One of the quickest ways to promote referral programs is influencer marketing. This is because you do more than just promote your program to a random audience. Instead, you go to an influencer with a highly targeted audience that is similar to you and you ask that influencer to promote your business for you. This is powerful because it helps you leverage the influencer’s existing audience. This means that you no longer have to go out of your way to build backlinks to your referral page. The influencer will already do all the marketing for you.
While this sounds good in theory, it is quite harder in practice. You see, not all influencers will be willing to promote you unless you give them something in return. In this article, you’ll learn about the different ways on how you can find influencers that can help you promote your referral program.
#1 – Use the Search Engines
The first step is to use the search engines. People use it for a variety of reasons. They use it when they are researching restaurants so you can also use it to search for influencers. The best part is that you’ll often get a long list of influencers once you search for a particular niche. The technique is to use certain search queries.
If you are running a gardening online store for example, you’ll want to search for gardening blogs and gardening Youtube channels. This will help you uncover influencers who will be interested in your program. The key is to only choose influencers that have an interest in your products. You can sweeten the deal by giving them a chance to also review your products as they promote your referral program.
#2 – Follow Influencers on Facebook
Another area where you can easily find influencers is Facebook. Almost everyone is on Facebook and you can leverage this traffic to find highly targeted visitors for your online store. Finding influencers is as easy as inputting your niche and look for pages. You’ll find some influencers with a considerable amount of followers. The good thing about Facebook is that you can see the follower number. This will help you find the influencers that have a considerable amount of followers. Once you find them, reaching out is as easy as messaging them on messenger. Since messenger is a personal approach, influencers are more likely to reply. But this is only if you have something to offer.
As mentioned, you can ask for their review of your products by sending them your products via mail. This will help them get to know you and your brand before they promote you. Many influencers love to do this. They love to filter through their offers and only find brands that are worth promoting. You see, influencers have a different approach to promotion. They will not promote you just because you gave them a freebie. They will want to know if your product or service resonates with their brand and audience. And if you have something unique to offer, they will have a greater likelihood of promoting you to their followers.
#3 – Follow Influencers on Instagram
Another social media platform that you should use is Instagram. It is a visual platform that showcases visual or image content. There are certain influencers that are only present on Instagram and you’ll miss them if you don’t search for them.
There are two ways to do this.
First, you can use the profile search. You just have to search the niche and look at all the profiles that will come up.
But what you’ll want to use is their tagging feature. Influencers usually tag their posts so that they can be found. You can search for influencers through tags and follow them accordingly.
PRO TIP: One of the quickest ways to find influencers is to look at the followers. What I often do is click on a follower and look at the other brands that he follows. This allows me to uncover influencers in the niche’s community.
You can contact an influencer on Instagram through the direct messaging feature. The best part is that the influencer often get to read this instantly.
#4- Look for Influencers on Youtube
Youtube is also a great place to find influencers. Often, these content creators focus solely on video content that they often don’t have a blog or another active social media profile. But what separates Youtube influencers is the level of trust that their followers have with them. This is because video fosters a different connection than written content. Written content is often impersonal and can even be boring. But video content is often interactive. It is as if the influencer is talking directly to their followers. This is the reason why it is so effective in directing engagements.
Ideally, these are the influencers that you’ll want to target. After all, you need more than just exposure for your referral program. You need the prospects to sign up. But they’ll only do that if they trust the influencer enough to act on the promotion.
Fortunately, finding influencers in Youtube is easy. All you need to do is use the search bar on top. Search for your topic or niche and you’ll find a long list of influencers.
PRO TIP: You can also follow the influencers that a certain influencer follow. Just click on their subscriptions and you’ll find channels that inspire that influencer. It will cut down your search time significantly.
#5 – Read Blogs in Your Niche
Another source of influencers are blogs. Once an influencer’s follower number grows, they often have other platforms such as blog. For this, you need to use the search engine to uncover blogs in your niche.
Another way to do this is to look at top blogs lists. In here, you’ll find all the top blogs in a niche without having to search for them. The problem with only using the search engines is that you don’t get to determine if the blog has enough followers. They will often show up just because it is the most relevant blog in terms of keywords. You will not know if the followers are active. But the top lists are different. They will show you blogs with a greater amount of engagement.
