Social media has revolutionized digital marketing. Being able to reach and influence millions of individuals is now as simple as tapping a button on your phone. But while we all have access to the same free and paid platforms, there are those of us who have greater sway than others. How do you maximize your impact on social media platforms and drive action and conversions? The answer lies in influencer marketing. Here’s how you can influence the influencers and create partnerships that last.
1. Sponsor Social Media Influencers
Influencer marketing is a $13.8 billion industry that has demonstrated excellent results in terms of driving sales and boosting brand exposure. The Digital Marketing Institute reports that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. Businesses earn, on average, $5.78 for every dollar spent on an influencer marketing campaign, with some earning as much as $18 for every dollar spent. Fortunately, getting started is simple. Sponsoring social media influencers allows you to tap into their dedicated base of followers by paying them to promote your product or service. Sponsorships are common with podcast hosts as well. However, it’s important to remember that there are both macro and micro-influencers. While macro-influencers have larger audiences, micro-influencers have a more intimate audience base that offers higher levels of engagement and may drive greater conversion. Carefully research the influencers in your industry and weigh how each one might benefit your business.
2. Develop an Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs incentivize influencers in your industry to share your products and services by paying them a commission for each of the sales that they drive. While independent from influencer marketing programs, this pay-for-performance strategy complements an influencer marketing strategy. How? Findstack reports that over 65% of affiliate marketers connect with customers via social media.
Affiliate programs attract a variety of promoters beyond social media influencers. Products get promoted not just on social media, but through paid advertising, email marketing, website content, and more. One excellent example of how affiliate programs are employed to drive traffic to your business can be found in this rent reporting comparison article from Digital Honey.
The author reviews products in that industry in-depth and makes recommendations accordingly. Naturally, the recommendation ends with a call-to-action containing an affiliate tracking link. More importantly, an influencer looking to maximize their commission earnings won’t stop at informative blog posts like the above but will also break that content down into actionable social media posts and emails as well. When there’s an incentive to earn continued income through driving sales via affiliate programs, influencers will seek to maximize that by reaching their audience through any means possible.
3. Create Strategic Partnerships
Affiliate relationships tend to be transactional in nature. For this reason, one downside to affiliate programs is that they can attract influencers who may not share your values or operate with the highest ethical principles. Fraud is frequently a concern.
Strategic partnerships, on the other hand, are structured corporate deals. They exist on an entirely different level of trust. The value of networking is one of the first lessons taught in business, and this absolutely applies to working with companies that are in complementary industries. For example, Google is the default search engine on the iPhone Safari browser. This didn’t happen by accident. It is the result of a heavily negotiated corporate partnership that benefits both parties substantially. Partnering with companies in a complementary industry can help you expand your own business considerably.
Influencer programs, affiliate programs, and strategic partnerships can be extremely successful growth strategies if executed correctly. They’re worth the consideration of every C-level marketing and sales executive. Influencer marketing can help your product gain traction through personable, tailored interactions. Learn more about how to implement a clear, aligned Story that yields Influencer marketing potential in Dave Sutton’s best-selling book, Marketing, Interrupted.