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What is Influencer Marketing

in Social Business

Influencer Marketing is a strategy whereby a brand seeks to reach an audience through people (influencers) who already have a trusted relationship with the people you want to reach. It works because consumers (B2C or B2B) are influenced by other people’s opinions, ratings, posts, articles, etc., even if we don’t know them personally, provided these “influencers” have credibility in the eyes of the audience. Influencer marketing requires planning and a mindset of “true relationship building with an influencer.” Brands who engage influencers with a long-term, relationship building, mutual-benefit approach have a greater chance of success with influencer marketing.

Top Influencer Marketing FAQs

How do we get started in influencer marketing?

The first step is to identify people who are influential in your business community. Look for influencers who have a trusted relationship with your current customers and the audience you want to reach. Look internally as well as externally, seeking a balance of both. The second step is to develop a strategy to build relationships with these influencers. The relationship building part is VERY important. Your relationship with influencers must be beneficial to influencers. Start with this mindset before kicking an influencer marketing plan into high gear. Your approach to influencer marketing with your employees is an advocacy strategy, which we address separately.

Where do we find influencers?

You can find influencers through many channels. You can identify employees who are influential due to their reach and engagement. Your employees can help identify external influencers. You can leverage Google to search for influencers through a keyword search. Likewise, social media channels including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., can reveal potential influencers. Additionally, specialized tools such as BuzzSumo, ScoopIT and Traackr, can be licensed to identify influencers and their content niche.

When should we reach out to influencers?

Once you’ve developed an initial list of potential influencers, dedicate time to just following and observing influencers’ online behavior. Study their content niche focus to understand their area of domain expertise. Observe how they often they produce content, what content they share and how they engage with others, including brands. Document everything and whittle down a list of influencers to a manageable size. Then, formulate your plan to begin your outreach to initiate a relationship with them.

How do we identify influencers within our company?

Start with the employees already speaking at conferences/webinars or writing for the company blog on behalf of your brand on topics that align with your brand. Likewise, look for employees who have a personal blog on industry topics that align with your brand. Beyond these obvious influencers, look for employees who demonstrate interest in sharing their domain expertise through an intentional content marketing plan. Then, you’re ready to partner with these employees in a methodical influencer marketing plan that will benefit them, as well as your brand. See Employee Advocacy for more on this.

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