In this age of social media, the way we promote our businesses and how we connect is vastly different now than it was at the turn of the century. One of the most notable changes in just this last decade is the introduction of a completely new profession – influencing. What lessons from influencers can B2B and B2C marketers learn?
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an “influencer”?
An “Influencer” is an individual or group with personal authority, standing, expertise, or relationships that impact others’ buying decisions and turn a profit through brand partners. Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to purchase products they promote.
Now, businesses who have been running their marketing department the old school way are intrigued by this phenomenon and want a slice of this profitable pie. So what exactly have these influencers mastered, and how can businesses learn from their techniques? The first thing you need to recognize is that it’s not effortless. Influencers have a strategy essential to growing a brand in this modern age. They can pin down a target audience and know exactly how to cater to what they want to see. Influencers are also able to track what is and isn’t working. One of the fascinating things about influencers is their ability to pick up on trends and utilize them.
7 lessons from influencers to help you improve your sales
1). Humanize the brand
Think of your own experience when you receive generic, poorly written emails obviously sent to a large email list the sender got their hands on. If you don’t want to be the person receiving these blanket emails, you definitely don’t want to be sending them. Changing the way your brand is presented to consumers requires a shift in your process. Authenticity is the key ingredient. Our different personalities and styles and our ability to feel emotion and empathize with others is what makes us human. Use these traits in your branding and marketing language to humanize your brand. Whether it adopts the owners’ personality, or if the brand has a persona of its own, these traits create a lovable and connectable company. When a brand is relatable, humorous, full of heart, or authentic, it promotes a following of loyal fans and usually spreads like wildfire.
2). Partner up
How to Win Friends and Influence People is a book that Dale Carnegie wrote in 1936. You may think that nothing written that long ago could hold any relevance today. However, this book is considered by many to be the first book on influencing people in the business world. Carnegie believed the most successful people in any industry are not the ones that may know the business best, but who know how to lead people. Good leadership has never been about telling people what to do; it’s about setting an example that inspires people to follow. Partnerships are an essential part of social media influencing. Seek out partnerships that you know will be mutually beneficial and then put effort into them. This is an important rule to apply even in the function of your company internally. The work produced by employees who are told to do something is unmatched by the work produced by the employees encouraged to do something.
3). Optimize hashtags
You want to use some hashtags specific to your brand or company name so that if you are searched for by a hashtag, you are easily found. But you also want to use broader, more generic hashtags so that your post will appear in a large number of searches. It’s crucial to stay on top of the latest trends. It can be beneficial for a business to join in on internet trends. If there’s a trend out there that will only take a few minutes of your time, and in return, give you the ability to use a trending hashtag while simultaneously making your company seem humanized, do it.
4). Utilize Instagram
Your Instagram photos should always match your branding. When a viewer is on your profile, you want to send them a message about what kind of business you are. It is good to have diverse types of posts that serve different purposes, but not different so that when one views your profile, the viewer thinks your business has no defined personality or no aesthetic. Additionally, your bio has to summarize what you’re all about in only 150 characters.
5). Review your social media analytics
Social media analytics are the best way to track how your accounts are performing and how much traction they are getting. Multiple tools can be used that show you everything you would want to know about your accounts. Cloud Campaign is one of these types of programs designed to make tracking your social media analytics easier. Besides tracking analytics, users can also schedule posts on multiple platforms.
6). Learn about neuromarketing
Neuromarketing is important because it helps get inside a consumer’s head. It answers questions about what they probably thought when they bought a particular product. There are ethical guidelines surrounding neuromarketing, as it can be controversial. Some people find it strange that marketers study the brain to find out how to attract consumers to a particular product or service. It’s essential to be aware of the ins and outs of neuromarketing and how it affects consumers.
7). Think critically about new collaborations and partnerships with brands
Brands collaborate with influencers to grow their audience. This is one significant way that influencers can make money. Brands pay them to promote their brand on their social media accounts. As social media influencers become more popular, they often create brands of their own. These influencers sell their products directly to their audience. For example, Emily Weiss created Glossier after starting a makeup blog. The company has made over one billion dollars in revenue and caused considerable disruption in the makeup industry. Consumers are headed more and more toward influencer brands instead of traditional companies.
Influencers are slowly disrupting major industries, and a lot can be learned from them about how to market to a specific target audience. This phenomenon is similar to the concept of streaming replacing traditional television. Influencers have managed to take over the mainstream media. Audiences, especially younger people, are tuning into TikTok and YouTube more than television. All it takes is one viral video for someone to become an influencer. It seems to be easy to become viral, but the hard part is staying there. The trick is figuring out how to keep an audience’s attention after you capture it. Brands can follow the path of influencers and learn how to stay at the forefront of a new generation’s mind.