While digital marketing has evolved considerably in the last decade, the same core principle remains – effective web marketing relies on building good relationships with other websites. What has changed is how this is achieved. This is where influencers come in.

What Are Influencers?

Influencers are high profile individuals on the Internet. They tend to have huge social media followings, very busy websites and are happy to endorse products. Last year, we briefly looked at how Transform were using four influencers from the beauty industry to help promote their products and brand. Many companies are realising that for online success, you need popular figures to actively promote your products. So, what makes them so good?

1. They Create Awesome Content

The best influencers are usually also expert bloggers. They know their market extremely well and understand exactly what their readers want to see. They understand the difference between writing content that increases sales, and content that is shareable – sometimes they manage to do both at the same time. When an influencer endorses a product, their readers will flock to try it themselves.

2. They Share Your Content

Some influencers are happy to share content that you write, so long as they can maintain some editorial control. They will then share these articles across their own social media pages where it will be seen by thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of keen readers. By creating a content piece yourself, you can have a page published that will rank well and receive a lot of organic traffic, which will then generate referrals to your own website.

3. Your Brand Can Rapidly Grow

When working with a good influencer it is important to consider your long-term goals. While increasing sales in the short term is important, if you can develop your brand, you will reap the rewards in the longer term. Often it is easier to create shareable and engaging content that is designed to raise brand awareness than it is to push a specific product.

4. The Influencer May Work For Free

If your product is a perfect match for an influencer, you may find that they grow to become a fan and start to mention your company naturally, without any prompting from you, when writing blog posts and chatting over social media. This can be a very powerful form of brand development. All the major commercial Internet companies, from Amazon and Apple to TripAdvisor and WordPress, grew thanks to positive reviews and endorsements from their fans.

5. How To Find Influencers

Use your current social media connections to reach out to influential voices in your market. Avoid any direct competitors and be careful of those who are offering exclusivity with a competitor. Start by talking about advertising and paid promotions – money talks. Then work on getting more out of your investment.

At the end of the day, a fantastic product is always much easier to promote than one that is essentially the same as 20 others in the market. If your product is good, get some influencers on board to shout about it from the virtual rooftops and you will soon get noticed.