Savvy marketing: how to use influencers to promote your business

Who doesn’t love a recommendation from a person they admire?

When Kylie Jenner posted a photo and endorsed the Fashion Nova clothing she was wearing, that single Instagram post received over 3 million likes!

Now of course, most small businesses are unlikely to ever engage the services of a mega-celebrity, but using influential people to help promote your product, service or brand is a powerful way to market and the growth of this approach is backed up by research.

The proof is in the stats

A 2015 study by Schlesinger Associates found that 84% of marketing and communications professionals worldwide expected to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next 12 months.

In addition, the 2016 Reuters Institute Digital News Report found that 47% of online consumers use ad blockers making it far less feasible to run ads to attract customers. On top of that, Google Trends shows the growing popularity of the term ‘influencer marketing’ against the more traditional term ‘print advertising.’

These statistics underline the fact that influencer marketing – using influential people to engage with your target audience – can be a creative and cost-effective way for small businesses to take advantage of the power of social media to help promote their products, services and brands.

Types of influencer marketing

When we talk about ‘influencer marketing’ there are a couple of different approaches: paid influencer marketing and earned influencer marketing.

Paid influencers are sponsored or paid for their testimonials on behalf of another company. In the same way a company might pay to put an ad online, they can pay an influencer to talk about their service or product to their existing audience. Compensation can be a monetary transaction or payment could also include receiving something for free.

Earned influencers are unpaid endorsers of a product. Sometimes an influencer might be impressed enough by a product or service that they will provide an unsolicited endorsement. An earned influencer may have a pre-existing relationship with a company and an endorsement could be motivated both by a feeling of goodwill as well as enthusiasm for a product. And it’s also worth remembering that sometimes potential customers view earned influencers as more trustworthy as they are not getting paid.

When you are deciding on the best approach for your business, you need to consider how you identify the influencers, how you market to them, and then how you market through them (earned or paid) and how to market with them (by making them an advocate or in some cases even a partner).  Companies have emerged – such as scrunch.com and therightfit.com – who can help businesses find social media influencers to suit their brands and also assist them in managing influencer marketing campaigns.

There are even some companies, like Pretty Little Thing, who watch what celebrities wear and rather than approach them and ask them to wear their clothes, they create identical, cost-effective products and then promote to their audiences that a celebrity has already worn a particular look.

Interested in learning more?  Here are some tips on how you can use influencer marketing to help you market your business:

Identify your influencers

Who are the leaders in your industry whose opinion counts and who have a loyal following on social media?  Look for influencers who share the values of your brand and have some knowledge of your type of product or service because consistency is critical when promoting your offering. And seek out trendsetters who are early adopters of new ideas as they are likely to be to make an impact and have a strong social following. Your aim is to identify those people who best connect with your business’ target audience so you can equip them to help promote your business for you.  For example, imagine you own a handbag company and your target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 45.  In this case, you might find potential influencers among mummy bloggers and fashion stylists.

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Connect with influencers

Connecting with influencers is all about building a relationship with them. Consider the channels you already use to market your business. It will be much easier to connect with potential influencers if you already have a presence on the same social media channels.  Spend some time observing the social media activity of your potential influencers to determine whether your brand is a good fit for their followers.  Engage with them online: on Twitter, you could mention an influencer in your own tweet or re-tweet on of their posts. On Instagram, comment on their photos or mention them in your own posts, and share their posts on Facebook. You could also look for opportunities to guest post on blogs and take part in online discussions.

Create engaging content

Social media users don’t want to be talked at or endure a ‘hard sell’; they want to experience engagement with other people. So if you want your product or service to be noticed, make sure your content is current, relevant and authentic.  Consider offering your influencers first release on new products or give them exclusive offers to promote – this approach will keep your content fresh to their followers and keep your influencers engaged as well.

Track your progress

One of the advantages of social media is that it is trackable meaning you can collect useful data about your customers or potential customers by measuring their behaviour. You can then use these insights to inform your future marketing efforts to make them more targeted and effective.

Influencer marketing is a clever, creative way to create enthusiasm for your brand, product or service by equipping influential people to help you reach your target audience.  We can help you explore how influencer marketing can work for your business.

Call us at: (07) 3878 1448 or Email: info@smartink.com.au

 

How You Know It’s Time for a New Website

Before you allocate your digital marketing budget this year it’s important to consider where the funds need to go. One area that is often overlooked as something that is ‘set and forget’ is your website. Just because you had your company’s website built 5 years ago does not mean your job is done. So we have put together a bit of a Website Health Check for your brand. If you say ‘Yes!’ to any of the following five points, it’s time to think about improving your existing site or getting a new website.

Number One: You cringe every time someone starts to say ‘I’ve just been on your website and…’

If you dread the ending of this sentence then there is a reason for it. Whether you’re anticipating another bug, some responsive issue or a comment on how they couldn’t navigate their way around your website this phrase made you nervous. You certainly weren’t expecting a compliment. Your website is your home. You should be proud of your home, instead of wanting to close the front door.

Number Two: You don’t have a blog.

