Influencers can help boost brand awareness, boost performance marketing conversion rate, decrease CPI by 50%, and increase your organic user base.
Influencers are the people who can start viral conversations on social media. They may come from all walks of life: journalists, TV and film celebrities, politicians, singers, and other VIPs. But they can also be ordinary people with a strong voice: mommy bloggers, amateur chefs, people with a passion for arts and crafts, travelers, and the list goes on. Last but not least, they can be marketing professionals with extended networks of followers who want to learn more about their trade.
Outside of social media, influencers are the highly-cited and highly-respected professionals whose opinions shape the industry. They are often interviewed by specialty journals, TV stations, radio, podcasters, and even industry bloggers.
Relationships with influencers can help you raise awareness about your brand and boost the reputation of your real estate site in two ways: traditional media mentions - as in newspapers and online publications, and social media mentions on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Localism, Trulia, and others.
There are many ways to engage influencers, starting with building personal relationships, to hiring them. Here some of the most effective ways to interact with the influencers you do not know personally.
One of the networks with excellent reach, Boostinsider is a platform that allows brands pay influencers for shares on social media. They offer access to the most influential celebrities in industries like fashion, entertainment, and sports; the biggest stars on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Music.ly, and all of the other top platforms worldwide; and 100,000+ micro-influencers who boost brand awareness from the ground up. They promise that the use of their service will help you boost performance marketing conversion rate, decrease CPI by 50%, and increase your organic user base, among other side-effects. One of their success stories lists Alibaba with a YouTube campaign.
Time Inc. has recently partnered with Speakr to build an editorially led influencer community, Time Inc. Connect, which is powered by Speakr’s influencer media-buying platform. The official announcement, released at the beginning of April, states that:
Time Inc. Connect also gives marketers access to the select community of influencers with whom Time Inc. editors have relationships, and those influencers can provide native social distribution for marketing partners seeking high-visibility solutions. The collaboration with Speakr further enhances Time Inc. Connect’s current influencer offering with top talent content creation powered by advanced influencer analytics and technology.
Another online platform, RewardStyle, an invitation-only end-to-end content monetization platform for top-tier digital style influencers and brands around the world, claims to be the only platform that measures and monetizes the influence of content on a global scale, across owned and social channels, powering influencer compensation that is in-step with true brand and retail influence. They are also behind LikeToKnowIt, a platform that connects brands with influencers on Instagram.
Dovetale is a new player that promises a lot: a complete set of tools to take your influencer marketing campaigns from start to finish. They allow you to discover, manage, measure and pay influencers for branded content.
Still in Beta, the Amazon Influencer Program is designed for social media influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content. While you cannot sell real estate on Amazon, it is great if you plan to publish a specialty book or related goods for homes and gardens. The Amazon Influencer Program is currently open by invitation only.
Of course, you can also engage influencers personally, which is a more time-consuming effort, but a rewarding endeavor with long-term benefits.
There are several social media tools built to identify and track influencers including Followerwonk and Klout, which social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the "Klout Score."
But besides automatic tools, you can always browse Twitter, for example, based on hashtags and trending topics, to find relevant Twitter profiles. To find influencers on Instagram you can use a tool like Minter.io. Using a tool like Keyhole you can see the best influencers based on a specific #hashtag on Twitter. Let's look at #realestate:
After you identify the influencers, you have to follow them and listen to their voices before you start engaging. Some may follow back immediately, while others need convincing. So retweet their posts, reply with meaningful ideas, mention them in your tweets, read their blogs, compliment them on their work, and so on. Ideally, you would create a list of influencers to target and follow up at regular intervals – every couple of days – but don’t overdo it if you don’t want to be considered a spammer.
You can also browse the web to find lists like our own 100 Must Follow Realtors on Twitter - a list that needs updating, but still a good reference to give you an idea how to make your own list of influencers depending on the niche you want to target. For example, create your own list of must-follow journalists and bloggers who write about real estate.
The main advantage of having an influencer talking about your brand is credibility: if influencers trust you enough to mention you, you are definitely doing something right. Fans and followers of influencers will trust you too. There result is boosted brand visibility and increased interest in what you have to offer. This may lead to more organic site visits, less money spent on traditional advertising, and boosted direct revenue.