By Blair Williams, founder of MemberPress

The number of businesses using influencer marketing is growing at a rapid pace. Two-thirds of marketers plan to spend more on influencers than they have in previous years, according to a 2019 survey conducted by MediaKix.

Today we are going to take a look at how you can market your brand using influencers. We will explore how to research your audience, determine your goals and build relationships with influencers.

Let's dive in.

Research your audience.

The most important factor that goes into finding an influencer is their audience. Your goal is to find an internet personality that has a following similar to your audience. For example, if you were a makeup company, you would want to find a beauty influencer instead of someone who covers travel. 

Your eyeliner ad is far more likely to appeal to consumers that follow the beauty channel; it's that simple. The tricky part of the process is developing customer personas as a reference point before you start browsing for influencers. 

Customer personas require a detailed analysis of your sales reports, website traffic, social media statistics and much more. Compile your data and make a sheet that explains the personalities, pain points and demographics of your audience. Knowing this information plus industry insights, you'll have access to detailed persona sheets. 

Determine your goals. 

Next, you need to determine your goals. Do you plan on running a long-time campaign with this influencer? Are you advertising a limited-time promotion and want quick traffic? Your intent will determine the type of influencer you should hire. 

Micro-influencers are exactly like influencers, except they have a much smaller following. Generally speaking, micro-influencers have between 2,000 and 50,000 followers. Influencers with a smaller following are useful because they typically cover a specific niche for a more dedicated audience. 

Due to the small follower count, micro-influencers are known for providing businesses with long-tail traffic. Consumers trickle in and begin following the influencer, find your video and land on your website.

Traditional influencers have a much broader reach, but your sponsored video will have a shortened life span and potentially fewer customers. General audiences contain more people, and it's hard to determine what percentage of that broad consumer base might be interested in your brand.

Big-name influencers are excellent for promoting limited-time offers and contests, while smaller influencers are excellent for specialized marketing geared specifically toward your target audience. 

Leverage social media marketing.

Do you plan on marketing on social media sites like Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube? Chances are, the answer to that question is yes. Of course, the vast majority of businesses at least use Instagram as a part of their influencer campaigns. 

There are various ways to partner with influencers on social media. The best course of action requires you do to extensive research into the influencers who seem like a good fit. Write a personalized direct message or email to them and explain who you are, why you are writing to them and how this partnership will benefit their careers, too. 

Depending on your industry, you may have to send the influencer your product for review. If your product is software, the influencer may require a license for a fair review. Alternatively, you could suggest that the internet personality advertises for you during their videos or in their content. 

Don’t neglect blog collaborations. 

It's easy to forget that bloggers are capable of swaying an audience toward your website. Blog influencer marketing is usually much more straightforward than social media marketing. In many cases, the blog owner will allow you to write a guest post or mention your product on their website.

In return, you can offer to let the influencer share a guest post on your blog. This form of marketing is excellent for exposing both websites to a broader audience. You could potentially buy ad space from influencers as well. This tactic allows you to promote your product while advertising to consumers who are watching the sponsored content. 

Influencer marketing is here to stay. Internet personalities are rising and falling at a rapid rate. As more people make it to the spotlight, the more opportunities businesses have for promoting their products or services to the right audience. 

Remember, influencers play a crucial role in the buying decisions of consumers around the world. If you find the right partner, your influencer marketing return on investment could cause a significant improvement for your traffic and sales.

Blair Williams is the founder of MemberPress, an all-in-one membership website software for WordPress.