Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, and sales funnels, just to name a few of his talents.
He has lent his marketing knowledge to Fortune 500 companies, influencers, and A-list celebrities.
On the podcast, Shane discusses how to go about finding the best influencers for your brand.
What Are the Unique Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
Whereas influencer marketing began as high-level, celebrity word-of-mouth, it’s now more wide-reaching. Anyone can be an influencer if they have enough followers on Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. It could even be someone in the local community.
With that in mind, influencer marketing offers some unique benefits that aren’t available elsewhere, such as precision marketing. While it’s always been possible to target certain demographics with specially tailored ads, influencer marketing takes it to a new level.
If Shane was marketing a yoga mat that was going to launch in Austin, he would simply research the most popular yoga instructors in Austin and see what kind of deal he can make.
How Do You Know if Influencer Marketing is Right For You?
According to Shane, it ultimately comes down to your expectations and what you’re looking for. There are also certain products that are better suited for influencer marketing, such as lifestyle brands or demonstration-type products.
If you’re selling insurance, on the other hand, influencer marketing becomes more difficult.
Shane also stresses that influencer marketing should only be one part of your marketing strategy. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.
How Do You Know Which Influencers to Use?
Before you look for an influencer, you have to figure out who your perfect customer is. Once you’ve figured out the age range, sex, type of car they drive, etc., then you can use that information to find an influencer with a matching audience.
Certain software can help you locate influencers, but if you don’t have the budget for that, there are other options. You can use hashtag searches on Instagram or look at who’s following your competitors.
Of course, looking at your own followers for potential influencers is another possibility. By using people who are already your fans as influencers, it’s easier to foster a relationship between them and your brand.
You can also find potential influencers through things like Facebook groups. Anywhere that has likeminded people gathered together under a single interest could prove useful.
Another important step is looking through the social media profiles of the different influencers you may be interested in. If they’re going all-in on politics and other controversial subjects, you may not want to invite that potential headache into your marketing strategy.
Overall, Shane stresses the fact that you should take your time when choosing an influencer. Don’t lean too heavily on follower counts, either, because there are ways to fudge them. Take everything into consideration and then make your decision.
How Should You Approach Potential Influencers?
If you target people who already actively engage with your brand, they’ll most likely be flattered when asked to be an influencer. Nonetheless, Shane says that every influencer requires a different pitch.
For small businesses that don’t have the budge to pay an influencer, it’s especially helpful if they’re already a fan since you can offer them free products. Free products for publicity is a deal that most can get behind.
Along with your pitch, Shane suggests working in an interview. Follower counts can be faked, so you want to make sure the influencer is someone you want to work with, both as a business partner and a human being.
How Do You Manage Your Relationships with Influencers?
Shane opts for using an Excel spreadsheet to manage relationships with influencers, but there’s also software available that can make it easy.
With software like Grin, you can have all of your influencer information in a single place, which streamlines your ability to communicate and deal with your budget.
As long as you’re fair with your influencers, Shane believes it shouldn’t be too much of a problem managing relationships. Influencers will sense if you’re taking advantage of them, so always be on the level.
How Do You Know if Your Influencers Are Paying Off?
According to Shane, the value of an influencer is going to be based on what you ask of them. Therefore, you need to be clear with your intentions from the get-go, so both of you know what the objective is.
In order to get your desired results, communicate with the influencer and plan out some ideas for the product or service. Some products might warrant unboxings, while others warrant something more creative.
Where Can You Learn More About Shane?
If you want to learn more about Shane’s ideas about influencer marketing, you can visit his website, which has his eBook that’s all about influencer marketing. You can also find Shane on the usual social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn.