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5 Ways to Use Influencer Marketing

Influencers

Eric T. Tung

The term ‘Influencer Marketing’ can mean different things to different people, and can sometimes be narrowly defined as one particular type of influence marketing. A brand might be constraining itself by only considering one type of influencer marketing, when others could be used to supplement it. Here’s a quick rundown of various methods of influencer marketing, from the least involved to most involved for influencers: 

Marketing From Influencers: Use Them for Trending Info

Whether you use simple tools like Twitter Lists, or something more thorough like Traackr, you can learn quite a bit from your influencers. What are industry experts predicting for the future, or what are the trends being talked about currently among influencers? Even without contacting influencers for input, you can gauge industry trends just by seeing what influencers are talking about and then adding to the conversation with your view. Not only will you find that your viewpoint will add to the natural conversation around the topic, but you’ll provide great SEO for others looking for more information about it.

Marketing Through Influencers: Give Them Exclusive Access

One key aspect of influencer marketing is making them feel appreciated, and part of that is offering them exclusive access to your events or influencers. At Ned Lamont for US Senate in 2006, our campaign communications team worked closely with political bloggers locally and nationally. We offered access to the candidate, and even issued press announcements and daily schedules to bloggers as well as mainstream media. By offering bloggers daily announcements and exclusive access, we helped create or inspire content.

Marketing To Influencers: Giving Them Free Stuff

When thinking about influencer marketing, most people think about free-stuff marketing. That is to say that a company will offer free services or products to influencers for review blogs, videos and social shares. Ford gave away 100 Fiestas in Europe in 2009 and in the US in 2013 to celebrities, bloggers and reviewers to increase awareness of the new vehicle. Influencers spent between six months and a year and produced tens-of-thousands of pieces of content. Some sources quoted a 60% market awareness of the vehicle before it was sold. (Disclosure: I am a member of the Ford press fleet program where I review vehicles for them, typically for a week.)    

Marketing With Influencers: Set Up a Social Influencer Program

A step beyond offering influencers exclusive access is to formalize a social influencer program. At BMC Software, our customer connect team uses an advocate hub to help customers interested in supporting BMC. Tools like Social Toaster and Addvocate help by offering pre-approved messages and social posts to influencers and employees to share on your behalf. With a  formalized tool, it’s much easier for influencers to share company and product information without fearing they are sharing unreleased information prematurely. 

Marketing Through Influencers: Guest Blogging

Perhaps the most time-intensive option in influencer marketing is guest blogging. Just like I’m writing this blog post for TaylorMade Solutions, your company can also recruit guest bloggers interested in sharing their perspective on the issues. They can help you create content and share the information with their audiences, while you can provide them an outlet and platform to reach new audiences.

Whether you’re just getting started in influencer marketing, or you have been working at it for years, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and see what other ways you might be able to improve or expand your program. While most people think of free-stuff or guest blogging as influencer marketing, there are many more options to engage and work with influencers for your mutual benefit.

About Eric T. Tung: is the top-ranked social media professional in Houston and was recognized as a top 33 global social professional by Forbes. Eric is a national speaker and consultant in social media.  Eric’s experience includes communications, marketing and sales for Apple, Dell, Applied Materials and Newell Rubbermaid, and he is currently the full-time social media manager for BMC Software.

3 Essential Tips to Start an Influencer Relations Program

Whether you have a small business or a well-established business, influencers can be a very important part of your marketing efforts.I am often asked how to go about setting up a program so I thought I would share these three quick hits to start an Influencer Relations Program. Once you have followed these steps, you will want to consider next steps as outlined in a previous postScreen Shot 2014-02-14 at 6.01.14 PM

1. Define What an Influencer is!

There are many definitions for what an influencer is. It is important that you and your organization come to an agreement on who you consider an influencer. Keep in mind that some influencers will be easier to engage than others. 

For example let’s say that you produce sunglasses and you want celebrities to take notice and talk about your product. That would be an awesome accomplishment, but depending on a number of variables, reaching that demographic and impressing them might be a hard sell.

