It seems like the Internet abounds in influencers. From good-looking people who leverage their Instagram following to score product endorsement deals, to people from various industries that have established themselves as the go-to authority for everything industry-related. Some call influencers the new celebrities, some the new brands, and some both. Whatever you might call them, they are one of the hottest things in marketing right now. To reach success faster, you need to become an influencer.
Using influencers in marketing is still a terrain that’s hard to navigate. Surveys show that, while the marketers who use influencers are largely happy with what they get in return, estimating the return on investment of working with influencers is challenging. But if things go well, even the micro-influencers can use their reach to help increase engagement or drive traffic. So, if you’re thinking about jumping on the bandwagon and joining the ranks of online influencers, here are some things you’ll need to get you on your way.
Find Your Niche
As an online influencer, your success will largely depend on your ability to attract followers. It doesn’t have to be a huge number of followers because even a moderate but well-targeted audience can be valuable for marketers who might want to get in touch with you. [pullquote]But there needs to be an audience, and the best way to start building one is to ask yourself a simple question – what am I good at?[/pullquote]
Some people have years of experience and insider knowledge about working in an industry. Other people have a hobby or a talent or something they’re really good at. There are those who like hitting the gym and take much pride in their physique. Other people have impeccable taste when it comes to design or products or services.
The thing you’re good at will determine your niche. Your niche will determine your audience, and your audience will determine the types of deals you’ll be offered. So make sure that your niche is something that comes naturally to you.
Pick A Channel And Start Thinking About Content
Content is how you make your name as an influencer. Content also somewhat determines the channels you should use. Is your niche something that requires you to perform in-depth analysis and write long articles? In that case, you’ll probably want to start a blog and use Facebook and Twitter to promote your posts. Is your talent in finding things that will be visually interesting to others? Try Pinterest. If your traveling lifestyle is your strong point and you can make lots of quality images to document it, Instagram is your channel of choice.
Before you start building your channels, either by creating a website or by creating social media profiles, you should develop a content strategy. You should know by this point what types of content you’ll be able to make. Mapping out how you plan to roll out your content over the next couple of months is the next step, and it’s usually followed by creating the content for the next two months or so. Having a lot of content ready before you actually roll out can be very helpful because it gives you space to focus on growing your audience and fine-tuning everything in the first couple of months. Alternatively, you can hire an internet marketing service company to handle some of the audience building for you.
The most insightful and valuable content in the world is worth nothing to you if no one looks at it. Being consistent with your content’s quality and publishing schedule is great, but it won’t suffice on its own to create an audience.
[pullquote]Each social media channel has its own tips and tricks for growing an audience.[/pullquote] Commenting on other people’s content is a good strategy to get noticed, as is liking and following them on social media. You should become active in places where the people who are into your niche are active — forums, message boards, and groups. Don’t be afraid to interact with other people as it will yield dividends. Get into conversations about your niche, find your way into posting on authority websites, get everywhere where your audience might be.
And if you’re feeling like what you’re doing is shameless self-promotion, don’t. As long as your content is high-quality and it provides value to your audience, you’re not tricking them into doing anything bad. You’re just showing them the way to something they’ll find useful. Once you’re established as a person who is able to deliver value and has a trustful audience, you will become attractive for influencer marketers. At that point, all you have to do is wait for offers. Or seek them out actively.
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