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Influencer Marketing: How to Build Your Tribe

When it comes to getting recommendations on what to do, what to buy and where to travel, influencer marketing has proven to be one of the highest converting facets of a digital strategy. The power of influencer marketing lies in the trust profile they build with their followers, so they become more of a peer than a celebrity endorser.

As the owner of a digital marketing company, I work with influencers regularly to help promote my clients’ brands and products. My goal in selecting an influencer is to ensure my client gets the highest exposure and conversions possible, so I screen and select influencers carefully to avoid wasting the client’s time and money. In this article, I will share my tips on how to grow your reputation as an influencer and increase your likelihood of partnering with brands and agencies.

1. Don’t use bots.

I have nothing more to say on the point. Yes, it is obvious that you are using them and no, this won’t get you quality paid work.

2. Follower count is not as important as you think.

Yes, you read that right. Of course, follower count is important as it shows that people are interested in your feed, however it’s not the be all and end all. When looking for influencers, I am much more likely to select someone with lower follower count and high engagement than someone with high followers but little genuine engagement.

When I look for an influencer to work with my clients, I want to be sure that the clients’ posts are reaching the right market. I will check back on the influencer’s posts (sometimes random posts from months in the past) to see what type of engagement they are receiving. Lots of likes but few comments raises my suspicions that there are bots involved, and similarly lots of short, generic comments raise the flag that Instagram engagement groups or bots are in play, rather than genuine engagement.

3. Pick a niche and stick to it.

A refined niche will help you attract followers who will genuinely engage with you, which in turn attracts brands. Major niches are saturated and hard to grow (think fitness, mummy bloggers, vegetarian living), but you can piggy-back of the success of others by refining your niche even further. For example, you may be a mummy blogger, but could you refine further to be a mummy blogger of tweens, or twins, or boys? A healthy living influencer may knuckle down into plant-based high protein recipes, or a fitness blogger may specialise in outdoor fitness or working out with their dog.

Once you have chosen your specific niche, you need to stick with it! Too often I see influencers try to diversify, but rather than gaining followers it leads to frustrating the followers that they already have.

4. Think different.

As I mentioned above, there are already hundreds of thousands of influencers in major niches such as travel, wellness and healthy living. In turn, there are also thousands of copycats trying to build their brand based on the same recipe that has been used before. Think about what you have to offer that is different, and why someone would want to view your blog/feed as opposed to your competitors (who have already built a solid following).

For example, maybe you are into makeup blogging and have beautiful freckles that you could show off. Perhaps you are into fashion and can emphasize your pear-shaped body where everyone else is the perfect hourglass, or maybe you’re a mum and will show off the tears and tantrums rather than the picture perfect family moments.

5. Develop an influencer strategy.            

A clear growth strategy will help you develop your following faster and measure what is working in your posting/blogging calendar. You need a plan for how you will reach a larger audience (hashtags? Social networks?) and how you will interact with your existing audience. It’s also a great idea to thank them for their support and encourage them to share with their friends through giveaways and competitions on your page.

6. Distribute your content.

Your content strategy should define how your content will be distributed. Aside from Instagram, YouTube or your blog, you should look into complementary platforms such as Pinterest and Quora to achieve a higher number of views to your content.

7. Create a media kit.

Professional influencers know their markets like the back of their hand. You should know how many followers you have, where they are from, their age range and what type of content interests them. This information should then be presented in a media kit which can be sent out to brands and agencies with your pitch.

8. Be consistent.

A professional influencer should be posting on Instagram a minimum of once per day, YouTube once per week and/or blogging once per week (depending on your chosen platforms). Taking too much time away from your audience can lead to lower engagement and impatience, or cause your content to score lower with your chosen platforms algorithm, thereby being shown to less people.

9. Engage with your followers.

Finally, if you have spent the time to build an audience, take the time to engage with them! Reply to comments, like back accounts related to yours, and where possible give a shout out to your most active followers. These personal connections will encourage your followers to evangelise for you and help you build your tribe quickly.


THE-OOP.COM works with brands and influencers to create ongoing partnerships. If you are an influencer looking to work with brands, please get in touch and see how we can help you.