A Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to increase their organic reach. It’s important to get influencer marketing right in order make the most of its potential.


The 5 Steps of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is traditionally very difficult because finding the right influencers is time consuming and requires extensive research. By following our 5-Step process, you can find more influencers to work with and make the most of your relationships with them.


Step 1: Find Your Network

Every business has a niche, and every niche has a network. If you sell dog toys, you don’t want to network with an influencer who promotes computer parts.


Start by identifying important topics and trends in your niche, then find bloggers who are talking about these topics. Little Bird is an excellent tool for finding influencers in your niche, and it cuts out most of the guesswork.


Create an influencer network map which outlines:


– How influencers relate and connect to you

– How you relate and connect to the influencers
– How your relationships with influencers stacks up against your competitors’ relationships with influencers


Pay attention to more than numbers when you identify your network – relationships with smaller influencers can be equally as beneficial as those with larger influencers.


Step 2: Develop Your Strategy

After you develop your network outline, it’s time to reach out to influencers in hopes of developing a professional relationship. To do this, you’ll need a strategy.


Your strategy should focus on one of two things: gaining awareness for your company and improving brand perceptions, or driving more organic traffic to your website. Influencers can help you achieve either.


If you’re a new business, you probably want to gain awareness for your brand. To do this, reach out to influencers who often promote new brands and help them reach larger audiences.


Established brands will pursue influencer marketing a little differently. Your strategy should focus on driving more organic traffic from your target audience to your website. Reach out to influencers who can make this happen.


Step 3: Understand What Your Influencers are Talking About

Your influencers are in their position for a reason: they understand what their audience wants to read, and they offer it to them. Follow what your influencers are talking about to get a head start on new trends and build stronger relationships with your influencers.


Take what you learn from your influencer’s content and implement it into your own. This allows you to follow in their footsteps and appeal to readers in the same way your influencers do.


Step 4: Engage Influencers

After you’ve identified which influencers you’d like to work with, outlined your goals, and created content relevant to trends in your niche, it’s time to engage influencers.


How can you engage influencers?


– Interact on social media by favoriting, liking, and retweeting content.

– Summarize their work and share it with a link to their original work.

– Send emails to influencers in response to their articles.

– Write a blog post in reply to one of the influencer’s posts, mentioning the influencer and linking to their website directly.

– Comment directly on their blogs.

Step 5: Measure the Impact of Influencers On Your Traffic


After you’ve established a relationship with an influencer and you’ve put your influencer marketing strategy into play, you’ll need to measure its impact on your traffic.


– Measure any changes in digital traffic as a result of working with influencers.

– Note any increases in social media followers.

– Note an increase in influencer relationships.


After you’ve measured these changes, look at how they stack up against your goals. Did influencer marketing help your business as expected?

What are you looking to achieve with influencer marketing? What are your tips for finding influencers and building strong relationships with them? Let us know in the comments below!

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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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