How Can Your Brand Leverage From an Influencer Marketing Program to Build Socially Engaging Brands?

Posted on Dec 15 2013 - 5:40pm by Fayaz

The science behind social media marketing is the most misunderstood by a few businesses as it being considered as another sales tool for brands to gain higher leads and customers. I agree that the main motive of a business is to gain more customers and expand profits, but then let’s not make consumers claustrophobic with ads and messages which would have SELLING written all over it ,Right? Wouldn’t we call it being pushy? Agree?
The word social means socializing with people and media is plural form of mediums. Simply put, social media would mean socializing with people with various mediums where they are already present. Let’s take a classic example, today when you meet a new bunch of people and are talking to them, you would make sure you touch upon topics about which everybody is interested in conversing and not keep jabbering just about you ,correct? If you keep only talking about yourself people would get bored and would term you as somebody who just keeps blowing their trumpet. No interaction, No fun, No engagement. Plain boring one way conversation (and they might be thinking this guy should’ve just sat at home). That’s not how we socialize correct? The essence of socializing with people is you talk to people in a fun loving, entertaining way by giving them information they like to hear and make sure they talk to each other and you while making it an engaging experience. Correct? Take away number one – Don’t keep posting content because you have to – Understand what your audience wants, talk to them and them make your content strategy – that’s social media.

Let’s assume now that we understood what our audience’s likes and dislikes are, we create content they love and achieve a healthy engagement among them on our social properties, what’s next? We don’t want to keep doing the same things day in day out right – so we look at newer ways to engage with them by running contests, campaigns , events , meet ups , outreach programs etc. One such activity which brands should do is run an influencer marketing program. As the name suggests you identify and develop relationships with key members of your brand, who would assist you in creating visibility and help you spread the word in their circles as well. Today on the social web, the major ways an influencer can have a big impact on your business are by either by writing an article or blog post about your brand or share your information on their personal
social media accounts or they can allow you to write a guest post or article on their site. Doing all these activities brands achieve phenomenal results. But why do they do it? Let’s say you have 500 followers on your Twitter account that shared some content resulting in about 4000 people seeing what they shared. This may also result in a few additional shares. Right? Now let’s consider the same audience being reached out through an influencer. Those 4000 people would be more responsive to the shared content because of the trust they have in the opinions of the influencer resulting in a lot more additional shares on your content and increasing reach. Agree with me? Now that’s the power of influencer marketing – they help in magnifying your reach across various networks through the power of social media.
Now that we understand the power of Influencers, How do we do it?

If you are thinking that planning your influencer marketing campaign is going to be a daunting task, don’t worry it actually isn’t that difficult. Simply get your answers for all these questions below and there you would be done with your first successful influencer marketing plan.

1) What do I want to achieve out of this program? Identifying why and what do you want to achieve from this program is the penultimate question you would need to answer. Primarily influencer engagement programs are focused on increasing sales or gathering more market share, while secondary objectives may include improving brand reputation, driving thought leadership or raising brand awareness.

2) What is the purpose of identifying these Key Influencers or also called Key Opinion leaders (KOL’s) – First thing you need to understand is that you are not trying to sell anything to your key influencers but rather engaging with them to tell them what your brand stands for using which their endorsement will in turn influence your key decision makers.

3) How do you plan on engaging your influencers? Chart an engagement strategy – Once you have identified your key influencers, you need to tell them what we want them to do and for what duration. By providing them with this plan they would know what to do, how to do and for how long. These could be a gamut of activities like sharing content or sending them your product and asking them to write reviews or engaging in conversations with the audience either online of offline or simply host events in their vicinity.

4) How do we determine effectiveness? We measure using defined metrics – Identify metrics which you would want to measure if the program was a success or a failure. You could use metrics like increase in reach, increase in website traffic, higher engagement rate or higher shares on content etc to determine effectiveness.(just eg’s).
Using these steps you can chart out your own successful influencer marketing program for your brand creating amazing brand experiences for your audience and build a loyal list of customers for your brand. Since the Key to influencer marketing is building relationships, start interacting with your audience to build a long lasting relationship with them by focusing on providing value to them. Share other people’s content also on your social pages and make them feel special. If you discover great content somebody new, the influencer you are trying to build your relationship with will be more interested than ever! Build a relationship in such a way that they consciously know that your brand is there to help through anything they need. Earn that trust – once you have earned come what they may wouldn’t leave you.

The article is authored by Lohith Ramachandra and you can check out his blog to know more about him.

About the Author

Fayaz is the founder of Marketing Bloggers. Apart from the jibber-jabber he is Human by birth, Engineer by mistake, Marketer by Choice.. That says it all :)

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