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6 Tips to Choose an Influencer for Your Brand

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Brand Influencer|6 Tips to Choose an Influencer for Your BrandWhen it comes to gaining new customers, word of mouth is one of the most efficient, yet ignored, marketing strategies used by businesses. Over 60% of customers search for reviews online before making a purchase, and 90% will believe a brand recommendation from someone they trust.

The trusted party could be a friend, family member, or even an influencer. In fact, trust is one reason why brands partner with influencers. You see, influencers often have a significant follower base of people who trust them. So, brands use this influence to reach their target audience. That said, here are six tips to help you choose the right influencer for your brand.

1. Do Your Research

Devote time into looking through the social media pages, especially the ones associated with your intended influencer. Understand their brand and what they represent by simply scanning through their social media pages. You need to understand what your influencer represents to ensure that their brand aligns with yours – directly or indirectly.

Going through their social media page will enable you to find out if they have ever been affiliated or partnered with a competitor at some point in time. For instance, it would be unwise for a company like Apple to contact an influencer who represented Samsung in the past.

2. Think Outside the Box

Just because you are promoting a specific item or service does not mean you have to narrow down your search for an influencer to one category.
By not making the target product obvious and focusing on other criteria, you are more likely to increase your subconscious buying chances. Professor Gerald Zaltman reveals in his book that 95% of purchase decisions are unconscious. Instead of putting yourself in a box, you can focus on their personality instead.

3. Use a Social Media/Influencer Marketing Agency

Influencers can make or break your brand, so you should carry out due diligence when picking one. If you don’t know where to start, you can choose one of the various services from dappergoat.com, which is both a social media and influencer marketing agency. Alternatively, make use of a number of social media platforms to carry out the hunt yourself. Regardless of the path, you want to follow,

4. Create a Story

The most vital part of using an influencer to market is their story. While it is okay to acknowledge that influencers are creatives, it is also essential to express and guide the way you want your brand to be represented. However, do not go overboard with your demands.

Ensure you leave enough room for the influencer’s creativity to blossom. This will enable them to accomplish the main objective, which is to tell your story through their voice. So, pick an Influencer who is capable of conveying your story and is equally comfortable with your demands.

5. Be Honest

Some influencers may be reluctant to work with brands they do not know. However, if you take the time to create a pitch, explain why you want to work with them, and how your goals align, they are more likely to have a heart change. After all, you committed a lot of hours into carrying out your research to ensure they were the right fit.

The thing is, influencers are more efficient when they work with brands whose values align with theirs. So, it’s best to aim to show and express your genuine intentions to the influencer of your choice.

How To Attract Your Target Customer

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Target Customer|How To Attract Your Target CustomerUltimately, the key to success in all industries is identifying your target customer and then taking steps to attract this group to your business. The target customer is the group of people that will benefit from the products and/or services that you use, and identifying this group will enable you to make key business decisions; but how can you go about attracting this group? This can be challenging, particularly in competitive industries, but there are a few highly effective strategies that will help your business to succeed, allow you to develop a positive reputation with this group, and compete with the top brands in your industry.

Determine The Target Customer And Their Needs

First, you need to make sure that you have a clear definition of your target customer. You then need to identify what the wants, needs, and priorities for this group are, which will then help you when it comes to marketing and promoting your brand. A few key questions to ask, which will help with this are as follows:

  • What problems does your company solve?
  • Which specific customers will benefit the most?
  • What is the age, gender, location, income, lifestyle, and attitude of this group?

It is then helpful to create a profile for your target market, so that you can picture this individual and keep them in mind whenever you make any kind of strategic decision.

Analyze The Competition

Your direct competitors will have the same target customer as you do, so it is a good idea to carefully analyze the competition in order to see what you can learn, and to take advantage of any gaps in the market. In addition to looking at what the most successful brands are doing well, do not forget to look at what the struggling brands are doing wrong—this can be just as insightful, and will help you to avoid making the same mistakes.

