Considered the most effective means to convert followers to buyers in today’ marketing world; what does it take to be an Influencer?
Who is an influencer?
Today’s influencer is an expert on a topic or brand. He or she has a passion that has blossomed into a vocation to which they add immense value. This addition of value in their niche is shared with a small or large band of followers whose trust they have earned over a period of time.
How did these influencers build a trusting community?
A few things come to my mind. One, they took the time to build their community, by creating relevant content in their speciality and sharing this content; acquiring followers who saw the value of these offerings. More followers joined the community because something shared went viral or through existing followers.
Another way to build trust and community is by networking and collaborating with fellow experts in the same field. This includes initiatives such as sharing another’s post, guest posting on another’s space, and partnering with fellow influencers.
A very important consideration for an influencer to build and maintain the trust of their followers is to continue to consistently share value added information with their followers. An important way to do this is by keeping up with the latest updates in their niche. Another way to do this is to actively engage with their followers by responding to them and being approachable.
Where do these influencers build their community?
Social Media Channels
Most Influencers have their handles on one or more social media sites. These handles are chosen to easily represent and personalise the area of expertise that they are sharing with their followers. The most popular social media channels that influencers use today (2017) are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
Why choose a particular social media channel over others?
This depends on the type of content and strategy that the Influencer wishes to adopt to build his or her community. Most Influencers match the style of what they share to the social media channel they have chosen. Many have adapted to more than one social media channel and may use apps to post across channels.
Websites or Blogs
While social media channels are great places to build communities, many Influencers also choose to build their brand on a website or a blog. This may be because most social media content has limitations that may come in the way of delivering a comprehensive message to its audience; web or blog posts can include multiple media in a single offering such as video, image, and written content.
Some of the top websites / blogs today (2017) are Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Weebly, Wix… to name a few.
How does an Influencer turn influenceability into money?
Influencers work with brands and anyone who needs an advertiser to market services or products to their community a.k.a potential buyers. Most successful Influencers do not take on marketing efforts randomly or only based on financial rewards; they put a lot of thought into what they market, ensuring that it resonates with their passion and that they are able to keep it real while standing for what they are marketing. This is important because today’s buyers are smart and “want to be educated, not sold”.
Effective Influencers keep in mind the buyer’s journey when they create various Call to Actions (CTAs) for their communities while marketing something. CTAs must be valuable, relevant, and must take the buyer to that place in their journey that makes the most sense.
Appropriately written and placed CTAs help with successful conversion of leads to buyers. For example, successful Influencers write CTAs that build awareness and interest in a buyer in the initial stages. This may help convert leads into prospects. At a later stage in the buyer journey, CTAs highlighting the benefits of a service or product may convert prospects into buyers.
The buyer’s journey doesn’t end here. Nurturing the buyers post this conversion is equally important and an effective Influencer is aware of this.
How does an Influencer measure the success of this marketing strategy?
All successful Influencers measure the effectiveness of their outreach within their community. They measure metrics such as click rates, conversion rates, etc. using analytical tools such as Google Analytics. This helps them and the brands understand the power of their influenceability.
Most of the successful Influencers today have incorporated much of what has been discussed and made it their own mantra to financial success.