You’re awesome! Yes, you! If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a parent and that’s an incredible accomplishment in itself. You’ve dedicated your entire life to a tiny little person for whom the world is a proverbial oyster. The steps they take in their life will be guided by you. You’ll share in their successes and you’ll console them for their failures and you’ll teach them how to turn the negatives into the positives. All this and you probably won’t even recognise that you’re doing it. But you’re so much more than a parent. You’re a beautiful, interesting person with thoughts, feelings, insights and ideas that are completely unique to you. There was a time when social convention and lack of opportunity meant that parents (especially Mums) had to keep these insights and ideas to themselves. Not so in the 21st century.
Digital technology has many benefits and caveats but one of its greatest accomplishments is the way it has given a voice to demographic groups who’ve historically been voiceless. Let’s use motherhood as a quick example. Dr Benjamin Spock was great and all, but advice, insight and information from other parents enduring the same anxieties, troubles and tribulations as you is far more valuable and affirming. Likewise, until recently many big brands have been deaf to the voices of consumers for too long now and employed marketing resources to tell people what they want rather than listening to what they want. Yet all that is changing now due to the rise of influencer marketing and the surge in popularity of social media influencers.
What is a social media influencer?
Social media influencers are normal people like you or me, but they have mutually advantageous relationships with businesses. They have large and loyal followings on social media and big brands approach them to use or review their products, thus growing awareness of that brand throughout their following. In a few cases, influencers grow into celebrities of sorts who launch their own product lines like Zoella. This relationship between influencers and businesses is a form of procurement. It’s not the kind of procurement that Portfolio procurement recruitment agency specialise in. Instead, it’s a loose form of procurement (although there are usually equally enforceable contracts involved). Indeed, influence is one of the key competencies of a procurement professional.
So, that’s what a social media influencer is and while it’s not exactly an established career path there are strategies that can aid your chances of becoming one…
Find a niche
Many would-be influencers fall at the first hurdle by trying to be all things to all people. But, you are a multi talented individual with a range of specialisms, so why shouldn’t you diversity? As tempting as it may be to approach your social media strategy in this way, there are legitimate reasons why it’s important to find a niche.
In fact, it’s a good idea to find a niche within a niche. Let’s say you want to become an influencer in the realm of parenting. After all, that’s as lucrative and evergreen a market as any. People are always going to keep on having kids and they’ll always want products that will make being a parent easier. But parenting is a broad church, so it’s a good idea to focus on one specific aspect of parenting. It may be behaviour and discipline. It may be children’s books and toys or it may be nutrition. Any of these will afford you opportunities to use and review popular products and get some nice incentives from the brands that make them. Finding your niche will also help your target audience to find you. Judicious use of keywords and hashtags is instrumental in growing your audience but if your tags and keywords are too diffuse you’ll actually attract fewer followers by casting the net too wide.
After all, people usually take to the internet for specific advice and information and the more specialist you can appear, the more likely they are to come to you.
Choose the right channels for yo
Are you a gifted wordsmith with a talent for writing? Or are you a natural extrovert with superb diction and engaging personality. Are you a dab hand at photography or are you great at saying a lot in just a few words. These questions will determine the kind of content you want to create. It’s important to play to your strengths while also thinking about what kind of content will engage your target market.
Videos are an increasingly popular marketing tool. This is because more and more people consume content on mobile devices while travelling to or from work or in a few spare minutes of downtime. Videos do, however, take a lot of time, effort and finesse to produce so you’ll be unable to publish fresh content on a daily basis. Click here for advice on how to make great videos on YouTube.
Blogging is easier and quicker to produce and writing is a fun and therapeutic exercise. If you choose to blog, however, be sure to use a platform that will allow for great mobile optimisation.
If, however, a picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram is the platform for you. Just be sure to avoid commonly made Insta-faux pas.
Have a strategy
“I’ll just make content” is not a strategy. You’ll need to keep abreast of coming changes and developments in your chosen field and plan your strategy according to what topics are likely to be trending within the coming weeks and months. It’s not enough to plan your content on the fly. Instead you should be planning your content around 3 months in advance.
Always be publishing
When you’re just starting out, you’ll likely be publishing content fervently and regularly, giddy with the high of indulging your creative side. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to run out of steam. The search algorithms on social media apps and sites hate accounts that don’t publish regularly, inevitably pushing them to the bottom of user searches. Be sure to publish new content regularly and you’ll never be one of them.
Finally, grow your audience by reaching out to other would be influencers and by interacting with the brands you plan to court. Even liking and commenting on others’ posts regularly can work wonders for your strategy.