If you’re looking to promote your product or service, being perceived as an influential voice in your industry is critical. If you don’t have influence, you need to be working with someone that does.
This is especially true in a field like marketing, where a tiny proportion of people (perhaps even only 10%), drive what we all do, say, and talk about.
Because we simply don’t have time to read everything, most people tend to search for the most popular and most shared perspectives. The odds of finding a hidden gem on an obscure marketing blog or podcast are so small that we just don’t bother.
If you’re familiar with the Pareto principle, you’ll know that 80% of the outputs tend to come from 20% of inputs, and marketing is no exception.
As SmartInsights point out, Pareto’s principle is everywhere in marketing:
- 80% of profits come from 20% of customers
- 80% of product sales from 20% of products
- 80% of sales from 20% of advertising
- 80% of customer complaints from 20% of customers
- 80% of sales from 20% of the sales team
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
You’ll have noticed by now that casting your net wide and targeting large groups of people is ineffective and expensive.
Facebook and Google still take a lot of advertisers money, but customers, on the whole, have got wise to PPC advertising, banner ads and advertorial.
By contrast, influencer marketing leverages the power of the most widely shared voices to help you tell yours.
Instead of paying for people’s attention, work with influencers to get the word out for you to their audience.
I call this the “TripAdvisor effect.” The first thing that you do when you’re checking out a place on TripAdvisor is seen what other people that stayed there have said. That’s why some places have queues out the door, and others are struggling to fill their rooms.
Working With Influencers: A Checklist
- Have a plan: Too many influencer strategies put the cart before the horse. It’s vital to know why you are engaging with influencers first, and to set some KPIs for what you want to achieve. Is it more leads? Is it a greater share of voice? Are you looking to drive sales?
- Produce high-quality content: If you’re looking to reach influencers, you have to provide a product or content that is worth sharing in the first place. Go the extra mile and produce something remarkable.
- Be flexible: An influencer isn’t just going to share your Press Release verbatim. Influencers are super conscious about their audience and know what appeals to them. Be prepared to listen, and adapt your content accordingly.
- Look internally: Some of your best storytellers and advocates will be within your organization already! If you are planning a big influencer marketing initiative, but don’t have a plan for social selling within your organization, check that first.
- Give, give, give: Relentlessly look for opportunities to give valuable content away, whether it’s blog posts, ebooks or infographics. People are more likely to help you when they feel there’s a real value exchange going on.
- Build first: If you’re only reaching out to influencers at the moment you need them, you’ve left it too late. Look for what you have in common with influencers and build rapport with them.
It’s a Long-Term Effort
A strong network of influencers is one of the most valuable things you can have. But it takes effort. Maybe you can start by sharing some of their content on social media, or reply to one of their posts?
Influencer marketing can feel like a long hard slog, especially at first. But with the right attention paid to what influencers want, the factors that will stroke their ego, and the things that they are looking to achieve, you can go a long way.
If you’re interested in working together to help boost your influence, head over to influencer(labs) and get in touch.