Not a set of generic “hacks” that you already know. This is different!
In the last 15 months, through hard work and spending a lot of time with my audience, I’ve been able to reach 250M followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and from authoritative blogs.
Influencer marketing is not a new concept. It’s been used by several brands, marketers, and influencers themselves. Which goes to show that it works.
One of the reasons why Influencer marketing works is because a person who has built a level of trust with consumers is the one sharing the content or product.
Before a marketer or entrepreneur can be tagged an influencer, they must build real relationships with their audience and connect in ways brands simply can’t.
The content they share are valuable, which the consumers can relate to everyday.
Influencers are known for being objective when they share information with an audience that desperately need it. In turn, this casts a lasting halo over all of your other brand messaging. Isn’t that wonderful?
We’ll be looking at 5 influencer marketing hacks right below, but before then you need to always remember that consumers don’t care what you as a brand have to say – what they care about is how you can bring them relief from their problems.
Get to understand their viewpoints, and find a vantage angle to approach solving their problems. You must know how to speak their language, and show them how to put your solutions into practice.
So here we go, the 5 most underutilized influencer marketing hacks that yield results for me:
1. Authenticate and activate your loyal customers
Do you even know your best customers?
I call them “best” customers because they have become loyal to your brand in recent years. Beyond buying your products or services, these loyal customers have gone the extra mile to refer other people to your business.
Trust me, these loyal customers are hard to come by. For this reason, don’t fold your arms and make them bored?
What you should do is activate these customers. I know that you’re familiar with the concept of activating free trial users into paying users, but the activation that I’m referring to is quite different.
I’m talking about turning paying and loyal customers into brand advocates and influencers. Since they already believe in your cause, you can get them to share your content with their fans or customers (no matter how few they may be).
Yes I know it takes time. But it’s doable. For example, if a customer sends you a testimonial, writes a positive review or tweets your latest post or product update, you need to appreciate and reward them.
What I normally do is to follow-up and send a thank you note and an offer for VIP service. According to Jay Heinrichs, “The thank you note is the greatest marketing technique that’s ever invented.”
You need to find your best customers. Since they spend the most money on your products, you can find them on your email lists (customer’s segment), social media channels, and point of sale systems.
This group of customers may be small, but according to Author Perry Marshall, “this 20% of your customer base, generates 80% of your annual sales.” “The great insights and advocacy from them can help you reach a new audience,” says Steve Carlotti of the Harvard Business Review.
2. Leverage on your past collaborations
Every business should try this influencer marketing hack.
Here’s how it works: All of the people whom you’ve had dealings with in the past, especially those who purchased your product, shared your content or idea, commented, or mentioned your brand on their posts – you need to leverage on that past collaboration.
How many people shared your posts last month? Who commented on your photos on Facebook or Instagram? You can find sharers via Buzzsumo.
When you’ve found the people who shared your content or left comment on your blog, you need to reach them one by one – or use a handy tool like Mailshake.
But that’s not all. You can also mention these people or brands on your blog posts, ebooks, and publications.
First, this would lend credibility to your post or publication. Second, when you mention brands or link to them, they get a notification that they’re being talked about.
In a bid to appreciate you, they will be obliged to share (e.g., Tweet, retweet, share on Facebook, pin your image to their Pinterest boards), and may even link to the post.
Here’s a proof that collaboration works. Birchbox collaborated with Cupcakes & Cashmere, the popular blog with tens of thousands of fans and readers.
The simple idea was for the blog to curate Birchbox’s May box. At the end of the partnership, the curated box had generated 18,000 likes and reached over 550,000 customers.
3. Partner with niche-specific influencers
This one hack allowed me to cross 100M follower reach. When you get serious with influencer marketing, you will discover over time that focusing on a specific industry or field will bring you better and targeted followers, fans, and customers.
It may not bring you the most reach, but you will be happy with your end results.
There are influencers on every industry. For example, in the digital marketing world, there are too many influencers that are waiting for your email, but don’t fall prey to such shiny temptations.
Instead, focus on influencers who understand what your business is about. If you’re an indie author and you want to reach new audience, then, you should look for successful independent authors who have both loyal and huge fan bases.
If you’re an app marketer or app developer, spend your time connecting and building strong relationships with these niche-specific influencers.
You will agree with me that it’s a waste of time trying to connect and build relationship with small business influencers, when you’re promoting a weight loss product. Tell me, what’s the connection?
4. Ask for expert opinions
After reading Jonah Berger’s “Contagious: Why Things Catch On,” it became clear to me that if you want influencers to respond to your content and share it, you don’t need to be pushy or overly promotional.
Instead, focus on evoking a positive or negative emotion in your content or email. Emotions like Happiness, Awe, Sadness, Laughter, and so on, will always catch on. When either of these emotions is triggered, it attracts people and inspires them to share their opinions.
In the light of this fact, when you send an email to an influencer, don’t ask for a link, a share, or anything that requires them to help you. Instead, ask for their opinion.
So you could ask, “what do you think of this headline that I want to use in my latest post?”
It’s a simple question, but the influencer will naturally be drawn to it. You’ll get honest feedback, comments, or suggestions from influencer. Endeavor to use them in your post.
And when the post eventually goes live, notify the influencer. Again, don’t ask them to share it, just tell them that the post is live. If you can put this to work, you’ll be amazed by the results.
5. Launch a contest to reward influencer’s audience
Every influencer is looking for opportunities to reward their audience. Because there comes a time when the best content isn’t enough.
At such times, the influencer will certainly accept your offer of launching a contest that will benefit and reward their audience.
Brands are using contests to build their customer bases. For example, Welter Heating, a family-owned HVAC company hosted a social media contest, and increased website traffic by 116% – compared to the same period the previous year.
If you’ve a small audience, then by all means reach out to influencers with a huge audience. You could reward the winners with $1,000, $500, $200 or an equivalent reward in kind.
The truth is, influencers buy into such ideas. However, do it because you care about the audience, and you truly want to help them.
This untapped influencer marketing hack helped me generate well over 3,000 email subscribers in 48 hours. Why?
Because the influencer was excited about the contest. He shared it with his email subscribers, blog readers, Facebook and Twitter fans, and even talked about it during an interview session.
While you can’t predict accurately the results that you will get through these influencer marketing hacks, within the first week/month of putting one of them to work, you will get a clearer picture of where your brand is heading.
To an extent, the lessons that you will learn in the process is more important than the results. So stay put, and keep experimenting with different hacks.
I’d love to hear from your you. Which of these influencer marketing hacks have tried, what results did you get?
About the Author
Victor Ricci is known for his work on Vine, amassing over 1 million followers in less than 7 months. From there he founded Trend Pie, an influencer marketing platform that helps app developers drive cost effective downloads and whose customers include Sworkit, Yahoo! Video Guide, Drunk Mode, Wedding Wire and more.