Influencer marketing is all the rage in 2023, and for good reason! It’s become a very powerful and fruitful promotional tool.
Influencers are regular people and celebrities who have amassed large followings of online users who really listen to their recommendations. In recent years, companies have been partnering with influencers to promote their products, grow their fan bases, and ultimately get more sales.
In this article, we’re going to talk about influencer marketing strategies and how you can use it to take your business to the next level. Let’s get started.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing primarily involves internet celebrities promoting your products and services on their social media accounts, blogs, podcasts, and the like. This strategy can grow your customer base, increase your brand awareness, and even make you more visible via search engines thanks to link building. This involves securing links to your website, which will give you a boost on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Influencer marketing can make your brand come across as more relatable, more engaging, and can boost your conversion rate.
When looking for different influencers to work with, you first need to consider what type of person you want to be representing your brand. Their style, personality, and expertise are all major considerations when it comes to choosing influencers to work with. After all, they’re going to be promoting your products and services — when finding who to work with, consider your ideal customer and who they’re most likely to relate to.
There are a lot of different ways you can reach out to influencers to ask them to collaborate with you. Social media DMs are one place to start, but it could come off as more professional if you contact them via email. Tools like Linkio can help you find email addresses to conduct influencer outreach, as some social media celebrities prefer to keep their details private.
For more information on the benefits of using social media as a marketing tool, take a look at Bulk.ly’s guide.
Partner with influencers to market your products
One of the most common strategies for influencer marketing is to partner with influencers or celebrities to market your products and services — this way, they can advertise them through social media and blog posts. When you choose influencers for this, you should pick people who would be likely to use your products regardless, so it seems authentic.
Just keep in mind that, if you send influencers products for free, they’re typically under no obligation to advertise them. They still might be happy to do so, but the best way to guarantee a feature on their platform is to pay them or offer them a cut of any sales they make through their posts.
Let’s look at a few examples of businesses that do this well.
For instance, Dainty Jewells, a women’s and children’s clothing retailer, uses influencers to sell their products and promote them on Instagram. In this post, for instance, an influencer has shared a beautiful picture of her wearing one of the company’s dresses. This is an aspirational but relatable photo that could be enough to convince the influencer’s following to visit Dainty Jewells’ website and make a purchase.
It’s clear that the social media influencer is working with the brand, as she has mentioned how grateful she is to have the opportunity to do so. But, because this dress reflects the influencer’s usual style and looks great on her feed, this post still seems natural and promotes the company’s products in a subtle way.
Similarly, Abercrombie & Fitch, a young adult clothing retailer, has partnered with influencer Jen Reed to make The Sister Studio Edit, a collection of clothing curated by Reed.
This gives Reed something to directly recommend to her followers — fans of her will be likely to purchase these products from Abercrombie & Fitch as a result, meaning it is a very effective strategy for increasing conversions.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, on the other hand, does something very unique with its influencer campaigns. They regularly partner with celebrities and influencers to make “collab flavors” inspired by the person they’re working with. Recently, for instance, they made a strawberry and pretzel ice cream flavor inspired by Dolly Parton, with proceeds going to the Imagination Library, Parton’s book gifting program.
Dolly Parton has a massive fan base that spans across generations. So, creating an ice cream flavor inspired by her is a great way to secure new customers and get the word out about the brand in general.
Incorporate influencers into your content, so they share it
Influencers often have strong followings of their own — this means any content they share is likely to get a lot of clicks and engagement. Make the most of this by incorporating influencers into your content. For example, you could ask them to star in your advertising campaigns, book them as a guest to promote your podcast, or ask them for a quote for your blog posts.
This relationship should be mutually beneficial, whether they’re paid for their services or receive other benefits, like a free product.
Let’s look at a few examples of businesses that incorporate influencers into their content well.
For instance, FreshBooks is a company that provides cloud accounting software for freelancers and small businesses. They also create a podcast for this audience and make sure to get influencers involved whenever possible.
For instance, in the above Instagram post, they’ve shared a snippet of an interview they conducted with Lisa Song Sutton, an entrepreneur and former Miss. Nevada, who boasts an Instagram following of almost 73,000.
This image is something that she can easily share on her own account, encouraging her followers to listen to the episode.
Walmart has done something similar with their influencer marketing campaign. They have a separate Instagram account for their fashion and clothing selection. Here, they post Reels and images of different influencers wearing their Walmart fashion looks, making it easy for the relevant influencers to share these with their own followers.
