As a brand, growing your presence online is becoming more and more important. With social media and technology flooding the internet with over 200 million pieces of content a minute, it’s essential that brands find a way to stand out from the crowd.
What’s interesting to watch as the marketing industry progresses is how brands find ways to hack their growth. The term ‘growth hacking’ was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010 and in my opinion is more than just a term, it’s a new way to exist – especially in an industry as fast-paced as marketing.
Top marketers have discovered more than one way to hack brand growth. They often discover them by hitting a roadblock in the digital world – and having to find a solution, or a hack. Two of the biggest roadblocks to hit marketers in the last five years are ones you’ll know well – the rise of Ad Blocking, and the change in algorithms across multiple social networks.
This is where influencers started coming into play. Firstly to combat ad blockers by allowing brands to post content in formats consumers actually want to receive it in, and not the age old display banners. Secondly to combat algorithmic changes across platforms like Facebook, Twitter and soon to be Instagram – let’s remember that social networks want popular posts to come up at the top, and the popular posts often come from the popular people – otherwise known as Social Influencers.
The important point to remember here is that ad blocking and algorithm changes are introduced to make the internet a better place. The reason they make being a marketer harder is because we have to be more creative, use smarter technology, and trial new things to get to the top.
If you’re a competitive person like I am, you should really see these roadblocks as an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors. The hack is simple. Find the quickest and most effective way to go from the bottom of the triangle to the top.
Why? Because other people talking about your brand in a positive way has more power to influence consumers than you do – even when your brand has well crafted Facebook posts or beautifully designed banner ads.
But there is something quite important to remember here – if we’re going to use Influencer Marketing to hack brand growth we need to be clear on the rules of growth hacking. If we go back to the definition you’ll see that it needs three things to exist: creativity, analytical thinking and social metrics. When it comes to influencer marketing the last two can be covered by working with smart technology platforms. The creative part still needs to come from you, or the influencer, or ideally a collaboration of both.
For that reason I’ve put together a quick checklist to guide you on through the basics:
- Use accredited influencers to ensure your content reaches the right audience (reliable social metrics)
- Encourage collaboration not dissemination – make sure you’re using a technology platform that allows you to communicate with the influencer about content, briefs and ideas (to encourage creativity)
- Use the three-check-system below to ensure that you’re running a campaign where everybody wins (analytical thinking)
A campaign where everybody wins is what you should aim for, the perfect triangle. The brand wins because the campaign meets business objectives (check 1), the influencer wins because they are proud to post the content (check 2), and the audience wins because they enjoy the experience (check 3).
Now that you’re one step closer to hacking your brand growth, there is only one more point to mention. Social influencers did not come into existence because they wanted to be part of the Influencer Marketing trade. They came into existence because they are incredible at doing what brands try to do every day – finding a way, through all the roadblocks, to create content that consumers actually want to engage with. The time is now to learn more about these influencers and explore how you can collaborate with them to hack your way to the top.