10 Ways Product-Making Businesses Can Leverage Influencer Marketing
Paid marketing is no longer enough to promote your manufacturing business in 2019. You may have tried increasing your ad spending only to find that your sales are the same.
Paid advertising is becoming more and more expensive as we speak, whilst its effectiveness declines.
Your customers will no longer buy just because of what you tell them in your ads. Instead, they consult their peers and resort to influencers to get product feedback before they buy them.
It is not that they don’t believe you. They just have this quick access to a wealth of information online, that it is inevitable for them to seek it when they want to buy something.
So how can a small manufacturer compete in this Internet-driven world? It’s simple. You just need to harness the power of influencer marketing. As you get more honest feedback on your products and services, you will have higher chances of closing more deals.
The core of influencer marketing is the power of trust. This is the trust that influencers have built with their followers and is nurtured with the continuous creation of content. When marketing is done with this trust, it becomes extremely effective. In fact, a simple influencer promotion can result in a tidal wave of sales if done the right way.
However, if you feel that there are still things that you need to address in-house, before rushing into finding an influencer to begin marketing, it might be worth looking at your manufacturing process and understanding how Shopify inventory management works (assuming you’re using an e-commerce platform) to try and boost sales.
But, now that you understand the role that influencers play in promoting a manufacturing company, let us look at some ideas on how you can leverage this a bit more. Here are ten ways on how you can use influencer marketing in your small manufacturing business.
Ask for Influencer Reviews
The easiest way to get an influencer to promote your business is to ask for a review. It is not that difficult if you will go with non-celebrity influencers. Celebrity influencers are those influencers that have millions of followers.
While their reach may be wide, the engagements that they generate is lower than micro influencers. In fact, statistics from Collective Bias show that consumers are 10x more likely to buy because of non-celebrity influencer promotions. This is because they know that influencers are most likely paid to promote a particular product while non-celebrities only review a product that they like, and they will only promote it if they think the product will authentically help their followers.
The easiest way to ask for a review is to approach them. Look for their contact information or you can contact their social media profiles and ask about where you can send your products. You don’t even need to require them to review your products.
You can just ask them where to send your products and they can review it if they like it. If you are confident with your products, you’ll find that they will review it for you just to return your kind gesture.
Alternatively, ask customers to leave reviews as this is also an effective tactic to drive up sales. It might be worth considering a multichannel approach to increase your leverage and get more reviews in different places.
Attract Influencers with a Knowledge Campaign
Influencer reviews are not the only way to use influencer marketing for your business. It is also important to create a system which will make it easier for influencers to find your products and approach you.
For this a content or knowledge campaign is essential. In fact, it is recommended for newly launched products for it will allow you to educate your audience. If your product is not that complicated, you can just upload something as simple as a blog to your website.
This will allow you to have some extra content aside from your shop. It will not only make your website look more credible, but it is also a great link to refer to when you approach influencers for promotion.
A knowledge and content marketing campaign can help you do that.
Harness the Power of Influencer Groups
Try looking for an influencer in any niche and you’ll find that they often communicate with a small group of people. This is their influencer group. They often belong in the same niche and they communicate with each other constantly.
If your product is relevant to this group, you’ll want the entire group to promote you. This way, every promotion will create a wave of conversation in the niche. So, it is not just one influencer talking.
Instead, it is a group of influencers promoting the product at the same time. This is powerful for it will show their followers that the product is so good that the entire group promotes it.
The best part is that once you have done this, you will not only get to build a relationship with one influencer. You get to build a relationship with all of them.
Create Exclusive Offers
Earlier, we mentioned that you need to give influencers a reason to promote your products.
Another way to convince them is to give them exclusive offers. This could be a coupon code that is made in their name, a special discount that is made just for their followers, or even an exclusive deal like inventory kitting products exclusively for their audience.
Taking any of these approaches will give the influencer a reason to promote, and the tactic is often a good way to find new customers from, potentially, a single promotion.
Another way to get an influencer to promote you is to host a contest with them. In this type of contest, you don’t ask them to do anything other than promote your business as you’ll provide the prize and other specifics.
So, if you are giving away a product, you can set up the mechanics so that it can increase, not only your followers, but the influencers’ followers as well.