Create Engaging Content

In today’s internet-driven age, a brand needs to create content in addition to providing a high-quality product and/or service, as this is how you promote your brand, demonstrate your expertise, and engage with your target customer. The content must be of value to your target customer, stand out from the crowd, and use a variety of media. If you are in the health and fitness industry, for example, then you have a lot of good options, such as:

  • Workout videos
  • Nutritional infographics
  • “How-to” guides for specific exercises
  • Interviews with key figures
  • Live Q&A sessions on social media

Use Influencer Marketing

Following on from this, social media is a key platform for engaging your target customer, and one of the most effective strategies for this is using influencer marketing. This involves an influential figure in your industry promoting your products and/or services to their followers (your target customer), which is a highly effective way of reaching a much larger group and improving your brand reputation. The key to success with using this increasingly popular form of marketing is finding the right agency—you can do this by searching online, for example, by looking for the best influencer marketing agency in Los Angeles.

Host Events

It is vital that you take steps to engage your target customer online, but you must not overlook the value of also doing this offline, as this can be an excellent way of building real-life connections with this group. The best way to do this is by hosting events, which will help to create a sense of community with your target customer, while also portraying your brand is an authoritative figure in the industry. Using the above health and fitness example, you could host fitness classes, lectures, live screenings of sports, and anything else that will bring your target customers to your business.

Surveys

Another smart step to take is to send out surveys to your target customer. This will help you to identify areas in which you could improve your brand in order to appeal directly to this group—as the saying goes, “the customer is always right.”

Improve Customer Service

No matter who your target customer is, you will need to make sure that you provide them with excellent customer service in order to retain customers and build a positive reputation. Keep in mind that people have different preferences when it comes to customer service, so you should have a range of options, including:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Live chat

Understanding exactly who your target customer is—and knowing how to reach this group—will be critical to success. Follow the above steps, and you should soon start to attract more people to your business, improve your reputation, and compete with the larger brands in your industry.

Bootstrap your online business – Top tips to stretch your start up budget

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Bootstrap your Business| Bootstrap your online business - Top tips to stretch your start up budgetStarting up an online business in today’s economy is no easy feat, as you’ve already got hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of other businesses already established and have the upper hand on you. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible by any sense of the word. You just have to be clever with your process so that you don’t blow your budget, you stand out from the crowd and most importantly, you hit the ground running. Check out these top tips to stretch your start up budget.

First thing’s first, you’ll need to build your website and the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is what kind of hosting to go for. There are pros and cons with each, so here’s a handy piece on VPS hosting vs dedicated hosting. From there you can choose which will suit your needs and your budget best.

Do the marketing yourself – it will save you tonnes of money

Marketing is a huge part in raising a business from the ground. After all, how else would people know you exist?! A dedicated marketing team can really help boost the online presence of a business but unfortunately, that’s also a rather expensive option. Doing the marketing yourself will help keep back a lot of your budget.

There are a few things that you may want to consider spending a small amount of your budget on:
Marketing books to improve your knowledge and skills. Amazon is loaded with books for each platform and yes – all of them are important!

Remember to spend a little of your budget on Google Ads campaigns – Google can really help boost your reach!
Pay the monthly fee for programs such as Adobe to create graphics and mailers for your marketing – it will make a huge difference to the quality!

Outsource rather than hire

You will undoubtedly need a team of people to help lift your business from the ground, but when you don’t have a large budget it can be difficult to employ people for long periods of time. That’s where outsourcing comes in, and it can be a very effective way of having work completed without the dedication of an employee you need to pay every week/month.

You can list the jobs you need fulfilling on websites like Upwork and Fiverr, and let applicants come to you with their skills, history and also their price demand. You can then choose the right price and skillset for your budget. The beauty of outsourcing is that once the work is done, you can go your separate ways. However, that’s not to say that in the future you won’t collaborate again!

Use influencers

Influencers play a huge role in purchase decisions on the internet, and that’s why they’re so effective for new businesses like yourself to use. Think of your favourite influencer. If they were to say, talk about the latest gadget that’s well within your interests, you’d at least check it out with a possibility of buying, right?

Browse Instagram for influencers within your business niche and contact them for their price list. Sometimes, a simple quid pro quo situation is all that’s required for an influencer to promote your business. For example, if you’re selling a particular product online, why not send them a sample pack to test, review and keep? It’s an extremely effective way of getting your name out there for a minimal cost.

Work from home rather than rent an office space

Another expense that you could eliminate is the rent you’d spend on an office space. The beauty of an online business is that you have the option to work from anywhere in the world. Load up yours and your colleagues (if any) computers or laptops with all of the necessary programs you’ll need and save your business’s budget by working from home!

