.
Some Web development and marketing blogs would recommend that digital marketers attempt influencer marketing, as a means of gaining traction for a new business.
While it is possible, what is often missing from their recommendations is the truth behind the entire process that transforms your brand or website to influencer status.
It is not a walk in the park and if you are a commercial brand selling products or services in a hyper-competitive market, getting your voice out as an influencer can be tougher than you may think.
While business is definitely built on our aspirations, we also have to take into consideration the practical considerations behind certain strategies.
How do you become an influencer in your market? Here is the actual process.
The first step is to identify the platform or network where the majority of your customers are using like crazy. Some businesses fare better with Instagram, others with Facebook.
Still others have gotten the majority of their followers from Twitter. To succeed as an influencer, it is imperative that you are familiar with social networks that will bring you the most number of followers or audience. One way to get reliable numbers on this would be to hold online surveys on your website.
Another way would be to take a look at what competitors are doing. How is your competition reaching out to their customers? Some platforms reach a wider audience in certain markets (like Yelp, which is often used to review the food and beverages industry).
Influencers are known for providing great content consistently. That means dedicating a chunk of your budget so you brand can distribute useful, relatable and engaging content to your audience.
This would be a separate expense to what you are already spending on Web development. Obviously, this can be a real challenge especially if you have a small business, and your SEO budget isn’t really that substantial.
Continuously generating content will also mean hiring content planners, researchers and writers – another hurdle, as this will mean additional managerial duties.
But if everything plays out well, the rewards of becoming an actual influencer in the long terms are great. Your ‘voice’ in the market will become so loud and clear that your social media platforms can easily become the go-to of people who want more information in your market or industry.
As with anything that involves a great deal of investment, it is going to take time before you start seeing ROI. The reason for this is we cannot force people to respond immediately to your efforts.
Often, brands have to be ‘there’ in the right time and place before their marketing efforts really start to pay off.
But don’t worry: because just as sure that you can engage in your efforts to become an influencer, SEO companies like Netmark will be here to generate ROI for you until you reach that next level of marketing success.