Next week, I will be speaking on a panel at Content Marketing World that I am very excited about, because for the first time ever, this year’s conference will include an influencer marketing track focused on how big brands are executing influencer strategies. I am thrilled to be included as part of this exciting discussion, especially at a time when influencer marketing is really starting to transform the digital marketing space. On the panel, lead by Traackr CEO and Co-Founder Pierre-Loic Assayag, myself and other industry experts will discuss the biggest hurdles to influencer marketing. Basically asking: what roadblocks are keeping companies from employing an influencer marketing program and how can they overcome them?
Which got me thinking about what hurdles Social Tribe has experienced when working with our own clients on their influencer marketing programs. Here are 3 of the biggest ones:
1. Getting Started
The first step is always the hardest one. To get the ball rolling on your influencer marketing program, it’s important to first establish who should be involved and who will own the execution of the work.
Brand + Agency Collaboration
How can agencies & brands work together for influencer marketing success? I’ll be tackling this issue during my time on the panel. Here’s a sneak peek of what it looks like:
Who needs to be in the room when creating an influencer program? This is a big one, and another issue I’ll address during the panel discussion. To implement a successful influencer marketing program, it’s important to have your key stakeholders involved in the conversation from the very beginning. You can use the various areas of expertise within your organization to create a robust and effective program.
2. Identifying Influencers
You’ve decided to begin an influencer marketing program, but how do you find the right influencers for your brand?
Qualifiers & Disqualifiers
Clearly defined criteria for evaluating influencers is key to ensuring alignment and fit from influencer engagements. Below are some of my recommended qualifiers and disqualifiers.
Reach vs. Action
Does your program require greater reach or greater action from a smaller group of individuals? Asking that question will help you further qualify your influencers. Some influencers have a huge reach but don’t really interact with their followers, while others may have a lower reach but are more likely to engage with you online and be more open to collaboration opportunities. It’s all about what makes the most sense for your brand.
3. Engaging Influencers
You’ve qualified your influencers, now how do you get on their radar?
The first step to engaging with your influencers is to build trust, so they can see your brand as a credible source and one they see value in engaging with. “People are overwhelmed by information density and looking for social proof for guidance on who to follow. In the long term, lasting influence comes from trust, not from the number of Twitter followers.” – Mark Schaefer, author and marketing expert.
A few ways to gain trust from influencers are:
- Tap into their pain points. Use social listening to gain insight into what issues your influencers are struggling with, and reach out to them with tips and solutions.
- Find out how your brand fits in with the conversations they’re having online. For example – let’s say one of your influencers is doing research around a topic your brand specializes in. You can reach out to them and provide information that they may not have otherwise known.
- Praise them for great content. Did one of your influencers share an amazing blog or video? Reach out to them and let them know how much you enjoyed it and share it with your audience as well.
Cultivating relationships with influencers is a process, so creating an outreach strategy that deepens your relationship with influencers over time is key to success. Here’s an example:
Providing value (What’s in it for them?)
After you’ve begun engaging with influencers, shift your focus to what you can do to provide value for them. A few ways to create value for influencers include:
- Spotlight influencers in high-level, dynamic marketing assets for cross promotion
- Strengthen brand credibility by featuring industry leaders in live-streamed video interviews
- Feature them as a guest blogger on your website or guest speaker on a webinar
- Include quotes from them in your blogs and other content
- Let them take over one of your social media channels for a day
Remember – it takes time and effort to create long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with your influencers. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
LOCATION: Room 4
DATE: September 6, 2017
TIME: 2:50 pm – 3:35 pm
By joining this session, you’ll gain proven insights from the B2C and B2B change agents who are executing successful–and authentic– influencer strategies on a daily basis. Plus, get the agency outlook to understand how services can accelerate your program results. Hear from myself and the other panelists about the tools and resources used to overcome the biggest hurdles faced while establishing their influencer programs.
Will I see you there? Reach out to me on Twitter @megconley so we can connect!