Working from home can be difficult as it’s easy to become distracted and neglect your working duties. Creating a space in your home dedicated to working will help eliminate this issue. Why not check out these fantastic ways of making your home office the perfect place to work.

Starting an online business with a very minimal budget is hard work but very doable! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an online business that everyone thinks of!

How to Create a Winning Referral Program That Works

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Referral Program|How to Create a Winning Referral Program That Works

There is a reason why big brands are using referral systems to promote their websites. It works. The best part is it continues to work despite all the search engine algorithm changes that happened. This means that you can expect it to work even in the years to come.

What’s a Referral Program?

Before you proceed to the creation of your referral program, you need to know what it is. A referral program is a system when you allow your customers to promote your brand for you. In doing this, they give you the contact information of their family and friends. But it doesn’t stop there. Their family and friends can also similarly promote your brand.

What Makes a Referral Program So Effective

There are several reasons why referral marketing is more effective than other methods. But it is essential to consider what makes it so successful. Out of all the reasons why you should launch a referral system for your business, here are the top three.

It Leverages Networks

Referral marketing works because it leverages networks. Unlike doing your marketing all by yourself, you allow your customers to help you. In this method, you are not doing all the marketing alone. You have an army of customers who can help you advertise your website.

It Spreads Through the Circle of Trust

When your customers promote your brand, they will do it to the people that they know and trust. This can either be their family and friends. These are people that the customers personally know and trust. Because of this relationship, they are far more likely to act on the recommendation. This is because the referrer is someone that they know, and they trust that he is giving him the right advice.

It Elevates a Brand’s Social Proof

The third reason why referral marketing works is social proof. Since the method works through social networks and personal circles of trust, it can positively affect social evidence. Social proof plays a significant role in sales conversion. When a prospective customer is on the verge of buying, he only needs a slight push in a positive direction. Social proof is that ‘push.’ Positive reviews or simple recommendations can do a lot for your brand. It can help your prospective customers see your brand in the positive light, and this will encourage them to buy from you.

NOTE: Referral marketing is also great for eCommerce. The reason is its impact on cart abandonment. It is one of the keys to stop shopping cart abandonment and increase traffic and sales. This is the reason why referral software is often available for eCommerce platforms. It is quite useful for online stores.

Characteristics of a Winning Referral Program

Ideally, you’ll want a winning referral program. Any business owner can easily create a referral campaign. Even new business owners like Best Drums Set Labs have done this with success. However, you’ll need to implement some practices if you want to get the most out of referral marketing. Here are the characteristics that you’ll need to look for if you’re going to create a successful referral system.

The Program Can Be Easily Found

Your customers must see your referral system. It is useless to create this if it is just buried in your website’s sitemap. The link to the referral page should be prominent. It should be seen on the front page of your website, and your customers should be continuously reminded to advertise the website. You can do this in critical places in your online store. Some of the most common locations for referral program promotion are on the homepage, checkout page, and emails. This will allow you to personally reach out and tell your audience that you have a referral system that they can use to earn rewards.

It Gets Regular Referrals

If you are going to determine the success of a referral system with one factor, that would be the number of regular referrals. This means that references should not only come in when you have just created your referral system. It should also come in regularly. This shows how well you are promoting your referral system and how well your audience is responding to it.

Referrals Have a High Chance of Conversion

Aside from the number of referrals, the quality of references matter as well. This means that you should not only get a ton of referrals for your system. You should also get referrals that have a high chance of converting into sales. You can measure this by dividing the number of transactions with the number of referrals. This will show you the percentage of references that are converting into sales. This is also a useful metric to consider when you want to measure the overall effectiveness of your campaign.

How to Create a Winning Referral Program

A winning referral program is produced with the right processes. You need to ensure that every step in the process is executed well. In this section, you’ll learn the steps that you need to implement to have a winning referral program for your brand.

Start with Your Target Audience

A winning referral program starts with the right reward. How can you know if the prize that you have set is right for your business? That’s simple. You can ask your audience. Many business owners just skip this,.They usually resort to guessing the proper reward. This is a grave mistake, for it often results in a referral program that is ignored by the audience. The best path is to ask the audience about what they like and give it to them. Don’t assume. Always make it a point to ask.