Another way to find influencers is through the blog’s link lists. A blog will often post sister blogs. This means that they belong to the same community. It never hurts to check these blogs out to see if they are willing to promote your program.
#6 – Follow the Followers
Another way to uncover influencers is to follow their followers. Followers often belong to the community. They have a certain group of influencers that they follow. In fact, an average follower can follow 5 influencers at the minimum. This will help you uncover names or brands that you would not have otherwise found if not for the follower.
There are different ways to do this.
First, you can do it manually. This is where you check the follower list to look for power followers. These people belong to the community and they follow several influencers.
Another way is to use a tool. One of the tools I love to use is BuzzSumo. This is because I get to uncover influencers who have promoted a certain topic. This will allow me to do two things. First, it will allow me to check out who this person is following. Next, I also get to approach this follower to also promote my program. So that’s two birds with one stone.
#7 – Look at the Promoters of Certain Brands
If you cannot find the right influencers to promote your brand, you can just look at the promoters of other brands. This will help you uncover influencers who may be interested in promoting you. Brands often post influencer shares on their social channels or website. If you can catch this and track the influencer, then you can ask him or her to promote you.
For this to be successful, it is very important to qualify the interest of the influencer before you approach them. Even if they are promoting certain products, that doesn’t mean that they are automatically interested in promoting your program. Be sure to check their post to see if they are really interested before you talk to them.
#8 – Look at User Generated Content
Excellent customer support can go a long way if you can uncover influencers in user generated content. Here’s the thing. When a customer likes your product or service, they will often share it on social media. When influencers do this, you get to take a peek at the products that they are interested in and you get to leverage their existing traffic.
As I have mentioned over and over again, it is important that you qualify the interests of the influencer before you ask them for anything. User generated content will give you a clue on the products that they are using and what they are willing to share with their followers. If they are already using a competing brand, you can ask them to try your products and ask for their review. If they like your product better, they will often rave about it on social media earning you some new buyers and followers.
Every brand has its share of user generated content. You can look at the user generated content in your competition’s pages to find out the influencers that they managed to convince to promote them.
#9 – Study Advertisements
Another not-so-obvious source of influencers is advertisements. This is because it is often done by influencers who are already mainstream. They can be models or actors/actresses that have a huge follower base on social media. If you have the budget, you can approach them to promote your referral program for you.
There are different areas where you can find advertisements.
The first is video advertisements. These are the advertisements that you see on Youtube videos. They often show you some models and influential people that can promote your brand.
Next are referrals within websites. This can be done with a brand placement in a blogpost or video. Youtube influencers love to do this for they get to mention brands inside their video. Always take note of the brands that these influencers promote. This can give you an idea if they will be interested in your offer.
PRO TIP: Shopping Cart Abandonment emails and pages can also have some referrals. Be sure to check them out. You’ll never know if you can find a new influencer in these pages.
#10 – Ask for influencer Referrals
The last and perhaps the easiest tip is to simply ask for influencer referrals. It may seem like asking is difficult but it actually isn’t. You’ll be surprised with all the people who are willing to point you to influencers that they follow.
This works better if you ask followers instead of influencers. Influencers will not have the time to respond to your question unless they want to refer their friends. Followers are a better source. If you find that a certain follower is active in consuming content in several influencers in a particular niche, you can ask them if they know other influencers who may be interested in your products. You may be surprised that they know a lot of people. Companies such as Hunting Bow Lab have reported a 30% increase in sales after starting a referral program.
Finding an influencer is only the first step in promoting your referral program. You’ll also need to create a message or offer that resonates not only with the influencer but also his or her followers. Influencer marketing is not a numbers game. It is quality over quantity. You can get only 3 quality influencers to promote you and the results will be far better than sending 100 emails to random influencers with no replies. Don’t get me wrong. Promoting to micro-influencers (those with 2000-10,000 followers) is okay. You just need to get them to say ‘yes’. You can only do that if you know how to make them a good offer and how to have a good relationship with them.
So I hope this post has helped you find some influencers in your niche. Which do you want to try first? Tell me all about it below.