There are many ways in which you can choose to market your product via today's media. You can opt for traditional marketing strategies, although they are becoming increasingly obsolete. Or you can simply run a website and use SEO and PPC to gain traffic. But remember that one of the most cost-effective ways to deal with marketing is to get bloggers and influencers to promote your product. So, should you simply find an influencer with millions of followers and ask them to promote your product right off the bat? Of course not. As it is with all marketing, there are some preparations you need to deal with to tackle blogger and influencer marketing properly.
Why you need to get bloggers and influencers to promote your product
Before we get into all the nooks and crannies of how to find and work with bloggers and influencers, let's first go over why you need to get bloggers and influencers to promote your product. The easiest way to reach people is through social media. This is why digital marketing experts at Digital Dot New York point out that websites have to be mobile-friendly and that every company needs to have a social media account. But, while self-promotion is a good idea when done correctly, you will always have a hard time connecting with your customers. After all, you are trying to sell them something, and they are well aware of that. Therefore, they will always have a seed of doubt regarding your tips or pieces of information, no matter how honest you are.
People trust bloggers and influencers much more than they trust companies.
This is where bloggers and influencers step in. They are often seen as "everyday people" who have similar, if not the same, struggles as their followers. Therefore it is much easier for them to connect with your potential customers and explain why your product is worth checking out. Remember, no matter how much you try, you will always be seen as just another company. At the same time, they are simply a person providing their own view.
Finding the right blogger/influencer
Now that we know why it is important to work with bloggers and influencers for product promotion, let's see how to find one. Simply heading off to social media and contacting the first influencer you stumble upon won't do you much good. Remember, this is a business investment. And, as with any business, you need to do some research to get your money's worth. So, if you want to get bloggers and influencers to promote your product properly, here is what you need to do.
Focus on your niche
Let's say, for example, that you are selling sports equipment. You have a brand-new sports product, and you would like to find a blogger/influencer to promote it. Well, it doesn't make much sense to find a gaming blogger, does it? Even though they might have a substantial following. Remember, when it comes to marketing products, you are always targeting a specific demographic. So, ideally, you want to find the specific niche of people that will be interested in your product and then contact the blogger/influencer that is popular among them. A well-known member of their social media community is your best bet in getting people to notice your product and potentially purchase it.
Start low and build-up
Now, let's say that you've found your niche. Should you contact the most popular influencer in it? Well, it depends. If you are sure that your product is absolutely top-notch (you've captured lightning in a bottle), you can consider contacting the most popular influencer. But, in most cases, this is ill-advised. If you are offering a great product, it might be a hit. But, if you are offering a sub-par one, it is bound to be a huge miss. And, if a popular influencer says that your product is bad, you might as well write it off.
Before you get bloggers and influencers to promote your product, make sure that it is as good as it can be.
This is why you want to start small. Every demographic has its online community, and you should first become a member of it. That way you can research the market and see which influencers can help you out. Start with the ones with a low following, and then work your way up. That way, you will have the opportunity to experiment with your product and see if it needs any tweaking.
Depending on your niche's size, there might be quite a few influencers to choose from. And, since working with all of them will be expensive, you will need to filter them out. The best way to do so is to first see if they've promoted other products before. Some influencers struggle with promotion, even if they have a substantial following. Their style of addressing followers may not blend naturally with product promotions and will just come off as forced. Now, it can be that they simply weren't given a chance. Or that they are still working on their promotion skills. But, if you want to stay on the safe side, find influencers who have previously dealt with product promotion.
Tools you can use for finding bloggers/influencers
Using tools to find influencers and bloggers can be a good idea. This is especially true if you want to find influencers that have not yet boomed and that are considerably cheaper to work with. Some of the online tools you can use are BuzzStream, Ninja Outreach, Followerwonk, and Inkybee. All of them have their pros and cons, and you should first choose which social media you would like to focus on and then implement your tools.
Consider your product
The key reason why you need to become a member of your niche's online community is to modify your products. Focusing on making your product as good and cost-effective as possible should be your priority. But you will be surprised at how much a simple tweak in design can boost your sales. And by following trends in your niche, you can make the necessary design tweaks and boost your product sales from decent to astounding. Plus, if you spend enough time following trends, you can choose the right time to market. As many marketing experts tell you, this can be one of the most important aspects of social media marketing.
Contacting the blogger/influencer
Once you find the blogger/influencer that seems appropriate for your product, you will need to contact them. Now, while it may seem that a simple "Hey! Want to promote my product?" would be enough, this is rarely the case. The best way to get bloggers and influencers to promote your product is to think of them as your future business partners. And, in order to make them so, there are a couple of steps that you should take.
Follow before contacting
After you've joined your niche group on social media, we suggest that you start following any influencer you can find. Ideally, you want to do so as soon as possible. The more time you spend following influencers, the better you can keep track of what they are like. Every influencer has something about them that changes as time goes on and something that stays the same. And to differentiate between the two, you need to spend time following them.