Experiment with Different Rewards

There are times when you will not be able to know the right reward. This is when you have done your part of asking your audience, but they came up with mixed answers. They may have given you some answers, but it is not enough for you to make a decision. So what can you do? That’s simple. You can experiment. This is where you take the suggestions of the audience and experiment with them to see which will be received by your other customers. This is also good for testing the system. Some customers like to say that they prefer a particular reward but will not sign up when it is released. This is the best way to test these suggestions to see if the audience will act on them.

PRO TIP: One way to encourage the audience to sign up is the “rule of x3”. If your customer gave you a suggestion that you should give away a particular reward, always multiply that by three. By adding more rewards, it will also triple your chances of getting more signups. This is a strategy that worked for me, and I think that it can work incredibly well for you as well.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Referral Program|How to Create a Winning Referral Program That WorksExperiment with Different Rewarding Modes

Every referral system has 3 rewarding modes. These depend on who is rewarded. There is a mode where you choose to pay the referrer. There is another mode where you wish to reward a friend or referral. The best style is to reward both. This is where you give a reward to encourage the referrer to promote the system and pay the friend to help him to sign up. It eliminates all friction, so it is the best mode out of the bunch.

PRO TIP: There are three basic rewarding modes. But you can also create your way. If you are selling a unique product or service, you may want to consider using a different approach. Being creative can help you in promoting referral systems, so don’t be afraid to exercise that here as well.

Create Exclusive Referral Programs for Influencers

One of the best ways to promote your referral system is to ask influencers for help. Influencers are people who have gained a significant amount of followers in their field. They have a substantial amount of followers for a reason. This may be because they are considered experts in the niche, or they have established themselves as idols or inspirations. Because of this, they have a massive impact on their followers’ actions and decisions. This is the reason why influencer marketing is highly effective in promoting referral programs. This is provided that you create an exclusive system for each influencer.

Here is the reason why exclusivity is a must. Every influencer has a unique culture that he conveys. You mustn’t only sell or give away a product or reward. It is also vital that you appeal to that unique culture if you want the influencer method to be successful. You need to communicate with the influencer and look for ways on how you can help his target market. From here, you can select a proper reward for your referral system and create an exclusive referral campaign just for the influencer.

Transform Your Program into a Contest

Another way you can make your referral system more interesting is to transform it into a contest. In a conventional referral system, you ask customers or website visitors to promote your brand. This is where they input the names and contact information of their family and friends. However, this model doesn’t have a sense of urgency in it. It also doesn’t have a competitive factor. If you transform your referral system into a contest, you add that competitive and urgent element into your system. This means that your customers and website visitors will not only sign up because of a reward. They will also sign up because they have a chance to win a high ticket product.

PRO TIP: Did you know that you can combine contests with influencer marketing? If your prize is attractive enough, you can also encourage influencers to participate. On Instagram, a travel company launched a campaign where they give away free travel to 10 countries. The reward was so attractive that it encouraged influencers to sign up as well.

Use Referral Software

If you plan to launch a referral system, be sure to use the software. Referral software will allow you to configure and start your referral system in a few clicks. The best part is that there is always software that is compatible with your platform. There are WooCommerce affiliate plugins, Shopify apps, and Bigcommerce software that you can use. You just need to check the platform of your website and choose a referral system that will work for you.

Measure Your Results

Once you have implemented your referral system, you must know how to measure the results. More than the trends in your referral software, you should also link your website with an analytics app. This will help you see and track the incoming traffic and compare it with the numbers of referrals and sales that you are getting. Ultimately, you should measure the percentage of your website traffic that converts into sales, subscribers, and referrers. This will give you an overview of the success of your referral system.

Will Referral Marketing Work For You?

It is easy to become doubtful that referral marketing will work for you. However, you will not be able to see if it is sufficient until you try it. Referral marketing is one of the few methods that can work even for brand new websites. Unicorn brands have used them when they are just launching their products and services. PayPal has used it to get its initial members. Uber used it to get more drivers and riders. It is one of the easiest ways to introduce a brand to the public, and it can work for you too.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot for a referral campaign to become successful. The steps included in this article are easy to implement. You can quickly launch a referral system with software. This doesn’t require any coding or designing skills on your part. It is a click-and-go system where you can start a referral program by inputting a few details.