How to Ride the Wave of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for a while, but it’s become a truly epic wave in 2015. Fifty-two percent of surveyed communication professionals already employ the tactic. More are joining them every day from every possible angle: PR, marketing, social media…Everyone wants in on the trend.
But how to get in on it? And why should you? Maybe these reasons will do the convincing. By leveraging people’s influence, you can:
- Introduce your brand and its products or services to new target audiences
- Offer educational resources and how-to tutorials
- Show your products within a personal context, creating a “me, too” effect
- Impact the message, a plus when combatting negative opinions, sentiment, or reviews
- Build long-term relationships, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty
That answers the “why”; onto the “how.”
Find the Influencers
First things first: you have to find the influencers. Not just any influencers, but the right influencers. These are people who are relevant to your brand and have the social engagement and reach needed for impact. Let’s explore those in a little more detail.
Relevance is simple enough. It means the people who not only talk about your industry but also enjoy doing so. They’re people in “the know.” They’re insiders, experts, pros and thought leaders. When reporters need a quote, they turn to these folks.
Relevance can also involve location. For example, if you want to grow brand recognition in San Francisco, seek out the influencers in that geographic region. While you might have a few East Coast techie people in your pocket, they simply won’t do when talking to San Franciscans.
Audience is everything. Find the influencers who are relevant to your brand and the target audience.
Reach can be thought of in terms of breadth and depth. Either option works, but it depends on factors like goals and budget.
To go widespread (breadth) often means handing out a pretty penny or two or entrusting a campaign to the viral gods. (They’re finicky, just like the Greek ones, so don’t hold your breath).
Depth often makes more sense for big and small brands. By narrowing the target, you’re more likely to hit it. Plus, the CFO isn’t going to raise the eyebrow quite as high when you ask for budget for an influencer marketing program.
Resonance is a fancy word for social validation and engagement. You can have the smartest, savviest and funniest people sharing or creating content on the brand’s behalf, but so what? Is their content shared? Is it commented on?
Social proof is a must when it comes to influencer marketing. Without it, your messages and brand will never end up where you want them to go: the shore where your audience is waiting.
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