Every social media channel has a growing list of influencers and Instagram is no exception. But what exactly is an influencer? And is influencer marketing a practice you should be leveraging for your education marketing strategy? Odds are good that finding the right influencer will ignite the viewership boost you’ve been yearning for.
What can an influencer do for you?
Creating a relationship with social media influencers on Instagram, or any social media channel, can be a great way to reach a previously untapped audience. These industry leaders are pros at showcasing the highest-quality content with strong branding techniques to create the ultimate in social reach. One positive comment about your organization or product to their multitude of followers could do wonders for your corporate reputation.
To include influencers in your education marketing strategy:
- Ask an influencer to promote your company’s product or service to increase your sales.
- Mention an influencer in your social campaigns to increase their direct viewership of your brand.
- Ask an influencer to promote or share your content to drive traffic to your website.
- Create a relationship with an influencer to build their long-term advocacy of your brand.
Now that you know what they can do for you, it’s time to select the best influencers for your brand.
Finding the best influencers
There are two categories, earned and paid. Earned influencers are those with whom you already have a relationship – friends, colleagues or mentors. These are people you tend to promote as much as they promote you. It’s a much more symbiotic relationship than you’d have with a paid influencer. A paid influencer, as you might guess, is someone you pay to promote your brand, services or products to their large social media audience. You’ll need to decide how much of your budget, if any, will go toward a monetary relationship with social influencers.
Key influencers in education include academics, industry analysts or advisors within your niche. A handful of names might immediately come to mind for potential partnerships, but not all will be a good match. Before you approach anyone, assess the potential implications for your brand and corporate messaging.
Vetting an influencer
First, does the influencer’s social media content generally align with your branding and corporate goals? Once your name is attached to an influencer, people may assume you are working together. One unfortunate political or social comment and your brand could take a hit.
Second, does the influencer promote your competitors? Study the influencer’s posts to identify other education vendors being promoted, and potential conflicts of interest that would make seeking a partnership a waste of time and money.
Third, your ideal influencer will be with someone who enjoys collaborating on your messaging, promotion timelines and related content. Many influencers are more than happy to work with you on how your brand is portrayed in the social world. While working with someone less collaborative isn’t a deal breaker, it’s important to pay attention to any red flags that pop up along the way.
Contacting an influencer
Nearly everyone on social media has preferred contact information. Whether it’s an email address or a private message request, be sure to follow their preferred form of contact. Once you reach out to someone, be candid about your expectations and what you hope to get out of the partnership. Be kind and considerate of their time.
Some influencers will not be interested in forming a partnership, and that’s okay. Thank them politely and move on to the next candidate on your list.
Finding the right influencers for education marketing, or any niche can take time and a bit of trial and error. But with your name in front of the right audience, you’ll be amazed how quickly you gain new viewers, customers and followers.
Interested in exploring an influencer education marketing strategy? Need help identifying possible influencers to target? Contact us to get started.