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17 Feb 2017
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Influencers and Digital Marketing: How to Grow Your Audience

Today’s consumers care less about advertisements and more about content. They’re not interested in what you can sell them, but rather content that informs and solves problems. As marketers, we’re actually ecstatic about this change.

Content marketing costs us 62 percent less than traditional outbound ads, and generates three times as many leads.

However, we’re not the only ones catching onto this trend. Marketers are increasingly shifting their strategies towards content. Competition isn’t bad, but it means we must produce content that our consumers care about.

Obviously, anything we post about our brand is pro Gryffin media. After all, we’re trying to advocate for our own success. But consumers are only becoming smarter and more skeptical of implicit bias. They’re won’t trust us when we claim our company is the best.

Influencers are the answer to this problem.

These bloggers, social media advocates, and other influential individuals help companies push their brand from a neutral third party perspective. Utilizing them allows your brand to build an audience based on high quality content that’s delivered without bias.

So how do you find influencers to grow your audience? Below we’re breaking down our best tips for attracting the best influencers around.

Influencer Outreach

The first step in finding influencers is reaching out. You won’t find anyone to work with by sitting around the office talking about it.

Proper outreach comes in several different forms, each with their own merits and drawbacks. The slight differences between each outreach strategy makes them equally important in your larger influencer marketing campaign.

Blogger Programs

Blogger programs are the easiest way to start attracting bloggers who will build your audience. They function as a kind of job advertisement for potential influencers.

For instance, our one of our clients, YogaClub.com runs a blogger program that we use to cast a wide net and reel in influencers. We detail our rates, brand message, outreach goals, and more to inform potential influencers.

Our program is also unique in that we run an “invite only” program. This gives us the power to target influencers that pique our interest.

However, many other large brands run open blogger programs. Nike keeps their recruiter program open for all applicants.

Influencer Platforms

These platforms work opposite blogger platforms. Influencer programs offer a database of influencers and the ability to take an active role in recruiting.

The databases are searchable by price, website traffic, audience demographic, and other criteria. Businesses use these search options to narrow down their potential influencers to fit their specific needs.

Brands are also able to create profiles that detail campaign goals and allow influencers to understand the project before responding. The result is an ability to hire different influencers for different campaign needs.

Targeting your consumers by demographic allows for better audience growth potential.

Working With Influencers

Now that you’ve found your influencers it’s time to put them to work on increasing your audience size.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but they all end with routing influencer traffic towards your website. Your brand could have infinite awareness, but won’t succeed if nobody buys your product.

Open Communication

Managing campaign goals and expectations is paramount to getting the most out of an influencer. They’re producing the content, but you’re the one who decides what that content should actually accomplish.

For example, you’ve found a top notch influencer and their content is attracting views. Great! Now start talking to them about ways to turn those views into sales.

Backlinks from articles to your website are a start, but you can take it several steps further. Have the influencer share backlinks on social media. An easy starter post is “Hey, check out this product review about “yourwebsite.com”

That one post provides a backlink, and spreads the influencer’s promotional content

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Leverage Your New Audience

Part of growing your audience is capturing your influencer’s audience and turning them into your own followers.

Word of mouth works well, because 68 percent of consumers look to fellow consumers for product recommendations. You can’t really control word of mouth, although social media presence does help.

Another great way to turn existing brand loyalists into an expanded audience is through email marketing campaigns. Yes, boring old email marketing is still important.

Tell your influencers to start backlinking from social media to your email marketing landing page. Your existing audience will see those posts, click the link, and sign up for your email list.

Congrats, you’re now turning your influencer’s audience into your own following.

Growing your audience is all about finding the correct influencers, and then working with them to direct their traffic to your website. Stick to our suggestions and watch your audience grow.

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Search engine marketing expert with 15 years of experience in the industry, working with small mom and pop shops as well as large corporate websites. I have experience with all aspects of inbound marketing, including SEO, Link Building, Social Shares, Usability, Conversions, PPC, Email Marketing, and more.