Your influencer marketing campaign works on multiple levels. While everyone wants a celebrity like Lebron James or Tom Brady to promote their products, many smart companies are learning the benefits of relying on micro-influencers (or peer influencers) to share their brand. These are influencers with experience (but not necessarily massive followings) who talk about your brand and encourage their friends, family and social audience to use your products. By making a simple Facebook post or a ringing endorsement on Yelp, micro-influencers can have a major impact on your sales. Even if a micro-influencer only brings in a few people from a single post, you can grow your business with by scaling.
Micro-influencers use word-of-mouth marketing to drive people to your business. Here are five strategies you can follow to expand the reach of your brand.
1. Ask For Online Reviews and Comments
Online reviews continue to power customer decision-making. Recent studies reported on Inc.com have found that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as an in-person endorsement.
If you want to tap into peer influencer marketing, ask your customers to leave a review. While this might not seem like much, it can have a significant impact on your business. Almost 70 percent of people make a decision about a brand after reading one to six reviews.
You don’t need hundreds of reviews to benefit from this form of influencer marketing. Create a list of sites on which you would like reviews, like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, and add calls to action for your customers to share their thoughts.
2. Tap Into User-Generated Content
Along with asking for online reviews, you can also develop a user-generated content campaign to boost your word-of-mouth efforts. For example, you could run a competition and ask customers to share a photo and talk about why they love your brand. You can also create a scavenger hunt for social audiences with prizes related to your products.
User-generated content is powerful because it exposes your brand to new audiences. The average Facebook user has 338 friends. If 10 customers post about your company, then up to 3,380 new people can find out about what you offer. Each peer influencer might have a limited reach, but together they can reach thousands of people in your community.
3. Build An Active Social Media Community
Social media are important traffic-drivers for your business. Sprout Social estimates that 31 percent of all traffic comes from social media (an increase from 22 percent a few years ago). Furthermore, 62 percent of people get their news from social media and rely on them for information.
Unfortunately, social feeds like Facebook and Twitter only promote what is popular. If no one interacts with your pages, then you likely won’t reach your current audiences, much less new ones. As you develop your micro-influencer strategy, make sure your social pages are something you can be proud of. If you bring new people to your social site and there’s nothing they want to engage with to learn more about what you offer, then your influencer effort has likely gone to waste.
4. Develop a Referral Program
If you want to reward loyal customers and encourage them to become brand ambassadors, consider setting up a referral program. For every customer they bring in or send to your business, they will receive a discount, a complimentary item, or a gift. Business owners across a range of industries, from dentist offices to mechanics, use referral programs.
Referral programs also help you learn who your top micro-influencers are. You can see who sends the most referrals to your business as well as which ones endure over time. These micro-influencers are highly valuable to your brand, as losing them means losing all of the new customers they bring in to see what your company is all about.
5. Create Share-Worthy Content and Experiences
If you create a positive and memorable brand experience, then customers will post about it organically. It’s possible to tap into word-of-mouth marketing just by improving your products, customer service, and storefront. If you have ever taken a picture of your favorite restaurant meal and shared it with your friends, you were a micro-influencer for that restaurant.
Some companies are taking branding to the next level and actually placing their logos in their ramen noodles, on their pasta, on burgers, in cocktails, and on ice. They know people are sharing pictures of their products, and they want to make sure their brand name is front and center.
You don’t have to operate a restaurant to create share-worthy experiences. Brainstorm ways your brand can stand out above the competition and make customers reach for their smartphones.
6. Post Product Offers and Pitch Influencers to get Reviews
A trustworthy influencer marketing platform will enable you to create dynamic campaigns. Peer-level influencers can then apply to be a part of your campaigns or you can pitch them directly (if you choose a service such as Intellifluence, which supports this ability).
If you partner with the right influencers, it’s easy to gain exposure through reviews that are visible to your target niche.
Word-of-mouth marketing with the help of peer influencers is just one tactic you can use to bring people into your business. Tap into the power of people and learn how influencer marketing has the potential to grow your brand.