This one is a pretty easy fix. If you do have a blog, look at the date of when your last one was published. If it was more than a month ago, it’s time to get writing. However, customers don’t just settle for blogs anymore. You have to go further. Your entire website has to be the definition of free and valuable information. Think E­books, Digital Guides and Free Digital Asset Giveaways. Load your customers up with valuable information so when it comes time for them to make a purchase, they will know where to go.

Number Three: You don’t know if it’s mobile responsive or not.

Is your website over 5 years old? Is your website custom made? If so, then there is a decent chance that your website is not responsive. This means when potential customers go to your website on their mobile or tablet, the page doesn’t format properly and is next to impossible to use. The number of people looking at websites on their mobile devices is now over 50%. If your website isn’t mobile responsive it means at least 50% of your audience are probably having a hard time viewing your site. People will not settle for less. No excuses anymore, it’s time to upgrade.

Number Four: Do you find yourself asking ‘Do we have a contact form on our website or has no one filled it out?’ since I started here a year ago?

Firstly, if you’ve been with the company that long I’d like to hope you’ve seen the website. The point is if you’re not getting enquiries on your website there is a reason for it. Firstly, check which email account has been set up to receive the forms. Next, work out how to get to the form. Did it take you more than two clicks? The contact form has to be easy to find and easy to fill out. It can’t get more simple than that.

Number Five: If you hid your logo and tagline would you be able to tell what your business does from the home screen?

If your website does not represent your brand accurately there is a problem. Your website should convey what you do without visitors relying on your logo, tagline and headline copy. It should have a feel and look about it. Also, if you have a stack of cheesy stock photos on your website please remove them.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you need to do something about it. Your website says a lot about not only your brand but the way you conduct business. A website that is not maintained reflects poorly on your business. Money should not be the primary reason you’ve let your website go. There are plenty of low cost ways to improve your website and a host of small changes you can make immediately that will make a big difference to the overall user experience of your site.

If you like the idea of improving your website but are afraid of the costs, get in contact with us right now. You’ll be surprised at just how affordable it is to get your website up to scratch.

Call us at: (07) 3878 1448 or Email: info@smartink.com.au

11 Tips for Improving your iPhone’s Battery Life

One of the biggest complaints people have about their smartphones is poor battery performance. While smartphones are packed with more features with each new release, phone batteries are getting slimmer and are asked to support all those great new features. Even though battery technology keeps improving, poor battery performance can still be an issue, especially if you’re out all day and are a heavy user of your smartphone’s features.

The following list of tips should help you squeeze more life out of your iPhone’s battery, and be useful when you’re unable to top up your phone’s battery during the day.  Read more

Why we won’t sign your non-disclosure agreement (and when we will)

As a marketing agency we are exposed to many types of businesses at different stages of their development. The work we do varies from small ad-hoc pieces of work that only take a week or two to create, through to long-term marketing support relationships that can last for years.

From time to time during the course of our work we get asked to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). An NDA creates a binding legal agreement between the organisations and the people in them with the aim of protecting confidential information and intellectual property.

We recognise that there is a time and place for NDAs, and we will happily sign them when certain conditions are met. Unfortunately many of the NDAs we see don’t even come close to meeting those criteria and we would rather walk away from the work than risk the repercussions that could arise from signing them.

It’s not the idea, it’s the execution that counts

Everyone has an idea for something. But it’s not the idea itself that is valuable. It is the execution of the idea that counts. It’s the specifics of what is built around that idea and how it is implemented that counts. Not the idea on its own. So please don’t send us an NDA that seeks to protect some vague idea or notion.

Those types of agreements are not tailored to the business being discussed, they don’t define the details of the intellectual property concerned, have no timeframes or sunset clauses, and try to protect something as vague as “ideas and concepts we share with you.” The words “ideas” and “concepts” are so all-encompassing that they could cover just about anything.

By signing something that is so general and open to interpretation we would be making ourselves incredibly vulnerable. After all, how on earth are we going to track every word, every “notion” or “idea” that we discuss in every conversation we have with a business?  And who’s to say that we haven’t encountered or will encounter some of those “ideas” and “notions” somewhere else? By signing something like that, we would also be restricting who we can work with in the future.

We take legal agreements and our commitments to them very seriously. This means that we won’t sign any agreement until it has been read and approved by our lawyers. Getting our lawyers to read and amend contracts costs us time and money. So we’ll only send them something that meets certain criteria.

What will we sign?

If you have an NDA that has been drawn up specifically for your business, or a specific meeting you want to have, and it outlines the confidential information, your intellectual property, the patents you’ve filed, the trademarks you’re protecting, or other clearly defined details relating to the business in question, and the timeframes involved, then we’ll consider it.

If you really have some “secret sauce” and you want to share the recipe with us, then it makes sense to have an NDA protecting you. Do you have some proprietary code for a web app you’ve built? Or a patent you’ve filed for a new invention that you want to commercialise? Great! We understand where you’re coming from. Spend the time and money to have a lawyer prepare an agreement that covers the specifics of what is covered, and we’ll look at your NDA.

But please, no more generic NDAs that were downloaded from the internet and which are so broad that they could be interpreted to cover just about anything.