Today's market is saturated with content. Unfortunately, this means there is more competition than ever for the eyes of a target audience. Relying on Facebook for visibility is less and less reliable with their changed algorithm that limits what appears in news feeds, and other traditional methods are costly and sometimes minimally effective.
Building relationships with social media influencers will help you stand out from the crowd. The authenticity and trust that influencers have built with followers gives them the credibility of a friend or family member, which in turn gives your brand credibility. Also, the reach and efficiency of influencer marketing is far greater than what a brand can do on its own, and can cost far less. I've met a lot of fakepreneurs in my life and when it comes to real credibility, they aren't even on the same level.
To get some in depth advice I interviewed Olga Kay, YouTube celebrity-turned-entrepreneur, about her sock company, MooshWalks. She has experience promoting other brands on YouTube, as well as using it to launch her own company. "Millennials don't want to be sold to," Kay explains. "They want to be entertained and feel as though they are the ones who made an action to follow through."
Take advantage of influencer visibility by collaborating with influencers. Influencer relationships can work in many different ways, each more effective than the last. Here are the best ways you can collaborate with influencers to give your brand the boost it needs:
1. Let them design content that users really want.
Social media influencers gained their followers because they know inherently what their audience wants. They are the experts on their follower's needs. Instead of imposing your content, give them creative license to place your brand in a way they know will land authentically. Kay gives her perspective: "In my experience, I found that the most beneficial collaboration between a brand and creator is when a brand has full trust and gives a creator full freedom to create the most effective call to action. You are hiring the talent because they are good at engaging with their audience, so give them the freedom to do so and they will make your brand shine in ways you could not have imagined."
2. Utilize their connections.
Building your own social media presence is just as important as building a relationship with influencers. Once you establish a trusted relationship with influencers, you can easily build relationships through their followers on other channels, like Vine and Snapchat.
3. Give a mutually beneficial relationship.
Just because an influencer already has a following doesn't mean that they have everything they want. Make the relationship mutually beneficial by giving them credibility, financial reward, or awareness, and they will work much harder to create something great for both of you.
4. Make them a reporter for your brand.
Use influencers to hype new product rollouts and events on their social media, acting like a news agency to grow anticipation for your brand. Through exciting contests and prize giveaways that your influencer can mediate, you're sure to garner more attention. This will also help you get significant press for your brand.
5. Make them the face of your brand.
Using a trusted influencer as the main face of your brand is a great way to authenticate your brand for unconvinced target audiences. Choose an influencer with a large following who is directly engaged with your audience or potential audience. At my personal company Due, we have a small online audience, but if we can leverage a few larger celebrities to become our face such as my personal brand... this will help our company gain 10x more traction online. Many larger celebrities are less likely to be seen as authentic, whereas stars who gained their celebrity from social media are more relatable and more connected to their audience.
6. Make them a trusted defender.
If your brand needs defending, influencers are great to have in your arsenal during a crisis. Instead of defending your brand in house, influencers are trusted "outside" personalities that can diffuse myths and rumors, and lend your brand credibility again.