blogimage-070716Consumers are beginning to look to other consumers – not companies – for information when making purchasing decisions. Word of mouth generates twice as many sales as paid advertising, and social media networks let customers make their opinions and recommendations known. Influencer marketing focuses on specific individuals rather than an entire audience. By using social media to pinpoint key people who have influence over potential buyers and focusing your marketing efforts and activities on them can help boost your sales. Here are three steps for you to follow when exploring influencer marketing.

1) Find your influencers. You want to find someone who has relevance, reach and resonance. The content they create and share should be relevant to your business, reach enough followers to provide it with value and resonate with those you are targeting. You may want to start with Twitter or Facebook or even searching for bloggers or critics who write reviews or attend events that are relevant to your business.

2) Engage with your influences. Begin interacting with your influencers by engaging with their social media posts, participating in their chats and commenting on their blog posts. You can take it offline by sending free product samples, a coupon or discount. Nurture the relationship and remember to show thanks for any promotion that they give you – whether it’s an insulated bag or thermal vacuum mug you send to the with a handwritten note.

3) Measure results. Look at the results of your efforts. Track the relationships you’ve built and whether they bring you in-store visits, social media mentions, leads or sales. Influencer marketing takes time but if you aren’t seeing new interest in your company – you may need to reevaluate the type of influencer who fits your organization.

Consumers are looking to each other, not companies, to help them make buying decisions.

By following these three steps, you can ensure your organization comes recommended by those who may influence them.