Word of mouth promotion is back in a grand way. The Internet has bred a new set of celebrities in the form of bloggers and/or micro-bloggers on various social media who have become opinion leaders of the vast population of your customers. We call them “Influencers”. Because of the huge following, amounting to Millions, these influencers carry with them, brands try to spread the word out through them. In addition, the trust factor that customers often relate to these influencers helps brands to generate credibility.
Influencer marketing, expected to be the prime point of digital marketing by 2018, is not as simple as it sounds. The first and foremost ‘to-do’ for marketers planning to have influencers in their arsenal is – ‘Reach out to the bloggers regularly’. Let’s try to understand why:
Humanization over automation
If you want bloggers to speak for your brand, you need to engage with them. Unlike the traditional digital marketing methods (SEO, SEM, SMM, Affiliate, Email, etc) that are basically carried out by tools with required data input, influencer marketing has more to do with human interaction. Influencers are not automated tools, and hence, need human connect to run your campaigns. So it’s important to have a brand-connect with them on a regular basis.
PR over sales
Though the success of an influencer campaign reflects directly on your ROI and various other KPIs, the execution of influencer marketing should not be a sales activity. It is more like nurturing good relationships with opinion makers and your audience. Treat them right and they will become a great brand ambassador for your business – treat them badly and you have a classic case of bad PR on your hands. One tweet criticizing your brand can be a big mess to tidy up.
Form new connections
New influencers are born every day. Having a strong relationship with an influencer could pave the way for you to connect with other relevant influencers. In addition to helping you find new leads, the influencers you’ve bonded with could introduce you to other businesses and influencers in the network. This can help you in finding new and interesting connections that could be of great benefit to your business.
Think long term
It is not one influencer campaign that’s going to do the trick for you. You need to continue using this mode. Moreover, once you have tasted the success through of a campaign, you can’t help but continue. Hence, you will need influencers to speak for your brand over and over again, through multiple campaigns. A long drawn association with them may benefit you in various ways – a discounted cost, for example.
Though influencer marketing is all about the rapport you share with bloggers and your customers, engaging with influencers is tough. To be able to consistently execute the [finding new influencers – relationship building activity – running campaigns – repeat] cycle, you need to build a dedicated team of experts to perform the task. But that doesn’t guarantee success either. It’s always better to bank on a specialized agency to do the job for you.
Hope it was a meaningful read. Continue to follow Greenroom blog for valuable content. Also, read about how to find the right influencer for your brand.