Influencer marketing is the art of using paid endorsements from people who have attracted sizable and loyal audiences online. In a recent Digiday article about the real cost of influencer marketing, it stated that the going rate for an influencer recommendation was $1000 for every 100,000 Instagram followers they have. YouTube star Pewdie Pie, with his 50 million followers, earns a staggering $15 million dollars a year with endorsements and ad revenue. This is all to prove the point: influencer marketing is a very real thing.
How can a financial advisor use influencer marketing to grow their business?
It might seem like influencer marketing is only for big public-facing brands that want a lot of exposure. The truth is, influencer marketing is a perfect strategy for service professionals with niche markets that are looking to both find new leads and increase their cachet within the types of communities, online and off, that will increase prospect comfort and likelihood to take action.
Financial advisors are often worried that engaging an influencer will violate compliance rules. While you do need to be careful when working with a thought leader or expert, it should not stop you from trying influencer marketing. The key is to create content with the person rather than just have them recommend you. This way it is not a recommendation, it is a collaboration.
With a little bit of time and effort, you can leverage the power of influencer marketing to increase your own brand’s engagement, recognition, and reputation. The first step is finding the right influencer.
How do I find influencers in my market?
When it comes to finding a good influencer to work with you should not be too worried about which platform they are on. While Facebook and LinkedIn will probably be the most common if you find a Twitter profile, Instagram personality or Tumblr page that reaches your audience you should engage with them.
The trick to finding influencers is to search, search, search. Think about your ideal client. What are the types of search requests they would type? Which words would they use? As you begin to search words and phrases on the different platforms, profiles will emerge that have some amount of authority in each arena.
Here are some types of people who might be good influencers for your business:
- Thought Leaders
- Community Leaders
Engaging an influencer is simple. Reach out to them and ask them if they would be willing to consider an online recommendation. How much you offer to reimburse them (if anything) is based entirely on what you are asking for. Some influencers may be happy just to interview you in a blog or podcast. Check out the service Help a Reporter Out.
What should I look for in an influencer?
All influencers, whether they be in the world of fashion, food or Futons, have three criteria on which they can be judged: Reach, Resonance, and Relevance.
Reach - How big is their audience? Do they match your ideal client?
Resonance - How good are they at getting that audience to take action? What is their engagement level?
Relevance - How important are they in the market you are trying to influence? How much will it matter they are recommending you?
What should I look for in an influencer’s audience?
The only way to judge audiences is to look at similar influencers and get a sense of where the numbers are. Another aspect to watch is how engaged their audience is. If a Facebook page has 150,000 likes but none of their posts have a single engagement, chances are they paid to pump their numbers and don’t have much relevance to their audience.
Pay careful attention to the follower to following ratio. If the numbers are the same, chances are the influencer spends more time pumping up their followers that creating meaningful content.
With a little effort and ingenuity, you can align yourself with powerful voices online that will increase your exposure to ideal audiences and improve your chances of closing new business.