Use every available type of social media to find out what the influencer is like.
Furthermore, keep in mind that most influencers are a bit narcissistic. After all, they wouldn't be doing this job if they weren't. So, it doesn't hurt for you to follow them and boost their ego by doing so. Repost some of their content and help them build their community. Just a bit of online presence and support can do wonders for them to like you and choose to work with you.
Build a relationship
Now that you are following the influencer, you need to proceed with building a relationship. You can start by posting comments and likes on their content. Remember that you want to get them to like you, but you don't want to be too obvious. Many companies post likes and comments as if they were the influencer's biggest fans, which always comes off as fake and annoying. If you see something that you like, leave your mark. But don't overdo it.
The more your social media interactions are natural and unforced, the easier it will be to both work with bloggers and reach new customers.
After a while, you can start a conversation with the influencer. See if they have any recommendations for you or ideas on how to design your products. Even if the ideas are less than great, you will make them feel important. This, as you will soon learn, is an excellent way to prepare them for working with you. The more they feel that you are interested in them, the more likely it is that they'll be interested in you.
Contacting the influencer
Experienced influencers will outline how you should contact them for business dealings. They will either post a business email address or have a manager you can contact. Whatever the case may be, make sure to follow their guide. Even though you might have different ways of contacting them, follow their rules. If they have none, you should either contact them via email or direct messaging.
Your email needs to be formal, yet personal.
The message you send them needs to be clear and concise. Explain that you have a product to promote and that you would like them to work with you. Keep in mind that even though influencers might seem laid back on their posts, they almost always prefer to talk with companies in a professional tone. So, try to keep informal conversations and jokes to a minimum. If you have established a solid relationship with the influencer, you can alter your tone to suit your general way of talking with each other. Just remember to be short and sweet.
What's in it for them
One of the things you should consider before contacting them is what's in it for them. To get bloggers and influencers to promote your product, you need to know how they can profit from doing so. Now, this will vary depending on the blogger you contact. Some will ask for a per-post payment. Others will require a monthly fee with a contract outlining posting details. Some might even be willing to promote your product if you send them a free sample. So, you need to first figure out what you are willing to give them for promotion. As we mentioned before, working with influencers is a business investment. So, try to figure out what is financially viable for you before you start.
Being attentive and not aggressive
Ok, so you've sent your business message, and the influencer is not answering. What now? Well, the best thing to do is to wait a week or two. If after that they don't answer, send them a notification message. Assume that they are interested but are not yet sure. So keep a friendly tone and simply remind them of what you are offering. If that doesn't work, back off. Know that in order to get bloggers and influencers to promote your product you need to be attentive, not aggressive.
If the influencer responds, great! If not, simply brush it off and wait for a better opportunity.
Don't take it personally if they are not interested right now. Instead, keep your communication with them going and try again at a later date. Whether you like it or not, either their or your situation will change. And, once it does, you will be able to take much better advantage of it if you are on good terms with your desired influencer.
Working with influencers
With any luck, you should get bloggers and influencers to promote your product within a couple of months. Once you set up a deal with one and they start promoting your product, you are pretty much done, right? Well, no. In order to properly use bloggers and influencers for product promotion, you need to actively participate in it. Investing in some influencers will have diminishing values. Others might provide a way to engage a different demographic, therefore making your product more known. Or you might come up with a completely new product that your current influencers aren't suited to promote.
So, once you start working with an influencer, a lot of things will be in motion. And it will be up to you to keep track of them. Remember to share their posts on your website.
If you followed the steps we've outlined so far, you should have a few influencers promoting your products, and you should experience an increased interest from your customers. But, to truly make product promotion with influencers top-notch, let's go over a couple of final tips to keep in mind.
Rules and regulations
Even though it may seem that you can organize your promotion with an influencer in whatever way you see fit, there are a couple of rules and regulations that you should be aware of. First, if you and the influencer exchange money, they will have to mention that their promotion is sponsored content. This will ensure that you maintain the loyalty of your niche community, which, once lost, can never be returned.
When doing your research remember that there are many influencers who are minors. This can bring some legal difficulties.
Also, try to discuss with the influencer how they plan on promoting your product. If you want them to use certain keywords or promote your product in a certain light, it is best to mention it as soon as possible. Know that after a certain point you won't have any editorial control. So, do what you can in order to avoid misrepresentation. Finally, we advise you to consult a lawyer and set up a contract before you start working with an influencer. There is not much that can happen (legal-wise), but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Branding and memes
Getting bloggers and influencers to promote your product should be an important part of your marketing strategy. But, not the only part. Remember, in order to deal with marketing properly you need to address it at multiple levels. This will include running a website, dealing with SEO and PPC, and even social media marketing. Successful companies are those that manage to establish a brand. And the most successful ones are those who manage to turn their product into a meme. Just check out companies like Tesla and Disney and see how they use memes to make their brand known. This is why it is vital that you keep a close eye on your niche and play an active role in its current trends.