As marketers we are always embarking on new and untested waters to keep our sales funnel full of qualified leads, keep customers engaged and ensure we stay on top of the competition. With the dominance of social media, the need to rise above the noise is more important than ever. There are many strategies to make this happen, but there is not one that will be your marketing silver bullet. As marketers we have to find the correct mix of strategies that will move the needle for your business and drive measurable results.
I want to highlight one of these tactics; the practice of Influencer Marketing. Let’s break down three areas that are often forgotten. Here’s a step-by-step guide how to build a results driven influencer marketing program for your brand.
1. Start With the Consumer
In today’s marketing strategies and tactics; Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, etc. the concept of the buyer’s journey is not new. Marketers eat, breath and sleep the buyer’s journey. But way to often as I am consulting brands on their influencer marketing strategy, the first thing that they mention is a name of an influencer that they either have worked worked or want to work with on their next campaign. I challenge you to start from a clean slate when planning your influencer marketing program and take a look at your customers and the conversation they are having online and ask yourself:
What are the main topics of these conversations?
How do these conversation relate to your brand?
What is the value my brand can bring to these conversations?
Who are the leaders of those online conversation that my buyer trusts?
2. Build Influencers Personas
Now that you have taken the time to look at your consumer, understand the conversations they are part of online and have discovered influencers based on those conversations, you need to determine how these influencers relate to your current and future campaigns. Much like how you would build personas for your customers so you can personalize a content and communication plan, you need to do the same for your influencers. These influencer personas allow you to tailor the relationship building strategy you need to employ to build trustworthy relationships. For example, if you are trying to get on the radar of a well known author in your space you would reach out to them directly via email or a phone call vs. an advocate you might invite them to a VIP forum where you can keep them updated on upcoming campaigns. Here are some details you might want to define for each persona:
Type of Influencer: (Thought Leader, Blogger, Advocate etc.)
Which social platforms are they active on?
What value do they bring to the conversation?
What campaigns should they be part of?
3. Define On-going Success Metrics
It is important as always to define success, not only of your campaign but the influencer program as a whole. Here is what I mean by campaign vs. program metrics. Let’s say you are executing a regional event where you want to have your influencers speak and have bloggers attend so they can produce content during the event. This is how I would break down the campaign vs. program metrics:
Campaign Metrics (just around the event)
- # of influential bloggers that registered/attended
- # of Influencers who spoke at the event
- # of content pieces produced by these bloggers
- # of mentions/impressions from your invited influencers during event
Program Metrics (across all campaigns)
- # of influencers that were moved along the relationship funnel
- # of leads that came from influencers across all campaigns
These are just some of the areas one would need to focus on when defining and executing an Influencer Marketing program. What are some of the lessons you have learned within your own influencer marketing programs?