Hi everyone! My name is Masha.
I’m a blogger at CodingBlonde.com, where I try to make tech more fun and accessible for everyone. On my blog, you can find everything from interviews with amazing women working in tech and thoughts about new technology, to career development tips and tools for your side hustle. Ultimately, I want to empower women in tech (and shatter stereotypes while we’re at it).
Believe it or not, I got into the tech industry by accident. During my job search in 2015, I found it difficult to stand out from other recent graduates with a degree in marketing. So, I decided to learn how to code in order to boost my skill set. I created Coding Blonde as a way to document my journey into tech.
Eventually, I landed an amazing opportunity to work at the company of my dreams, Google. My job involved working with YouTubers educating them about content strategy and optimization as well as business and monetization strategies. I loved every second of it. My job at Google also inspired me to start my own YouTube channel, which is now one of my biggest creative outlets and complements my blog. I never imagined Coding Blonde would evolve into what it is today!
Of course, I love learning about new technology, from electronics and smartphone apps, to cyber security software and online programs. But let’s face it — unlike products in the beauty or fashion world that are inherently “Instagrammable”, tech-focused content can seem dry and unengaging for online audiences.
So, how can tech brands leverage influencer marketing in order to drive downloads, reach new audiences, and get people talking about your product?
1. Let influencers get creative with their content.
Tech brands that still haven’t tapped into influencer marketing are leaving money on the table. Influencer content adds a human element to sometimes bland products, such as software or apps. Trust me, as a consumer myself, I gravitate towards brands with a little bit of personality. Collaborating with influencers is the easiest way to tell your brand story because it’s literally our jobs to create eye-catching content that resonates with online audiences. Plus, consumers look to us to provide genuine reviews and recommendations when it comes to tech products that are more expensive, like cameras or computers.
When I work with brands, I try to come up with creative campaigns that provide an interactive experience for my audience and make it easier for them to understand the product. My goal is to show how the product, app, or software can improve someone’s daily life.
Here are some creative campaign strategies:
- Present your product as an industry disruptor. Who doesn’t want to hear about the “new Uber of…”? This will get people excited about the groundbreaking impact that your brand can make and the problems it can solve in their day-to-day lives.
- Create a challenge or competition that encourages participation and drives downloads or software use. Tech influencers have audiences who are eager to learn about the latest and greatest products on the market, so making a challenge around the product is a fun way to get even more engagement from them!
- Make informative videos. Did you know 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy (or download, in this case) from their favorite creator? Video performs particularly well for tech-related content because it’s harder to understand.
2. Thoroughly educate influencers on the product.
While tech influencers are excited to learn about emerging products in the industry, we may not always know about every sub-industry of technology. Don’t be surprised if the influencer you’re working with doesn’t know much about blockchain or financial technology — they might just be focused on other areas of tech.
When I work with a brand, I’m genuinely interested in fully understanding the product regardless of if it’s something I’m already familiar with or not. Like most influencers, I want to provide real value to my audience with the products I promote, and that’s impossible if I don’t have transparency into the brand or the product.
This is especially true in the tech industry because these products are harder to wrap your head around. Software and electronic gadgets are much harder to understand than, say, an item of clothing or food.
So, educate influencers on the ins and outs of your product and help us answer these questions:
- How does it work?
- How can it benefit users?
- What problems does it solve?
- Why should people use it?
- What kind of impact will it have on users?
Then, we can figure out how to relay that information in a way that resonates best with our audience.
3. Take advantage of actionable Instagram features.
Although a lot of my time goes into my blog and YouTube channel, I interact with my audience on Instagram on the daily. So, it’s no different when it comes to helping them discover the best products on the market. Here are some creative ways I’ve engaged with my audience.
Instagram Story Stickers
I love using Story stickers to encourage my audience to test their knowledge about the tech space. For instance, when I worked with a cyber security company, I posted mini exams on my Story using the poll sticker and the multiple choice quiz sticker. This not only allowed me to assess my audience’s knowledge on day-to-day cyber security best practices, but it also made them think about their personal choices regarding their online safety.
I know what you’re thinking — hashtags aren’t new at all. But they still work wonders for building a buzz. For example, I worked with a company that wanted more people to download their game. To drive more app downloads, I asked my followers to screenshot the game when they reached a new level, upload it to Instagram with a specific hashtag, and tag @codingblonde. This built a community around the game and prompted more people to visit the App Store.
This one may seem like another obvious choice, but don’t discredit the power of the “Swipe Up” function. This is the easiest way to provide a clear call to action, because it requires virtually no effort. People will engage even more if you provide an incentive, such as a free download or a limited edition discount code.
You’d be surprised by how big Instagram’s tech community is. The key is to make each post actionable and relevant, so that the audience wants to take an action in that moment.
4. Test and invest.
Remember that tech influencers are learning to gauge our audience’s reaction to various products at the same time brands are learning to work with influencers from different niches. So be open to experimentation. If one method doesn’t work, try a different approach.
Additionally, make sure to listen to influencers when it comes to what their audience wants. After all, we know our audience best. Don’t push ideas and strict guidelines. Instead, work with us to brainstorm what both parties can do differently in the future. Or, if the campaign is successful, invest in that influencer. I always love building long-term relationships with brands!