The concept of the social media influencer marketing has never been really popular with agencies and businesses. Studies come one after another, and reveal a continuously rising adoption rate. Suddenly, bloggers are writing about marketing influence. Social media influencer marketing has become the new buzzword.
The 10 steps to influencer marketing in social media
In fact, influencer marketing requires a complex approach. It’s not a simple popularity contest where you only recruit the influencer who has the largest number of fans and followers in his community, or a personality that has the greatest visibility. Marketing with influencers demands much more, and requires an active presence. Here are the 10 steps to influencer marketing in social media.
1 – Building a secure digital identity
Digital identity is the new DNA, fingerprint, which identifies us to the world whenever we connect to the Web and social media. For professionals and entrepreneurs, it’s the initial basis of a digital transformation; first ensuring a secure digital identity. This is the first lifeline of personal data.
2 – Defining your branding
To stand out from the masses, entrepreneurs and organizational leaders will need to develop their brand image and their personal identity. The success of their web and social networks presence will rely heavily on the reputation they build and manage in their community. Entrepreneurs who want to succeed in social media must show that they are leaders in their industry.
3 – Establish and develop your social network community
The first step will be to set up a distribution network, and develop a community from a Web platform or a blog. The professional or entrepreneur needs to develop a deployment strategy based on clearly defined objectives and determine which social platforms to use to reach their audience. Effective strategic planning will always be the cornerstone of the success of a campaign on the Web and social media.
4 – Chatting and sharing with users
Social media should not be regarded simply as a new distribution channel, but rather a new ecosystem where the communities ultimately dictate the rules. Users – consumers want to not only talk with a brand or company; they want to talk with brand users that can help them make informed decisions about products and services. Listen to them, they will teach you what content they want from you.
5 – Educate and entertain with engaging content
Users want to be informed and entertained; they prefer the quality content rather than the quantity of content. Professionals and companies on the Web and social media must avoid posting only self – promotion content, and instead post interesting and compelling content that really meets the expectations of the audience. This is the basis of a content marketing strategy.
6 – Create original content and establish its leadership
Creating blogs and interesting & relevant rich content is what will help professionals and entrepreneurs to demonstrate and confirm their skills, and be clearly recognized as leaders in their expertise. Professionals and companies must clearly identify their niche, and make the most with the creation and dissemination of quality, exclusive content that represents the brand image and entrepreneurial vision.
7 – Identifying the right type of influencers based on objectives
Influencers eventually consolidate into 3 main types:
- celebrities and media stars
- opinion leaders
- ambassadors who are satisfied customers and happy employees
We must first clearly define the objectives of the campaign, to identify the right type of influencer that corresponds with the context of the campaign.
8 – Develop and maintain a relationship of trust with ambassadors
It’s not enough to recruit an ambassador to be able to count on his collaboration. The influence they exert is a result of the confidence they get from their community, and must be respected. Before seeking the help of a community influencer (or ambassador), professionals and entrepreneurs must first establish and maintain a fair and reciprocal relationship with them.
9 – Provide input and work with community leaders
To get the help of a thought leader, we need to make a real contribution to the relationship. This contribution can result in retribution, but in most cases the value added that this collaboration will bring in the community. Access to exclusive information and co-creation of quality content proves to be the best way of achieving this.
10 – Measuring social capital in a contextual analysis
Depending on the type of marketing campaign, influencers (or Ambassadors), and platforms used, metrics must be use to adapt and adjust strategy accordingly. Mathematical algorithms provide quantitative results that can adapt to certain types of campaign, but it’s often necessary to make a contextual analysis to measure the qualitative value of an influencer campaign. The return on investment is calculated mostly by the social capital that results.
A new approach to inbound marketing
Influencer marketing in social media requires a more complex approach that can not be limited to the number of followers or page views.
Influencer marketing is a new approach to marketing, which has been proven, but nevertheless requires professionals, companies and organizations to engage in social depth. An approach that will require an active presence, and to establish lasting relationships with ambassadors and influencers of communities. It’s a new marketing science that requires these 10 steps.
What do you think? What is your opinion on the 10 steps to influencer marketing in social media. Share your comments with our readers.
This blog is previously published in French on Raymond Morin’s website.