I often get asked about how to incorporate the influencer within social media and marketing plans. For the clientele that I work with this is generally local location based influencers or bloggers of various kinds depending upon the project. Blogger outreach is a form of influencer marketing and can be free or paid depending upon the depth of the project. I thought it would be a good idea to check in with some colleagues, and those I admire in the space, to see what they have to say about influencer marketing. Enjoy! 


Mari SmithInfluencer Marketing
comprises two primary parties: 1) a business of any size seeking to expand their reach, awareness and customers, and 2) a person who has an audience that may be a good fit for the business’ products or services. Typically, the person is a recognized thought leader with a sizeable social media following. But, those with modest followings could still just as easily evangelize a product or service to their followers and achieve results for the company seeking influencer marketing support.

One of the most powerful and effective ways for businesses to approach influencer marketing is to first cultivate relationships with their ideal influencers, and then offer to send a free sample product or free account. But, the biggest area of failure that I have experienced is where a company goes to great lengths to send a care package in the mail with sample products, or set up a free online account… and then there is absolutely zero follow up. Total crickets. For those companies who go the extra mile and have a proper follow up system and campaign in place, influencer marketing can be super effective. And, extremely cost effective!

Over the years, I have been blessed to receive all manner of delicious organic food samples, hair care products, clothing items, 360 camera, studio equipment, all kinds of amazing SAAS business tools and more. The companies that do influencer marketing really well are those that take the necessary time to cultivate win:win relationships with influencers who are an excellent fit for the brand. Two of my favorite companies I get to evangelize are Animoto and Adobe Spark!!

My criteria for influencer marketing is that I absolutely love everything about the company so much – including their customer service – that I would sing their praises, whether I get paid or not. Of course, I love to be paid! But, I just don’t use payment as the criteria and have turned down many companies over the years if they are not a good match for my values. As my wonderful, loyal followers all know – if Mari endorses a company, product or service, it must be good.

Mari Smith – Facebook Expert marismith.com 

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Bryan KramerThere comes a time when every marketer faces the challenge of how to build brand credibility. Especially in any marketplace that increasingly uses social media as a way to reach customers. For many businesses, the answer is to build an army of influencers who will provide your product the positive word-of-mouth it needs to stand out among competitors. And if you think that this isn’t necessary, here are somethings to consider:

Word-of-Mouth directly influences of 50% of purchases decisions. 81% of customers are influenced by their friend’s social media posts.

With those impressive figures, there’s little wonder why companies are are looking to include influencer marketing as part of their promotional mix.

Bryan Kramer – Pure Matter & Author of Shareology & Human to Human.

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Melonie DodaroWhen it comes to small business engaging with influencers with big names can be a challenge. Where I think the effort should be spent in engaging with your true influencers. Your true influencers are your most devoted customers and/or community members whom are your biggest advocates. Focus on them and they will continue to be your biggest brand evangelists for years to come.

Melonie Dodaro TopDogSocialMedia.com

 

 

 

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I think too many look to technology with regard to influencer marketing the Ted Rubinsame way they look for any marketing that requires a high-touch factor and authenticity. Technology is good for the syndication side, and for empowering the many to share the content of the few (such as the Dynamic Signal Platform, the best out there), but for scaling Influencer outreach it is the wrong way to go in my opinion.

I foresee Influencer marketing maturing and Brand marketers coming to understand that it is not just about the Influencer, but about the story, the engagement, and the quality of the content. As far as integration, like everything else in marketing, the silos need to disappear… all are interconnected, and in order to deliver an OmniChannel experience Externally, you must create an OmniChannel culture Internally! #RonR… #NoLetUp!

Ted Rubin – tedrubin.com

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Chris BroganI find that the best way to integrate “influencer marketing” into any content experience is to already have a strong relationship of trust built between the content creator/publisher and the community that he or she serves. And the product or service must match the content creator’s primary relationship with the people he or she serves. For instance, when I talk about cars, people don’t listen. When I talk about travel gear, people trust that I know what I’m talking about. Influencer marketing is about trust, relationships, and relevance.

Chris Brogan– CEO Owner Media Group

 

 

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Ian ClearyIt’s very expensive to build an audience or acquire an audience through paid means.  Influencer marketing allows you to access an audience through an influencer that has already built up the community with some level of trust within that community.  This can often be a much more cost effective way of reaching your audience and hence the importance of influencers.

Ian Cleary – Razor Social

 

 

 

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Viveka von RosenI think the most important thing for the Influencers in Influencer Marketing to remember is that they are being Influential!  Especially in this very public social space.  Influencers are influencing all the time.  Not just when they are asked to drop a quote for a post.  They are influencing people with the food they show in Instagram and the political statements on Facebook and the articles they share on LinkedIn and the F-bombs they drop on Periscope.  People are watching and people are emulating.  Influencers have a responsibility – whether they asked for it or not – to be the best they can be in the public space. It’s great to have Influencers contribute to contain… it drives both visibility and engagement.  But you have to make sure that the Influencers you promote have a wholistic presence  you can endorse and a personality and presence that your audience can connect with.

Viveka von Rosen – LInkedIn Expert

There you have it! Has your business leveraged the power the of influencer marketing? What has worked for you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and join the conversation!

Socially Yours,

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