A Contributed Post from OSI Affiliate
So you have a referral marketing program. The problem is… no one really knows about it. You may have tried putting a huge banner on the front page of your website or contacting your existing customers via email. But no one is signing up. Well, you may need the power of the influencers to help you.
In this article, you’ll learn about 10 ways to use influencer marketing to help you promote your referral marketing program.
Here it goes.
Bait Them with a Referral Contest
While influencer marketing seem hard, this doesn’t mean that you cannot bait them with the right referral incentive. If you are running a contest and the reward is something that the influencer is interested in, you can contact them to join the referral contest. This way, you don’t even need to convince them to promote your site. They will do it out of their own free will. Why? Well, the more people that signed up through their link, the higher their chances of getting the prize. Some influencers may even be vocal about winning the prize to their followers. This will allow their followers to also promote your referral contest. So that’s more leads for you.
Have Special Rewards Just for Them
If you may have noticed, some influencers promote referral programs if they have a stake at it. This can mean that they may share the list with the business or they get to promote a unique discount code in their name. Whatever it is, it is usually to the influencers’ benefit. Why do tricks like these work? Well, influencers may seem that they have it all but they actually need some social proof to show the world that they are indeed amazing. When businesses approach them to give them a discount code to their name, it shows that they are active in the industry and that businesses are taking notice of what they are doing. For some influencers who are not in it for the money, they may already feel blessed to have this opportunity to have a discount code in their name. This becomes more special if the products of the said online business matters most to them. So if you are a vegan products business offering a vegan influencer a branded discount code, there is a higher chance of them taking the offer.
Ask Them to Review Your Products
If you can’t get them to join your contest and the branded discount code is not really their thing, you can just approach them to review your ecommerce marketing products. How do you do that? First, you need to look for their contact information. From there, you can reach out to them and ask them where you can send products for their review. But you need to be really subtle with your approach. You can’t just send them products and expect a review. Just ask them to try it and review it if they like it. If not, ask them for their feedback. This way, you can improve the product according to their preferences. If you do this, they will be more than happy to review your product when they liked it. You may be surprised that they may even post it all over their social channels. If your product is unique, this will give you a greater chance to get new customers because more people will visit your site because of the influencer promotion.
If all else fails, you can always sponsor them. In here, you don’t send them a product hoping that they will review it. Instead, the review is already expected. In fact, it is already paid for. In this model, you do something more than just send them products. You also send them payment for reviewing the product. This will work if the influencer have a significant amount of followers that can power your business. This way, the payment will be worth it. Even if you have to give away a product and spend some money in the beginning, it may prove to be worth your while in the end.
However, sponsorship by itself may not be as effective if you are targeting micro influencers. In here, you may need to target several influencers to get some lasting benefits for your business. If you are a small business owner who doesn’t have a ton of sponsorship money on hand, this may not be a good option for you.
Add Some Custom Marketing Materials
Influencers want to be seen and heard. They want to promote their brand name as much as possible. Now, if you will only ask them to promote your business, they will not be that motivated to do that. After all, no influencer in their right mind would pester their audience with offers just for the fun of it. If the influencer himself doesn’t like your products, he is less likely to promote it to his followers.
With the influencer’s need in mind, you can now approach the influencer with an offer that would seem appealing to them. Knowing that most influencers want to promote their brand, you can offer to include them in your marketing materials. This can either be in your website or in printed materials such as posters and brochures. If your brand already have a significant amount of customers, this can be appealing to the influencer for it will promote them to your target market as they promote yours. In a way, it acts like a cross promotion where you promote the influencer in exchange with them promoting you.
Play with Brand Hashtags
You don’t even have to limit yourself to your website or printed materials when you offer to promote an influencer. You should also leverage the power of hashtags. A hashtag is a word with a number sign in the beginning. People can click on it or search for them so that they can find relevant social media posts for that hashtag. Now, you can create a unique hashtag for you and the influencer. This will further solidify your relationship in the eyes of your customers.
