If you’re familiar with influencer marketing, you probably already know that it can help you generate more leads, boost engagement, and increase conversions. But did you know that it can also be a very effective way to grow your brand?
In fact, 93% of marketers say influencer marketing can help build brand awareness. And 76% say it can help boost customer loyalty. But how exactly can you work with influencers to grow your brand?
Here are 10 actionable influencer marketing tips to help you get you started.
#1: Build a Network of Influencers to Grow Your Brand
Partnering with a few influencers can be a great way to promote your product launch, drive conversions, or boost engagement.
But a few influencers probably won’t be enough to really grow a brand in a long-lasting way. For that, you’re going to need an entire community of influencers.
By building an influencer network to promote your brand, you can reach a much larger audience. You won’t be limited to a few groups of followers. Instead, you can create brand awareness with various audience groups.
This translates to better brand visibility, which is crucial to grow your brand. The best part about building a network of influencers is that you can achieve the desired results, even if you work with influencers with a smaller reach.
Example: Milton & King
Milton & King worked with a group of 45 influencers to raise brand awareness in the U.S. Their community of influencers generated 158 pieces of content, which resulted in 83,971 direct engagements. They were able to reach more than 980,000 consumers, and the brand also gained 10,000+ new followers on leading social media platforms.
For the influencer marketing campaign, interior design and home improvement bloggers like Brooke Christen, of Nesting with Grace, created home makeover posts in which they used some products from Milton & King.
#2: Create an Experience Around Your Brand
If you want to grow your brand through influencer marketing, you need to focus on more than just promoting your products or services. Sure, you can get influencers to showcase your products in their content, or create reviews or how-to content involving your products. And that can help increase sales.
But the secret to growing a brand is taking your influencer marketing campaigns one step further. Create an experience around your brand, and invite influencers to participate in and share the experience.
The goal is to make your brand come to life through those experiences. The influencers will share their experiences with their fans. Their fans will then associate your brand with a positive experience.
Example: Tarte Cosmetics
An excellent example is how Tarte Cosmetics invited groups of beauty influencers to different holiday locations like Hawaii and the Florida Keys. The influencers shared their experiences with their followers in the form of vlogs, blog posts, and social media posts. Their social media posts were tagged with the hashtag #TrippinWithTarte.
Christen Dominique, an influencer with more than a million followers, was one of the influencers who participated in the Florida Keys trip.
In less than 2 months, Christen’s Instagram post showcasing her experience has already received more than 41,000 likes.
Another influencer, Elnaz Golrokh with a million followers, was part of the Maldives trip.
The Instagram post showcasing the influencer’s experience has already received more than 36,000 likes.
#3: Collaborate with Influencers to Create Original Products
Influencers can help you promote your existing products. But if you want to grow your brand, you can take your partnership further by involving them in product development.
Collaborate with influencers to create original products that will appeal to both your target audience, and the influencer’s followers. When you associate your brand with a top influencer, it can establish your brand as trustworthy and prominent.
The model, who has 2.9 million Instagram followers, promoted the project through her Instagram account. In just one day, the photo has already received more than 43,500 likes.
#4: Maximize Your Visibility to Grow Your Brand
To effectively market your brand, you need to be as visible as possible. That means you need to use as many social networks and platforms as possible to execute your influencer marketing campaigns.
That being said, you should avoid any social media channels that your target audience doesn’t frequent. LinkedIn, for example, may not be ideal if you’re targeting a teenage crowd.
And if you want to grow your brand, you shouldn’t miss out on using Instagram. According to a Bloglovin’ study, influencers found Instagram to be the most effective platform for engaging their target audience. It is followed by Facebook and then Twitter.
If possible, get your influencers to create content for multiple platforms including blogs and YouTube if they have sufficient followings there. This will ensure that your target audience can see you almost everywhere, which can be crucial for growing your brand.
Example: MVMT Watches
This is exactly what MVMT Watches does to grow their brand. They started out with Instagram, where they already have a massive following. The brand works with Instagram influencers from all walks of life, such as fitness influencer Tim Rodriguez, who has close to 90,000 followers.
The brand also works with micro-influencers and influencers in different countries, and on different platforms. For example, they partnered with influencer SimplyLaura to promote their watches on Twitter.
They’re even on YouTube, promoting themselves through entertainment YouTubers like Jack Douglass of Jacksfilms.
Jack has 2.8 million subscribers, and regularly creates sponsored videos with MVMT Watches. Many of Jack’s videos for the brand, like the one in the screenshot above, get over a million views.
#5: Collaborate with Influencers to Support a Cause
You’re probably familiar with cause marketing and how effective it can be for boosting brand perception and customer loyalty. According to Cone Communications, 80% of consumers would be willing to buy from an unknown brand if it’s strongly committed to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility.
Combined with influencer marketing, a cause marketing campaign can be the perfect solution to grow your brand. Influencers can help you promote a cause that will resonate with your audience. Promoting the message through trusted, influential individuals rather than solely as a brand can be more impactful.
Pick a cause that resonates with you, and that will likely resonate with your target audience. And then choose influencers whose values align with that cause.
Example: GUESS Denim Day
An excellent example is the GUESS Denim Day campaign, which began in 2014, and has continued annually since.
The campaign originated as an attempt to show the brand’s support for rape victims. They promoted their 2015 campaign through targeted Facebook ads featuring influencers and celebrities. These ads generated 22 million impressions, and a 2% engagement rate.
