More often than not, brands are missing the mark when it comes to setting themselves up for influencer marketing success. The first question every marketer should ask as they begin to lay the foundation for influencer marketing strategy is:
What conversations can our brand bring value to?
This is rooted in the practice of community management and is the foundation to having an always-on integrated influencer marketing strategy across all your marketing programs. If you do not know or have not defined the conversations in which your brand wants to participate, you will never be able to identify and activate the right relationships. It is important to note, it’s not about creating a new conversation, but finding the existing conversations in which you want your brand to participate. Those conversations are already happening: conversations about your brand, but more importantly, conversations around the topics of interest where your brand plays a significant role.
A prime example of a brand that has a well defined conversation strategy is Red Bull. They participate in niche, energy-drink relevant conversations, including:
So, how can you identify the conversations that are important to your brand?
1. Listen to your current customers
Who better to know the conversations that your buyers are having than your buyers themselves? This is where you listen more than you talk. Listen to what your customers are saying online, in client meetings, and within the sales cycle. The key is to listen, listen and listen some more. You might even discover more than your relevant conversations, but where they are having them, the tone, and the best way to authentically add value, as well.
2. Collaborate with your community managers
Community managers are already having these conversations on a daily basis. So, here are some questions you can ask them to help define a focused conversation:
- What are the online communities you are participating in?
- What is the content you are sharing to the community?
- Are there seasonal themes that are important to your brands community?
3. Audit your current brand content
You are already creating content that shares your brands message - are you sure it is adding to the conversation? Take a moment to review your brand’s blog, social profiles, whitepapers, videos, and sales collateral. Your blog is a great start to discover not only the voice of your brand, but the conversation your brand is presenting online. Review the types of posts and the keywords on which your Blog Editor or Content Manager is concentrating within their blog or content marketing strategy. This is a strong starting point to understanding the conversations on which you need to focus, within your influencer marketing strategy.
Without knowing or defining your brand’s conversations, you are building a rocky foundation for your influencer marketing strategy, and you risk spending time on influencers that will not make an impact on your marketing and business objectives. When it comes to identifying conversations, think beyond the surface for influencer marketing strategy and focus on defining a conversation that resonates across the brand. Influencer marketing is strategy that can elevate the conversation in all of your marketing programs: events, PR, product marketing, brand awareness, content marketing, and community management.
How are you identifying conversations for your brand?