I am sure 99% of digital marketing folks have heard (or read) that
influencer marketing is the “next big thing” as we move forward into
But if you ask some of the seasoned marketers (or veterans, if you will), they will tell you that
influencer marketing isn’t a new concept.
It has been around since decades, being practised in various forms, which has now
evolved into a proper Marketing discipline.
Brands have always used “
influencers” in their traditional advertising
strategy since decades for positioning themselves and thereby creating a
spiral-effect to increase their product sales.
Moving on to the digital era,
influencer marketing has penetrated
here also in various forms. Digital savvy consumers have steadily and persuasively
devoured feedbacks, star ratings, discussions, and many other methods of trying
to get product and/or service “recommendations” from other consumers before
taking the buying decision.
All these unstructured practices have now given rise to a structured Influencer Marketing model, which is nothing less than a strategic lever to digital marketing. Among other levers such as Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Display Advertising, Blogger Outreach, Link Building, Influencer Marketing also holds a very critical position now in 2016.
So, what are the key steps to an effective Influencer Marketing strategy for a typical B2B company?
1) Identify the Right Influencers
The biggest step is to identify the right
your industry. Naturally, if the influencers that you identify and connect with
don’t fit into the persona of your prospective customers, then all your efforts
for influencing your prospects will be a waste.
For example, if you are into selling sports gear, your best bet will be to reign in an athlete. If you are launching a line of baby clothing, your
influencer would be a famous actress who has had a baby; and if
you are into B2B arena, then your influencers would be reputed consultants from
your industry, columnists or product reviewers from the most popular online publishers.
You must also understand your
influencers’ style of communication
and check if it will fit with your overall brand’s communication strategy. This
is important because the influencers would want to maintain their style of
connecting with their followers; and if they lose this just because they need
to “fit in” into your communication style, then all the efforts might just
Case in point: Would you consider Blogger Outreach as one of the Influencer Marketing strategies?
2) Build and Nurture the Relationship
Every relationship needs to be nurtured for it to persist. Once you have identified the right
influencers, you need to build your
relationships with them and nurture them.
To do this in the right manner, experts advise that you need to put in the personalized touch when interacting with them. You need to treat them as how you would treat your best friend! Take them out for lunches or give them
small thoughtful gifts (everyone likes receiving gifts!).
3) Have a Structured Approach
When you are building your
influencer marketing strategy,
you must also build a structured approach for executing it. Some of the points
to ponder are:
- Do you have your buyer persona in place so that you can find
influencersfor those target groups?
- What are you looking for from the
influencers? Is it article- publishingin online publications of your industry? Or is it a product review that should be published?
- Do you have
quarterly planfor your influencersthat you can share and build upon further?
- How will you measure the impact?
Every marketer must delve deeper into these points and build a plan of action along with every
influencer who is on board with you.
What are other ways to build an effective Influencer Marketing Strategy?