If you’re in digital marketing, it’s virtually impossible these days to ignore the potential benefits of integrating influencer marketing into your ongoing strategy.
Influencers are more than just people with large, faithful followings who can help you spread the word about your company, products, and services.
They can take the guesswork out of winning the trust of a target audience and quickly converting them into loyal paying customers.
Imagine how much more you could do for your brand if you become an influencer yourself.
The reach, loyalty, and rapport you’ll be able to establish with your customers could send your brand recognition efforts soaring into the stratosphere.
However, there’s a fine art to doing it correctly and getting the results you’re after. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know.
What is an Influencer?
Although their impressive clout can sometimes make it seem otherwise, influencers are rarely movie stars, models, athletes, or celebrities.
Instead, most are ordinary people who happen to be exceptionally skilled or knowledgeable when it comes to a particular topic or field.
They’ve also discovered how to make that work for them, using their influence to build massive followings of loyal, trusting fans across their chosen social media platforms.
Naturally, there are various categories an influencer can fall into depending on the size of their audience and their overall reach.
These are popular, highly niched social media personalities with smaller, more personal followings of between 500 and 1,000 people.
Considered the most desirable type of influencer, micro-influencers command an audience of between 1,000 and 100,000 people. They are masters in their field and strike a good balance between reach and intimacy.
These influencers have 100,000 to 999,999 followers on average and tend to be huge personalities within one specific niche, such as beauty or gaming.
Influencers that occupy this elite level have millions of followers. Within a social media context, at least, they’re honorary celebrities and command an incredible level of reach.
Why Should You Try to Become an Influencer?
Not all influencers have made a full-time career out of what they do, although quite a few of the most successful ones could if they wanted to.
However, the potential to make money is far from the only benefit attached to becoming an influencer in your niche or field of choice. Here’s a rundown of some of the others.
It’s easier to collaborate with other high-level influencers
Most social media influencers aren’t willing or able to take on every collaboration offer that comes their way.
After all, there’s only so much time in a day, and so much any one person can take on.
The more important and famous the influencer, the harder it will be to interest them in a new collaboration.
However, influential companies that have achieved a high level of brand recognition stand a much higher chance of getting that coveted “yes”.
It’s a great way to stay relevant
People have a wealth of choices at their disposal these days regarding what media they consume, but younger generations prefer by and large to get their fixes online.
They don’t trust traditional media or enjoy it as much, so building an irresistible presence online is integral to staying relevant.
In turn, relevancy calls for a strong, well-rounded social media presence. That means a steady stream of engaging content and plenty of active participation.
Do this well, and you’ll grow a robust audience that can’t wait to see what you do next.
You’ll build substantial industry clout and authority
A healthy bottom line is only part of what it means to run a successful company.
It’s just as essential to build authority in your industry of choice, and working to become an influencer is what that’s all about.
Trusted industry voices are the first a consumer will think of when they’re in the market for reliable solutions.
Those are the brands that people turn to when it counts and recommend to friends and loved ones when they need help.
Industry thought leaders are often the most successful at building alliances with other big names in their field, as well.
6 Expert Steps to Become an Influencer in Your Field
Deciding you’re ready to start the journey to top-tier influence is one thing, but truly understanding how to get there is another.
Succeeding at anything calls for an airtight plan, and a quest to become an influencer is no different. Start with the following steps.
1. Choose the best platforms for your business goals
Although there are definitely benefits to spreading your brand’s name around as many places as possible, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.
Most top-level influencers cultivate and maintain their incredible following across two or three platforms to ensure they’re able to give each enough attention.
Find out where your desired audience hangs out, and plant flags there.
You should also consider what type of content you plan on producing and select options that gel well with your goals.
2. Optimize your profiles to maximize results
Although most social media platforms are relatively streamlined and make it easy to create attractive profiles that yield results, there’s still a lot you can do to maximize your results.
Business accounts are options on many top platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Switching to one yourself can open up your options as to how you can reach your audience.
Put some thought into your profile picture, cover photo, and bio, as well. These are the first things your audience sees when visiting your profile, so they can make or break that ever-important first impression.
Make sure yours are on-brand, snappy, and tell people at a glance what you need them to know about you.
3. Get into the headspace of your target audience
Successful influencers are where they are because of the strong connections they’ve forged with their audiences.
They know these people, understand what they’re looking for, and have identified the best ways to give it to them.
You’ll need to achieve the same thing if you’re serious about becoming an influencer in your industry.
Good influencers aren’t out there trying to cater to everyone, only those in their chosen niche.
So what are your ideal followers interested in? Start by analyzing your current customer base for clues on what demographics they fall into. Then take it from there.
4. Create killer content your audience can’t resist
Successful influencers are often passionate about what they do, but that doesn’t mean they simply post whatever pops into their head when it comes to their content.
Instead, most spend a lot of time and energy coming up with ideas that will be entertaining, helpful, and timely for their audiences, and you’ll need to do the same.
Come up with an airtight content strategy that includes a mixture of different content types.
Keep detailed records as to the performance of your posts and pay attention to audience feedback. Give people more of what they like most and find most relevant to their needs.
5. Show up consistently for your audience
Just as important as what you post is when you post.
Most social media algorithms prioritize content producers who show up consistently and generate a steady, consistent content stream.
What counts as consistent will likely vary significantly from platform to platform, so keep that in mind while evaluating your choices.
For instance, Twitter’s algorithm favors a very high post frequency because of the platform’s dynamic nature. However, you’re probably safe posting a couple of times per week on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
Settle on a posting schedule and stick to it for best results.
Most platforms see the most robust engagement rates in the late morning through the afternoon during the middle days of the week. (Wednesday is typically an especially busy day.)
Experiment a bit and see what works best for you, but stay consistent with whatever schedule you settle on.
6. Stay engaged with your audience
Connection is the secret sauce that separates successful influencers from everyone else.
Your audience wants (and expects) to form a personal relationship with the influencers they follow.
For that reason, engagement is a critical part of building a following and rising as an influencer.
Never ignore comments from your audience. Make sure you at least “like” each one to show your appreciation, and respond personally as often as possible.
Answer any direct questions you’re asked, and take the time to banter with commenters when it makes sense.
You can also engage your audience even further by including your own questions in your posts. Get a conversation going, and then keep it going by personally participating.
Wrap Up: Become an influencer and give your brand wings
Becoming an influencer and building industry authority are more than just good ideas for digital marketing.
They’re the key to establishing and nurturing the deep personal relationships that keep an audience brand-loyal for a lifetime.
Master the art of social media influence, and you can write your own ticket when it comes to your business’s future.
Part of that means staying on top of the latest news and trends regarding influencer culture and marketing.
For instance, did you know AI influencers are a hot trend to be aware of now?
Learn more about what AI influencers are, how they function, and where they fit into modern influencer culture to round out your knowledge today.