5 Ways to Use a Digital Influencer to Your Brand’s Advantage

By Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Whether your brand has its own engaged social following or not, working with digital influencers can broaden your reach, build credibility, increase brand awareness, and deepen your connection with pet parents.

The number of ways to work with a digital influencer is limited only to your imagination. But in my experience, these are five of the most effective!

1. Digital Influencers Act as Brand Advocates or Spokespersons

When the press comes calling, it’s important to have a representative that can speak intelligently about your brand. This person should be well-versed in your business and able to clearly communicate the benefits of your product or service. They should also be comfortable speaking on camera, in person or by phone with a journalist.

If no one fits that bill at your company, it’s a good idea to hire an appropriate representative. This is where digital influencers come in! Choose someone who is passionate about your product or service, and is also credible, authentic and believable. Also make sure your choice of influencer fits with your brand. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the products or services offered, companies benefit from having a pet industry professional like a veterinarian, a dog trainer, a groomer or a lifestyle expert available for interviews.

2. They Broaden Brand Reach

As part of your digital marketing strategy, consider how influencers can broaden your brand’s reach to your targeted demographic. An online expert with a dedicated following can assist you in gaining new fans and followers by highlighting their own experience with your product or service (assuming it’s a positive one).

Keep in mind that this is a two-way street. In exchange for giving a product or service “air time,” influencers often receive a sponsorship fee, as well as products for them to give away. A valued prize not only allows them to thank their followers for being loyal, it helps drive engagement in the post and interest in your company.

3. They Increase Word of Mouth

Each year, the Nielsen Group asks consumers which forms of advertising they trust. Consistently, consumers rank “recommendation from people I know” as number one, followed by “consumer opinions posted online.”

Because influencers have spent so much time building trust with their audiences, their opinions about products and services have immediate credibility. By working with the appropriate influencer(s), your company will also gain credibility from these third party reviews and endorsements. A write-up or broadcast will also help build your online presence by showing up in Google and other search engines.

This type of partnership is one of the easiest to establish. In addition to the influencer’s fee, all you need to do is provide a pre-determined number of products to give away to the influencer’s audience. In exchange, they’ll provide an authentic opinion—either written, verbal (by phone) or by video.

4. Influencers Expand Media Access

The great news for both large and small brands is that they no longer have to spend millions on TV advertising to reach a wide audience. These days, it’s much smarter and more affordable to partner with well-known industry influencers who have developed a loyal following through podcasts, web-based TV shows, or as guest experts on mainstream media. Partnering with these respected personalities can help introduce your products or services to new audiences through the airwaves or alternate digital streams.

5. Influencers are Pros at Content Generation

According to marketing expert Seth Godin, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.” Hiring a digital influencer to help you tell your brand’s story will amplify your marketing efforts through the development of unique content that pet parents want to share. By leveraging this content on the influencer’s various platforms, it creates a buzz about all the great things your brand is doing for pets and people.

In case you didn’t know, I happen to be a digital influencer. The single most common question I get from pet and veterinary brands is, “What do you do for your clients”? The above merely scratches the surface, but hopefully it’s sparked some ideas about how your brand can benefit from a partnership with an influencer.

Check out this link for some of the ways I can help you grow your business. And if I’m not a fit, I’m happy to help identify appropriate influencers for your brand!