This is especially valuable if you and your target influencer is working together. This can be a simple as getting them to model your products or it can be something more. By creating a hashtag with ‘#yourbrandxinfluencer’, people will get to remember your name along with the influencers. It will help both of you in such a way that you get a share of the influencer’s market while he also gets more social proof by brand association.
Allow Them to Design Products
Most influencers are creative. This is the reason why their content is able to touch hundreds and thousands of people. It is because they create from the heart.
You can take this creativity and incorporate it into your products. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. You can sell perfumes, spoons or whatever. As long as there is an option to customize it, you can do this method.
In this method, you approach the influencer and ask them to create a unique product that has their name on it. This can be a unique mixture (if you’re dealing with liquids) or a unique design in the packaging. Most influencers would be happy to do this for they love showing who they are to the world. Customizing a product is a great way to not only get their name out there but also to create.
From here, you don’t even need to ask them to promote the product. As long as you have included them in the design process, they would be more than happy to tell their followers about what they have created.
Let Them Join the Giveaway
Another way to work with influencers is through a giveaway. You can do this in different ways.
First, you can host the prize that the influencer will give away. Most influencers are actually looking for ways to reward their followers and this is one way they can do it. Some influencers are open to this and even have this posted in their site. They are merely looking for a brand that can host the prize.
Second, you can host a grand giveaway with multiple brands. This is where you partner with other brands and have the influencer promote you. In here, you can have certain mechanics such as they should like a page or comment before they can be considered for the giveaway. It is all up to you and the brands you have partnered with. The best part about this is it is easier to approach influencers when you have multiple host brands. They will be more open to hosting a giveaway if there are many businesses involved.
The third and the not-so-appealing type of giveaway is where you only ask the influencer to promote your giveaway because it can benefit their influencers. While this may work especially if the influencer already liked your brand, it may not be as appealing if they don’t know you.
Include More Than One Influencer in the Mix
Getting one influencer to promote you is powerful. But what if you have several influencers promoting you? Wouldn’t that be more powerful?
In fact, it can be helpful if you want more people to see you. It is said that your target audience have to see your brand at least 9 times before they act. So if an influencer only promotes you once, what good does it do? Sometimes, your prospects may just forget your name and move on.
But if you enlist multiple influencers to do the promotion, that’s a different story. When you do this, it is important to choose influencers in the same industry. This way, the target market will be limited. Then, you’ll send out promotions in tandem. This can be sponsored or you can use one of the techniques above. When you do this, there will be more people who will see you and thus, more people will remember you.
Show Them How You Worked With Other Influencers
Now some influencers may seem hard to talk to. But that’s not because they like to ignore you. It is just because they are busy or they may be getting so many offers that they have to filter them and choose what they want to do. With this, it may be hard to get influencers to notice you if you have nothing to offer them. If you will just give them your product for free, they may not be as interested in promoting you especially if your products are not in their line of interest. With this, you may need to ‘push’ them a little by dropping names. How will you do this? You tell them how you have worked with other influencers before you ask them to do anything. This shows that you know what you are doing and you know how to treat other influencers well.
This can also work quite well if you have a giveaway with other influencers. As more influencers join, you build your ‘influencer portfolio’ to encourage more influencers to work with you.
BONUS: Just Approach Them
Lastly, you can just approach them. Most influencers are kind and that’s the reason why people liked them. Even if they say no, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you tried. Here’s the thing. Most influencers are not doing their work for the money. They are doing it because they want to authentically help people. It all boils down to how you present your business and your products. You have to show them that you are also in the business to help and their target market can benefit a lot from knowing your products and your business. In the end, it is all about the alignment of you and the influencer’s goals. If the both of you have the same goal of helping other people and making an impact on the world, then there’s no reason for the influencer to turn you down. Just be authentic and demonstrate your willingness to help. That’s all there is to it.
April Fools Day is coming. Prank your friends opening a never ending fake update screen on their computer. Sit back and watch their reaction.