- 84 percent of marketers expected to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer.
- Respondents said influencer partnerships were an effective tactic.
- Successful influencer engagement hinges on sourcing and selecting influencers
who drive real changes in attitude, behavior, perception, or adoption patterns.
1) Who am I trying to influence?
Perhaps you’re trying to influence people who work in a specific job function—social media professionals or community managers who tend to spend significant amounts of time on social media every day, for example. Or maybe your goal is to influence decision-makers in a particular vertical—maybe government or finance leaders who tend to place deep trust in recommendations from their peer network. Each of your customer characters will be influenced in a different way, by different people.
2) Who do my customers, prospects, and community trust?
The key requirement for true influence is trust. Your audience must trust and respect the opinion of the influencers you partner with. Without the trust component, any lift in results will be superficial and you’ll struggle to see a tangible business impact from your efforts.
Influence personas allow smart marketers to clearly define what an influencer is and, more importantly, what an influencer isn’t. Without a well-developed persona set it becomes very easy to slip into defining influence by vanity metrics like follower count or Klout score, numbers which can indicate reach but may or may not be important to your goals.
3) How can we work together for mutual value?
A lot of today’s influencer marketing conversations center around “what influencers can do for your brand.” The assumption is that you, as a marketer, are going to go out and find these people and use them to amplify or validate your message. The focus is on the value that the influencer can provide to the brand, not the other way around.
- Influencers must derive value from partnering with your brand.
- Without a mutual exchange of value, you’ll struggle to create truly beneficial long-term partnerships and you’ll have a tough time engaging influencers in your activations.
- Value simply means that the perceived benefit of the partnership is equally important to both parties; both sides are receiving similar value from the exchange.
- For brands with strong name recognition, maybe that value as simple as the social reach and validation that comes with being associated with your brand.
- For others, perhaps it’s a content swap: You share their content to your networks, and they share yours with theirs.
- Or maybe the exchange is something entirely different altogether, like an introduction to a unique community in exchange for custom swag.
Mutual value will be the key driver of long-term influencer relationships.
Map out your customer behaviors, and the things that might influence their journey. Think about who your customers trust, and whose opinions they’re already looking to as a guide. And define your value proposition, so you’re armed and ready when you reach out to those influencers to build relationships.