GUESS continues to work with influencers to promote their Denim Day campaign. In 2016, influential YouTubers like Megan Parken, who has almost 800,000 subscribers, promoted the campaign.
#6: Empower Influencers to Create Unique and Engaging Content
Influencers earn their influential status for one main reason – they know how to engage their audience. They know what their followers want, and how to best give it to them.
When it comes to creating content to promote your brand, influencers will know exactly how to do it in a way that will resonate with their followers. In this way, you can grow your brand using the influencer’s unique voice.
If you try to control everything the influencer has to say about your brand, it’s going to lose its authenticity. And their audience may not respond very well to the content because they won’t find it interesting enough.
Plus, restrictive content guidelines can cause influencers to refuse a second collaboration with brands, according to a Julius study.
AXE partnered with 30 male influencers to promote their hair products. Each of the influencers created content in their own unique voice to maintain authenticity. For example, food influencer Josh Elkin created a video in which he talked about how the product helps him keep his hair out of his breakfast.
And comedian Anthony Padilla created a video in which he mocked typical beauty-product ads. The video has received almost 240,000 views, and many positive comments and responses from his fans.
#7: Offer Influencers Sneak Peeks or Exclusive Previews to Build Hype
As mentioned earlier, influencers know how to engage their audience using content. So they will also know how to excite their followers, and build hype around a new product, even if it’s from a completely unknown brand.
If influencers build up enough hype about your product or service, it can help you become an established name in the industry.
Example: Urban Decay Cosmetics
The influencer, who has 1.2 million Instagram followers, posted a video about the first look experience. In just 5 days, the video has already received more than 130,000 views.
#8: Run Giveaway Contests to Increase Engagement and Visibility
Who doesn’t love a chance to win something for free? Giveaway contests are an excellent way for brands to engage their fans. To grow your brand, work with influencers to promote a giveaway contest to increase engagement and visibility.
By combining this tactic with influencer marketing, you can extend your reach further to a new audience. The influencer’s followers will learn about your brand, and may feel compelled to participate to win free products or gifts.
And if your contest rules require contestants to create their own content, it could further reach more people. During this process, your brand can gain visibility and engage a huge audience.
Marzetti partnered with an influencer community to promote their Simply Dressed salad dressing and giveaway contest. According to a RhythmInfluence case study, the brand worked with 21 influencers related to food and living. Food bloggers, like Miryam of Eat Good 4 Life, created unique recipes using the salad dressing.
The campaign had a social reach of more than 58 million. The posts generated 665 reader comments, and over 114,000 engagements. They also activated a second set of influencers, who helped the brand reach an additional 22.8 million people, and 55,600 social engagements. The contest received more than 5,500 entries.
#9: Get Influencers to Promote a Unique Hashtag
Hashtags can be a great way to drive conversations around your brand, products, events, etc. And when your branded hashtag gets more visibility, it can enhance the visibility of your brand as well.
A great way to grow a brand is to get influencers to promote a unique, branded hashtag. You can also ask influencers to encourage their followers to share content using the same hashtag. The goal is to drive high levels of engagement for the hashtag, and encourage more user-generated content about your brand to help you achieve widespread visibility.
Influencers can promote the hashtag by using it themselves in a sponsored post or product placement post. They can also encourage fans to use it while they promote a giveaway contest, or for a chance to be featured on your website, or social media profiles.
This is a lot like the previous tactic, but in this case, the purpose is to use the contests to promote the use of a branded hashtag.
Even if the hashtag isn’t associated with a giveaway contest, you can still promote it by getting your community of influencers to use it in posts where they feature your products. Seeing several of their favorite influencers using the same hashtag can help encourage others to share their own photos using the hashtag.
Example: Jouer Cosmetics
Jouer Cosmetics, for example, has worked with several top beauty and makeup influencers. These influencers have been sharing photos of them in which they use the brand’s products and use a hashtag #AwayWithJouer.
Here’s an example of the hashtag in use by Mariale Marrero, who has 2.1 million Instagram followers.
Top makeup artist Manny Gutierrez, who has more than 3.7 million followers, has also used the hashtag. In just 3 weeks, his post featuring the branded hashtag has already received more than 150,000 likes.
And here’s one more example of the hashtag in use by Denise of Makeup by Denise, who has close to a million followers.
#10: Include Influencers in Your Long-Term Strategy
You may use influencer marketing for a specific, one-time purpose. Like to promote a special event, product launch, giveaway contest, or sale. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon influencer marketing as soon as you’ve accomplished that goal.
If you really want to grow your brand, include influencers in your long-term marketing strategy. That may mean multiple influencer marketing campaigns, with different types of influencers, on different platforms, to achieve a variety of different goals.
Example: Daniel Wellington
Daniel Wellington has been using influencer marketing as their only marketing strategy to grow their brand. They have not changed their strategy since 2015. During that year, they sold a million watches and made a profit of $220 million.
The brand continues to work with popular lifestyle influencers and micro-influencers to promote their brand all over the world.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the brand doesn’t limit themselves to influencers who speak English. The post is from German influencer Ebru, whose Instagram profile, NAZJUJU, has more than 274,000 followers.
These are 10 of the best ways to grow a brand with the help of influencers. Although the focus of these specific tactics is to create brand awareness and help you grow your brand, they can also help increase conversions, engagement, and sales.
Got any questions about these tips? Leave a comment below, so I can answer them for you. Or if you need my help running a full-fledged influencer marketing campaign, please get in touch with me.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.