The rise of the influence of connected consumers
Over the years, with the proliferation of social platforms and apps available on the Web, communications and marketing have experienced radical changes. Connected consumers, now better informed are forcing companies to adopt less invasive approaches to inbound marketing and social selling.
From the 4 P’s of traditional marketing (price, product, promotion, placement), we go to the five C’s of influencers marketing on social networks. Today, brands and marketing agencies, realize the importance of disseminating relevant content to stand out and reach their customers. And they see the impact of interventions and recommendations on the community influencers. Over 80% of companies surveyed in recent polls are considering increasing their budget devoted to influencer marketing and content on social networks.
The Five Cs: The Keys to Effective Strategy with Influencers
An effective influencer marketing strategy doesn’t only to organize campaigns sponsored endorsements or recommendations with celebrities. It ultimately comes back to advertising, and influenceratis only showcase the brands.
To regain consumer confidence, crumbling ever since the last economic crisis (see Trust Barometer study – Edelman), we must rely more on long-term relationships. The marketing influencer and ambassador programs are not based on popularity contests. Content creation and the distribution of relevant content are the heart of the strategies.
The social media marketing strategy of effective influence has several components that can’t be overlooked. To get the commitment of users, each step must be used. These steps correspond to the 5 pillars of marketing with social media influencers, the 5 C’s:
Context: Adopt the social selling approach
Because of the Web and social media, consumers are more informed and demand a more connected relationship with brands. Companies must adopt a new approach, less intrusive and more social. They should be on different platforms, and be available to listen and to act as a guide in the purchase process, rather than just a seller. It’s connected prospecting, which is the main mindset of social selling. The context and message must come before the product and the quality of the user experience before the sale.
Community: Involve your employees in social transformation
To develop an effective strategic plan, it should first draw the portrait of his organization, and analyze its level of adoption of the Web and social media with that of its customers and its employees. This initial analysis will more clearly define its potential audience, and recruit his team and select the appropriate social platforms to develop its presence in office.
It’s at this stage that companies must define their corporate vision, to implement a policy of using social media, graphics, and visuals and establish a secure digital identity on the different platforms. The most effective way to convey and transmit values and brand image is to involve all staff and employees in the transformation. Before establishing a community, the company should establish clear rules in case of potential crisis management, in particular involving customer service staff, public relations or management.
Content: Establish the content needs of the audience
Quality content remains the cornerstone of a successful marketing strategy. A relevant message establishes a brand’s image and attracts the attention of customers and influencers to build community. However, to earn the trust of consumers, companies must change: stop talking, and do what the community wants. We must create content of real value. The magazine, The Furrow (founded in 1895 by John Deere) is a very good example of this. From the beginning, this publication has been a useful and practical guide for farmers and ranchers, without putting the brand at the forefront. This was described by Joe Pulizzi in The Story of Content – Rise of the New Marketing, produced by the Content Marketing Institute, with Brightcove.
We must revise corporate content and produce new content for customers and platforms. A successful marketing strategy should also incorporate content curation, which will balance the publishing schedule.
Collaboration: Co-creating content with the ambassadors and influencers
To effectively meet the expectations of users and gain their trust, influencers involvement with the community proves as important as organizational ambassadors involvement. It’s their contribution that will communicate the vision of the brand and a more social corporate image. Several large companies have developed their brands by co-creating content internally (as L’Oreal, and Marriott with Live Studio M) and implementing awareness and participation of emerging ambassadors.
According to their goodwill and exploration goals, popularity and notoriety, or credibility and leadership, companies will also benefit from channel influencers amplifying their message. Companies may get short term results by joining communities, and inserting sponsored users on appropriate platforms. But to achieve lasting results, there are no shortcuts, as advocate too often become ¨influenceratis¨. Astroturfing and false recommendations are under surveillance by government institutions (FTC). Use opinion leaders and recognized experts together to build equitable business relations for the longer term.
Conversion: Calculate the ROI according to the commitment rather than stats
Any departure from the campaign objectives will determine the metrics for measuring the results of an influencer/ambassador marketing campaign. For the best results on each of the platforms, more and more companies are opting for a multi-channel approach (paid, owned, earned media). A complementary strategic approach that incorporates both:
- Advertising and promotional investments (paid media partners and influencers)
- The scope of its own channels (website and media platforms/social networks)
- The impact of the amplified message (influencers and ambassadors)
Traffic statistics and activities help build social capital on networks based on mathematical algorithms which do not take into account the context and commitment. Some performance metrics (key performance indicator) and customer retention (lifetime customer value) are used to calculate a return on investment based more on the commitment that the figures. Ultimately, that’s what matters to regain the trust of consumers.
What’s your opinion? Share your thoughts and comments on this article with our readers. Are there other aspects to consider for an effective influencer marketing strategy on social networks?