In case you haven’t heard, influencer marketing is vital to your social strategy and leveraging social media influencers is a prime way to boost your brand. When scrolling through your Instagram feed, odds are you’ll see at least one #sponsored post – I mean, raise your hand if you’ve almost clicked a bio link for Teami Tea, Smile Direct, FabFitFun or Hello Fresh (🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️).
It’s predicted that the Instagram influencer market will reach $1.7 billion by the end of 2019, and $2.3 billion by 2020. But what if your company doesn’t have the big bucks to snag a celebrity fan favorite to endorse your brand or product? No worries: Authentic, organic influencer engagement is your answer.
The real purpose of organic influencer marketing is to get these known individuals – whether they be lifestyle bloggers, reporters or even industry experts – to engage with your brand because they want to, not because they’re getting paid. Not only is turning an influencer into a brand advocate more cost-effective, but it’s also much more authentic.
Follow these 5 steps to start engaging in no time:
Step 1: Select the Right Influencers for Your Brand
In order for organic influencer engagement to be effective, you must first pick the right people to engage with. How can you determine if an individual is right for you? Their audience.
Make sure their audience and personal brand matches yours. The influencers you engage with should align with your business objectives and values.
For example, if your goal is to simply generate awareness, you may lean more toward a macro influencer with a larger following. But if you’re seeking a higher engagement rate, a micro influencer with a smaller, more engaged following is your best bet.
Step 2: Set up the Proper Monitoring Tools
Now that you know who you’d like to target, it’s time to monitor for perfect opportunities to engage. You can do this by building private Twitter lists or setting up notifications on Instagram by using the “Turn on Post Notifications” option. This will allow you to keep tabs on your targeted list and stay in the know of what they’re talking about.
Step 3: Genuine and Authentic Engagement Only
It’s important that when you begin initiating a relationship, there’s meaning behind what you’re saying and putting out into the social world. Make sure your comments are authentic and genuine.
Remember, you want to catch an influencer’s attention and spark a conversation – try asking a question! It’s likely their posts are already being flooded with comments from others, and it’s up to you to write something unique or thought-provoking to get noticed!
Step 4: Build a Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Give a little, get a little. That’s the motto here. If you want to appear on an influencer’s radar and boost your brand, help them increase their engagement rate and drive traffic to their accounts, as well.
On Twitter, try retweeting their posts with an insightful comment or sharing their articles or blog posts in your own tweets. When you do this, remember to tag their handle and give them credit.
On Instagram, try “regramming” their posts and tagging them accordingly. If they see you actively boosting their credibility, they might want to send some love right back!
Step 5: Measure Your Results
Lastly, track your results. What has been working? What isn’t working? Which influencers are positively responding to your engagement? Which engagements are getting noticed by other followers? It’s important to keep notes on your ROI so you know if you were successful and what you might need to tweak in the future.
Create a tailored dashboard to keep tabs on the data most important to you, such as engagement rate, follower growth and web traffic increase, to use as a benchmark each time you start a new social campaign.
In summary: You don’t need pockets full of cash to reap the rewards of influencer marketing. What you need is to be genuine, authentic and persistent to get the most out of organic influencer engagement.