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.