It’s very likely the influencers involved will share these posts to their followers and, as they’re seen wearing full Walmart looks that are styled very well, this is sure to lead to a lot of sales for the brand.
How could you incorporate influencers into your own content? Consider whether they could star in your advertising campaigns, be a guest on your podcast, or write some guest content for your blog. This will make it much more likely that they’ll share your content with their audiences.
Provide influencers with discount codes to share with their followers
Discount codes are a very powerful tool for encouraging people to make their first purchases with your business; after all, everyone likes to save money! By giving personalized discount codes to influencers, you can reach their followers specifically and generate more leads through social media.
Keep in mind that you need to work with influencers that are relevant to your field, especially when offering discount codes — this will give you the most engaged fan base to work with. Plus, it’s easy to keep track of the effectiveness of personalized discount codes, as you can see exactly how many sales these have helped to generate.
Let’s look at a few examples of businesses that do this well.
For instance, Ketoned Bodies, a keto-friendly food delivery service, has used their custom discount strategy well.
Tanya Foster, a lifestyle blogger, is someone the company has chosen to work with. And, in the Instagram post above, she’s promoted the company’s meal boxes with a variety of different discount codes. These all give customers money off their first purchase, and the amount is determined by how much they spend.
Because Foster has a very engaged audience of people who take her recommendations seriously, this post, combined with the very generous discount codes, is likely to have led to plenty of new orders for Ketoned Bodies.
Raycon, a premium wireless audio brand, has done something similar with their influencer campaign, but this time through YouTube instead of Instagram. For instance, they partnered with The Game Theorists, a popular gaming YouTube channel, to promote their wireless earbuds with the discount code MATPAT.
People watching Game Theory videos are likely into gaming, meaning they might be on the market for a decent pair of headphones. By promoting their products through various Game Theory videos and offering a discount, Raycon is able to draw in more customers for their headphones and accessories.
Think about which influencers are going to have fan bases that are likely to be receptive to your discounts so they can market your products. Not only do discounts encourage more people to purchase your products but, by making them custom to the specific influencer that is promoting your company, you can easily see just how successful your specific influencer campaigns have been.
Reshare influencers’ posts on your social media profiles
Influencers typically grow their followings by sharing beautiful photos on their social media profiles. So, if an influencer or brand advocate shares a photo that shows off your product or service, reach out and see if you can share it! These posts will often get a lot of engagement, which will help you boost your following.
Just be sure to ask your followers for permission to republish their content, and tag their handle in your post. This will help start a fruitful, long-lasting relationship with an influencer. You could even start your own hashtag to collect all of the posts that people share featuring your products or services.
Let’s look at an example of a business that does this well.
For instance, Express, an adult clothing brand, consistently shares photos after influencers post about their products with the hashtag #ExpressYou. This hashtag has been designed specifically to be used by influencers and real customers — anyone who scrolls through the posts in this hashtag will likely see other influencers they like and people just like them recommending Express products.
By having a special hashtag and sharing influencers’ posts, Express can draw in more followers and customers. If you want to get more user-generated content, consider tying your influencer posts to a special hashtag!
Provide influencers with prizes for competitions
Providing influencers with prizes for giveaways or competitions is a great way to increase your brand awareness. Influencers often hold giveaways to increase their followings, and they tend to partner with brands that will provide the prizes. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, as it will grow both your business’ following and that of your influencers.
Let’s look at an example of a business that incorporates giveaways into their influencer marketing campaigns well.
Ninja, a popular video game streamer, partnered up with NZXT to give away a PC. The rules were simple: follow Ninja, tag your friends, and be entered to win.
This was an ideal influencer and company match-up! People who watch Ninja’s live streams are likely to be interested in products from NZXT. Even if they don’t win the PC, they might be interested in buying their keyboards, monitors, and the like after getting an endorsement from Ninja.
Additionally, it should be noted that the giveaway itself was hosted on NZXT’s website and promoted on Ninja’s live streams regularly. This means that just to enter, viewers would have to go onto NZXT’s website, getting them a great deal of traffic and potential customers.
Final thoughts on influencer marketing strategies
Influencer marketing can be incredibly powerful, so it’s well worth factoring it into your promotion strategy. In this article, we outlined several different influencer marketing strategies you can use, including providing prizes for competitions and giveaways, having influencers contribute to your content, and more.