The influencer marketing industry has made huge strides in recent years, and now it seems to be a staple of the digital marketing mix, right up there with SEO and user experience.
With an incredible annual growth rate, the influencer marketing sector has grown from $2 billion to over $10 billion in just a few short years, according to research from Digital Marketing Institute. We don’t expect that trend to change course.
Whether you have just begun your influencer marketing journey or need fresh campaign ideas, you have more options than you think.
Let’s talk about five types of influencers you will want to befriend and leverage for successful digital campaigns in the last stretch of 2020 and beyond.
1. Social Media Stars
Let’s get this one out of the way first, since it tends to be top of mind in 2020 when anyone attempts to define influencer marketing. Social media influencers have some of the most engaged and excited audiences in the world, exceeding traditional ads by a long shot.
The majority of young people trust their favorite online beauty experts, gamers, and fitness personalities more than the celebrities they see on TV. Their relationships with influencers via YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook are far more personal and real.
On top of that, 40 percent of internet users have adblocker technology, meaning your campaigns are not reaching nearly half of your target audience. It’s far better to partner up with social media superstars and connect with audiences who actually want to hear the message.
Who is the biggest social media influencer in your niche? Who are some lesser-known figures on the rise? Newcomers arrive on the scene all the time, so stay on the lookout.
You don’t need to spend a lot of cash to earn big returns here. See if you can organize sponsored posts, promotions, or any other campaign that gets the word out about your brand within these social media influencer circles.
2. Bloggers in Your Niche
You may hear the word blog and think it’s an outdated idea with no real revenue potential. You’ve more than likely been hypnotized by social media into believing it’s the only game in town when it comes to influencer marketing.
The truth is that influencers are not a new internet phenomenon – they have simply evolved and transformed over time to become a legitimate source of reliable traffic and sales. Blogging has always been – and will remain – a key channel of influencer marketing.
Compile a list of every blogger in your industry with a decent-sized audience, and map out some campaign ideas that would benefit you both. Guest posts are a great starting point, but you can also have your brand mentioned in a review roundup or sponsored article.
However you choose to go about it, remember that bloggers are your best friends when gaining traction and building authority in your industry, especially if your niche is highly targeted. Treat these influencers well and they will return the favor with high praise and big traffic to your site.
3. Reliable Journalists
The world of PR is cutthroat, and journalists can make or break your public perception with just a few keystrokes if they are incentivized either way.
Today’s digital marketing environment is a lot like the PR industry of the past. It’s all about getting positive mentions and building authority in the public eye. To do this effectively, you need at least one or two great journalists to vouch for you in digital news media.
But as we all know, quality, reliable journalists are hard to get on your side, and it takes a lot of negotiation and tact to lock them in. You can shoot cold emails and play phone tag for months before you get your brand mentioned in a wide-reaching media piece.
That’s why you need to jump on a platform such as Help A Reporter Out to save yourself some headache and accelerate this process.
HARO connects your brand with journalists you can count on to put your products and services in the best light on popular media platforms. It takes some time to get comfortable with the platform, but stick with it and you’ll find worthwhile collaborators who you can trust.
Alternatively, you can have a freelancer or agency navigate this platform for you and jumpstart your efforts.
4. Leading Industry Publications
We tend to imagine a specific face and a name when influencer marketing comes to mind, but in truth, any website with influence in your field should be considered a worthy ally, and you should aim to develop a collaborative business relationship like any other.
You probably already know the major websites that set industry trends and inform audiences on the latest and greatest brands. If you haven’t yet formed a connection with these sites, it’s time to make the move.
Reach out with an offer to guest post or see if you can earn a spot on their next comparison feature to look good next to competitors. If you offer something valuable like content or views, you’ll probably have no trouble getting some strong backlinks and good coverage.
Remember to maintain these relationships and remain calm and collected if you don’t get your way. It’s better to try again later than to burn bridges.
Every time you make an appearance on one of this major websites, it’s a level-up for your businesses’s reputation and authority online.
5. Executives and Employees
Every company has some big personalities who are passionate about its products and have something to say about industry trends. To find your next great influencer, you may not need to look beyond the ranks of your own organization.
It’s become the norm to see blog posts and social media activity from business leaders and everyday employees, so why not take advantage of this opportunity within reach?
Rather than just posting an article on your blog by a nameless contributor, try attributing it to the marketing or sales executive at your company to get more traction. Professional profiles that rank highly on Google can also help your brand’s SEO rank.
Star employees can be influencers too, and it helps to humanize your brand by showing smiling faces that bring useful information to the table on social media and in blog posts.
See if any of your coworkers are up to the challenge, or take it on yourself to build your own reputation and image online.
You need a complete range of influencers on your team to navigate the digital marketing landscape in 2020, and there are surely more changes to come.
Learn how to reach out, make connections, orchestrate campaigns, and nurture relationships with influencers across the web to make the most of this key strategy moving forward.