Instead you might pursue another route, the one I typically recommend. Look instead to those individuals who are industry experts and well respected in your specific sector, business or industry.

2.  Remember You Need to Build Relationships

You know the saying: Rome was not built in a day. The same can be said for nurturing relationships with Influencers. After all, they are people with the same basic needs and wants that you have. They want to be respected. They want to treated well. Most of the time, people want relationships. So take your time and get to know people. 

Reaching out to people that you don’t know and asking for something rarely works…unless of course you are offering something that they want and need in return. 

3.  Determine What Type of Program that You Want and Need

Keep in mind that some Influencers will want to help you for the sake of helping you out, once you have established a relationship.  Others will want compensation for helping you out.  There is nothing wrong with that. It is their business model.  You really need to know and understand this in order to make the right decisions. This will help you decide what type of program you want and need. 

If you do choose the later, be sure to be transparent about paying your influencers.  Being up front about the relationship will benefit you greatly and save you from potential embarrassment.

For more information on starting your program click here. If you like this post, feel free to follow me on Twitter and be sure to tell me a bit about who you are!

BOOK REVIEW: Danny Brown & Sam Fiorella’s Influence Marketing

I love that I get the chance to meet really smart, interesting and inspiring people and in the process read great books and do book reviews. Danny Brown is one of those people. Sam, hopefully we get to connect soon too! As I get ready to do my PhD on Digital Influence, I was pumped to read Danny’s and Sam’s book: Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. After all it is a bout Influence!

Both Danny and Sam are well known for their marketing prowess and have really developed the conversation around influence. When done well, we don’t even realize that tactics of influence are being executed on us. As expected, this is a well written book chalk full of information.

From the Book’s synopsis:

Influence Book

“Today, you face a brutally tough, maddeningly elusive new competitor: the “wisdom of crowds.” Social media gives consumers 24×7 access to the attitudes and recommendations of their most engaged peers. These are the views that shape buying decisions. These are the views you must shape and use.Influence Marketing won’t just help you identify and enlist key influencers: it will help you manage the influence paths that lead consumers to buy. By sharing empirical evidence of hard-won lessons from pioneering influence marketers, Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella provide a blueprint that moves influence marketing beyond simple brand awareness and into sales acquisition and customer life time value measurement. They integrate new tools and techniques into a complete methodology for generating more and better leads—and converting them faster, at higher margins. 

• Put the customer—not the influencer—at the center, and plan influence marketing accordingly
• Recognize where each prospect stands in the purchase life cycle right now
• Clarify how your consumers move from brand preference to purchase
• Identify key micro-influencers who impact decisions at every stage
• Gain indispensable insights into the context of online relationships
• Recognize situational factors that derail social media brand recommendations
• Understand social influence scoring models and overcome their limitations
• Re-engineer and predict influence paths to generate measurable action
• Master the “4 Ms” of influence marketing: make, manage, monitor, measure
• Transform influence marketing from a “nice-to-have” exercise into a powerful strategy

Additional online resources can be found at www.influencemarketingbook.com”

Now, My Review:

This is one of the most comprehensive books on Influence Marketing that I have come across. From defining what Influencers are to understanding the emotion and logic that drives Influence to role of social media to exploring the shift of power from the brand to consumer and more, Danny and Sam have this exciting topic covered. They even go one step further and offer case studies to reinforce and support their topics.

What stood out for me most? Well, it was really the discussions around Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS). This section of the book, like the entire book, was well thought out and got me thinking a lot about how to better measure Influence and the need to incorporate different measures than what have been discussed. This will be an area that I explore much deeper thanks to the authors.

Finally, another part of the book that I particularly liked and will draw upon to support initiatives is the definition of Influencers. As Influencer Marketing becomes more and more the topic du jour, helping people understand who is an Influencer and who is an Advocate, for example will really make a difference in developing ones strategy and tactics to use in an integrated marketing plan, that includes Influence Marketing.

So, you are looking to get an A-Z understanding of Influencer Marketing, I would get this book.