Influencer marketing isn’t a new tactic. It’s a standard tactic for marketers and analytics. It is evolved as a tactic used in social media to drive word of mouth. Influencer marketing can greatly improve audience engagement, generate content and promote offerings. Influencer marketing can range from employee engagement to blogger outreach. However, those tools may not be the most effective.
In this article, we are going to discuss, three methods to managing and resourcing your influencer marketing process. Let’s go beyond the influencer and discuss the tactics.
Before we dig into the how, let’s make sure we define influencer marketing. Influencer marketing emerged from a
variety of tactics, which focused on key influential individuals rather than a defined target market as a whole. It identifies those individuals that have influence over potential customers and uses tactics that focuses activities centered around such influencers. They could be third-party supply chain or value added influencers. Such as high profile speakers, members of the media or those with a strong public audience. Keep in mind that people are influenced by people with an opinion and a strong following. Such influencers master interaction within their community.
Now, let’s discuss the technique. How you plan to manage your influencer marketing process will determine your methodology. There are programs, vendors and other tools that can help you find certain influencers and reach out to them. However, influencer marketing can be a manual labor intensive and high resource utilization undertaking. It has to be personalized in order to be effective. How you utilize resources will impact how it scales. Searching Google is probably not the best way.
- Building Deep Relationships with the Manual Method
Here you will use your internal team. The person you select must be in tune with your core offer and the avatar that loves you. Their role will not only be to find the influencer but also take on the challenge of vetting the influencer. This method is for the organization with a limited budget, small list or startup. Manual programs can be quite flexible and highly effective at personal engagement. You will be able to personally address people versus mass mailing generic material. You will build deep relationships that an automated process cannot build. The important tasks here are vetting the influencers determining the match between their opinion and yours, making sure they are a fit for your brand, and formatting your approach with personalized contact – yes the phone call works great here. If you have the talent and skill-set, you will build a small list of highly passionate influencers that fit your brand. No automation tool can do that. No agency can do that. Here is where you can build a close-knit community of brand advocates through social engagement, sharing and link building – just to name a few – albeit a small list in an unsustainable fashion.
2. Automated Relationships
Hopefully your budget has grown so that you can automate some of the more mundane, repetitive and predictable tasks that come with building your sphere of influencers. Automating some of the tasks can free up your team to spend personal time with those that warrant it. Social listening tools and modern analytics can help find influencers that fit your need. Automated response tools can support your the identification and campaign measurement needs. However, most of these tools focus on bloggers and that may not be your best resource. Automation tools can also be costly. Nonetheless, technology can make your manual program more efficient and scalable by broadening your access and doing so with greater speed.
3. Independent Third-Party Agency
When an organization does not have the manpower or skill set to scale an influencer marketing program internally, they look to outsource it. Here is where campaign coordination creates synergy. However, it can be pricey, especially if they bill by the hour. Agencies in this realm however, are professionals at vetting, engagement and have the know how to execute on a high-touch complex campaign. They are methodical, structured and can customize your process as if they do it every day – which they do. Some may have existing influencer connections that fit your brand.
You must determine what you can budget for, what process fits your needs and your comfort level with outsourcing. Set your short and long-term goals and choose the best method to manage all the details and outcomes.
Bonus Tip: Outsourcing to agencies can be very troublesome. Conversely, using your internal talent to perform the process can be equally problematic. Keep in mind, that influencers will also vett you on social media and the top search engines before they respond to your request. Influencers will often do a Google and LinkedIn search on the person doing the outreach. If they don’t like what they find, then they won’t engage. Make sure your internal choice is a credible and up for the task. Quality influencers will look at your online persona judge you as a user of their connection. They want a mutually beneficial relationship.
Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC
by Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer
We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.
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