Marketing agencies have relied on celebrities to endorse products and services for a long time. However, the internet and social media has led to a new kind of celebrity – the digital influencer.
These people are typically experts in their field who produce a range of online content. They have a large online following and engage with their audience on a near-daily basis. Some of them also make a lot of money.
That’s because businesses love digital influencers. Influencers have broad appeal on a range of online platforms, they’re trustworthy, and they know how to communicate with their audience.
No wonder influencer marketing is growing faster than digital ads.
If you’ve ever wanted to become a notable online figure, here are 8 steps to help you get there.
1. Build a Following
Relying on organic growth to build a following won’t get you very far.
There are many ways to get people interested in your content. However, you need to find a community that not only shares your interests, but will also listen to what you have to say.
Whether you join a LinkedIn group, comment on other people’s videos or articles, participate in forum discussions, or talk to people on Twitter – being seen is the first step to building an audience.
Choose platforms that are relevant to your interests and communicate with people on a daily basis.
2. Start Producing Content
Now that you've generated interest from people, offer some good content to keep them sticking around.
The content you produce will vary depending on the platform’s you’re using, your target audience, and the niche you’re interested in. The most common types of content you can produce are:
· Blogs and articles
· Video content
· Photos or artwork
· Tweeting or sharing statuses
When you’re not creating your own content, share content made by other people to fill the gap. Retweet other people’s content on Twitter. Share a personal thought from an influencer you admire.
Just make sure the content you share is relevant to your interests and target audience.
3. Share, Share, And Share some More
There is a lot of competition in the online world:
· Over 300 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
· 1 million professionals have published content on LinkedIn
· 12 million people blog via social media networks
To get noticed online, you have to be sharing good content on a regular basis. Being consistent with your sharing habits will keep you relevant to your target audience, along with increasing your search engine rankings and lead generation.
However, be sure to quality-control the content you upload. Spamming low-quality content on a daily basis may do more to annoy your followers, rather than keep them engaged.
4. Guest Post on Other Platforms
Sharing original content on your own platforms is a great start. But being seen on other platforms will greatly increase your chances of engaging with a new audience.
Businesses rely on the audiences from digital influencers to generate interest in their brand. You can do the same for yourself by producing content for other influencers, websites and platforms.
Be a guest on someone else’s podcast. Write a guest article for a website that focuses on your niche. If you’ve built up a steady following and have a reasonable backlog of original content – you’ll most likely get a response for your pitch idea.
From there, you can work towards producing content for larger, more notifiable platforms and diversify your outreach.
5. Engage With Your Audience
Digital influencers don’t just share their content and call it a day.
They communicate with their audience on a daily basis. Whether it’s replying to comments, posting on community forums, or interacting with people on Twitter or Facebook – influencers always keep the dialogue going.
Engaging with your audience builds your credibility and establishes trust among your audience. Plus, interacting with your audience will put you in social media’s good books.
Here are some helpful ways to engage with your audience:
· Ask questions with an opinion poll
· Have a CTA for your status or tweet (Like, subscribe, retweet etc)
· Ask followers to turn their notifications on
· Tag other users
6. Study Other Influencers
When you’re not working on building your audience and sharing content, take the time to study other successful influencers. Read their articles, watch their videos and closely follow them on social media. Take cues from their online habits and incorporate them into your own strategy.
If possible, you should also go to events they appear and meet them in-person.
7. Have Something to Offer
People look to influencers for a number of reasons. They want an informed opinion on certain topics, products or services. They need help with solving a particular problem. Or they need help with performing a certain task.
If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, produce content that’s useful to people. Be the person that your audience looks towards for an informed opinion, helpful information or guidance.
8. Plan for the Long-Term
Online marketing is a long, steady process that takes time to start generating results.
Planning your marketing strategy can speed up the process. Have a very clear picture of your target audience and produce content that reflects their desires, interests and dilemmas.
You should also consider the needs and wants of businesses, who will ultimately be looking for someone like you to represent their brand. If this is the direction you’re hoping to take, think about the kind of role-model you want to be and the value you can bring to the table.
Pretty soon, you’ll be getting business offers from companies looking to promote their next event or product launch.