The value of Influencer Marketing has significant and tangible benefits for business and is not a trend that will fade away anytime soon.
Brands are a singular entity amongst hundreds of millions of users in social media. It can be a lonely and somewhat depressing experience when you can’t create any traction on social. Instead of trying to simply create or publish more content and/or increase ad spend, there is another way to gain broader exposure in social media: I call it “Leveraging the Other,” which consists of having social media users advocate on your behalf, and includes:
- Employee Advocacy
- Brand Advocacy
- Influencer Marketing
Having been on both sides of the Influencer Marketing coin, having both run influencer marketing campaigns and utilizing influencer marketing as part of everyday management at my social media agency while also being hired as a social media influencer, I have been speaking on and creating more content around my own take on the subject.
I was honored to be interviewed by Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner in a recent episode of his Social Marketing Podcast. Please make sure you click here to listen to my interview in its entirety (you can also listen the full content of this podcast on iTunes), but here is a sneak preview with some takeaways from the podcast that I hope you’ll find interesting:
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Leverage the Other
I hinted about this above, but it has become mainstream for companies to now use Paid Social as part of their social media marketing campaigns. Outside from Paid Social, the concept that I coined called “Leverage the Other” is a new strategy that adds all the other users of social media who might be able to help spread the word-of-mouth about your brand. These users can help you amplify your message.
What makes this strategy really efficient is that it combines unique and powerful concepts like Brand Advocacy, Employee Advocacy, and Influencer Marketing in achieving efficient word-of-mouth marketing from people that are most trusted by social media users: people like themselves.
The Power of Influencers
Among the concepts mentioned above, it is the more mainstream Influential Marketing that is becoming very popular in helping cut through the social media noise. It is considered to be more authentic and engaging compared to Paid Social. Influencer marketing works by employing people who can have an influence on others.
These influencers are entities whose insights can have a significant impact or relevance on a certain community and industry. When someone with true influence talks, people listen and act.
Businesses can find influencers who can help them in their marketing needs by closely listening to the buzz within the industry. Find the people who are saying things that are interesting and relevant to you. You can use keyword searches or tools to find the people who produce content that yields influence.
Once you find these influencers, the next step would be to start engaging with them. There are various ways to engage with them.
Nurturing Relationships with Influencers
Influencers are becoming celebrities on social media. Some are using their influence to gain huge monetization for their efforts. This setup may leave a sour taste in your mouth but more companies are actually amenable to it when they compare the cost of a full Paid Social campaign to that of an influencer campaign.
One way to avoid this kind of setup is to organically establish a relationship with the influencer then nurture it. The deeper the relationship you have with influencers, the easier and cheaper will be the cost of working with them.
Note that the concept of Paid Influencer Marketing vs. Organic Influencer Marketing is still a highly contested one in social media marketing circles today.
The true value of influencer marketing to your business is almost immeasurable, especially in this age of social media. The influencers of social media play a very significant role in helping you amplify your presence and achieve the very elusive ROI that you are looking for. As I mentioned above, I include some aspect of influencer marketing in all of the social media activities I do on behalf of my clients. Does your company do the same?
For more on the value of Influencer Marketing, check out this great infographic from Sysomos.