You can see this a lot in social media channels like Instagram where you must like the post and follow the influencer and business pages in order to qualify for the prize.
This is a nice way to boost your influencers’ followers while also promoting your manufacturing business.
PRO TIP: You can combine this marketing strategy with influencer groups. Instead of approaching only one influencer, you can approach a group of influencers. You can then set the mechanics by requiring follows for all the influencer accounts in the group. This is better as you’ll have a group of influencers promoting you all at the same time.
NOTE: You need an attractive prize for this to work though, A discount code or a free product will not cut it. The prize should be higher in value for group influencer contests to work. But if done correctly, it’ll generate more traffic to your website.
Did you know that you can actually trade via social media? It might be lucrative to find an influencer who also has an online store and seeing if they’re willing to carry some consignment inventory and sell from their own store.
If you are a small manufacturer, it is easy for you to create bespoke products for your customers. With this, you can collaborate with influencers on certain products so you can make and design a product that the influencer has designed.
This works extremely well for creative niches such as fashion and makeup. If you can create a product based on the influencer’s taste, then they have more reason to promote you because it has their brand on it.
Host Influencer Events
Ever wonder why big brands always host conferences for their new products and invite the biggest celebrities to it? It is all about networking and promotion. By hosting events in your niche, you get to connect with influencers who can promote you.
However, hosting an event is not easy. You can only do this if your company has enough followers who will support you. Hosting an influencer event when your company is brand new will only waste money.
There are so many things involved in launching an event. Not only do you need to reserve the venue. You also need to create a program that is worth your visitors’ time. If your company has enough followers, this is a great way to solidify your relationship with influencers in your niche.
Attend Influencer Events
If you cannot host your own event, you can just attend existing influencer events in your niche. You can look for open events and attend them. There is a huge chance that your target influencers will be there. The good thing about connecting with influencers face-to-face is that you get to know them. Even if you don’t get to talk with them one-on-one.
You can listen to them if they are going to talk and you can ask questions afterward. This is your chance to connect with them and get to know them. It is also a nice reason to connect with them online after. Just tell them that you saw them at the event. Whether or not they remember you, you still have a higher chance of getting a reply from them.
Remember, it is not just the huge influencers that you need to target. I have mentioned the power of micro-influencers and that they are far more likely to get their followers to act on their promotions. This is because they don’t have celebrity status which makes them far more reliable when it comes to reviews.
Micro influencers can have a few thousand followers to a hundred thousand. But they focus more on connecting with their followers instead of promoting to them.
Have a Referral Program
An easy way to get an influencer to promote your business is to have a built-in program that will allow them to do this. This can be a referral or affiliate program where they get rewarded for every person they refer.
This will encourage them to promote you when they like your products. Plus, they can promote you to the people who are closest to them. Companies such as Hunting Bow Lab have reported a 30% increase in sales after starting a referral program.
Influencer Marketing for Life
However, influencer marketing is not done on a one-time basis. You cannot expect results from it immediately either. You have to give it some time.
The promotion done by influencer marketing is not as direct as paid marketing. You need to give the influencer’s followers some time to get to know you and your brand. You need to give them reasons to try your products. It is not a quick marketing method that will give you results right away.
Instead, it is better to see influencer marketing as part of your business regimen. You should focus less on paid advertising or getting backlinks and focus more on building relationships with your customers and highly influential people in your niche.
Influencer marketing is groundbreaking because it approached marketing from a different perspective. Instead of the old spoon-feeding approach where information is fed to the prospect.
Influencer marketing is about exploration and stories. It is about how one influencer came across your product and tried it. It is about how they use the product in their lives. It is more than just saying that the product is good or bad. It is about the value that the product can give them once they buy them.
If you plan to implement this in your small manufacturing business, I recommend having a list of potential influencers to work with. It is important to take note of their content topics and how their audience engages with them. You can see this in the likes, shares, and comments in their content.
From here, you can choose a group of influencers to work with. These influencers should not only be the best people to promote your product. You should be able to predict that they will have an interest in your product as this will make them more enthusiastic when promoting your products.
That is how you do influencer marketing for your business, but don’t forget to overlook your businesses infrastructure. Don’t forget to optimize your business manufacturing and production processes with cloud manufacturing software, so that way the traffic the influencers bring in, won’t be lost to inefficient business practices.