4. Engage to build a relationship
Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents say engaging with influencers is an ongoing challenge. Though daunting to many marketers, engaging in order to build rapport with your influencers is the easiest and simplest thing in the world. Why? Because you’ve gone through the first three steps before talking to them. Think of it this way:
- You know why you’re connecting with them (sense of purpose)
- You know they care about your topic (hell, they probably coined it)
- You have something interesting to say (your contribution)
What would be a possible reason why they wouldn’t be interested in talking to you?
We wrote a whole ebook on influencer engagement, but if I were to summarize it in a couple of sentences, it would read:
- Set up alerts to get notified when influencers talk about your topic (engage in context).
- Match your level and intensity of engagement with the state of your relationship (in other words, don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date), and build up from there.
- Do not, DO NOT, ask them for anything. Engagement and activation are two different steps in influencer marketing. Don’t confuse them. The purpose of engagement is to build rapport, not to get business results.
5. Activate your influencers
And we’re back… we are back to a marketer’s comfort zone where you’ve built an asset (your relationships with key influencers) and can think of ways to leverage it.
At this stage of your influencer program, you can start looking at your pipeline of marketing activities, big and small, to figure out where each influencer can play.
Involve the rest of the marketing team to access a greater pool of initiatives from product launches and events to content creation. There should be no shortage of activity you can utilize.
At this stage, the activation itself is quite simple and goes something like: “Hello Jane, we’re about to launch Product X and I thought it’d make sense to connect because of Reason Y. Let me know if you’d be interested in taking part in it by doing Activity Z.”
Another very effective activation often overlooked is to simply ask the influencers how they think you should develop your brand presence in the community of which they are a part. Not only will they often have better ideas, but you’re securing their participation at the onset.
Hopefully by now you realize that there’s really no black magic to influencer marketing that will lead to success, nor are there any shortcuts. Focus and hard work are your weapons. Follow these simple steps to get you going. If you want to go deeper than fortune cookie knowledge (though I stand by every piece of advice here), go check out the Academy of Influencer Marketing at education.traackr.com.
Pierre-Loïc Assayag is the CEO and Co-Founder of Traackr. A veteran of the internet economy, Pierre-Loïc is focused on using technology as an instrument of change and innovation to transform companies and industries as he did successively at Viant (first internet pure play consultancy), Invivia (seamless computing), Optaros (SaaS implementation for e-commerce), and now at Traackr. He sees Traackr, and the underlying practice of influencer marketing the company founded, as a catalyst for inevitable change for all organizations to regain the trust and attention of their customers. Follow Pierre on Twitter.
About Academy of Influencer Marketing (AIM):
Traackr launched its Academy of Influencer Marketing (AIM) this month; a first-of-a-kind multimedia e-learning course that aims to educate marketing professionals about the fundamental pillars of Influencer Marketing and how to leverage the exceptional commercial scope of successful Influencer Marketing practice. The comprehensive course provides a range of expert insights and a complete overview of all essential elements of Influencer Marketing practice, interviews, case studies and white papers providing a framework for optimal execution and ROI. Please see: http://education.traackr.com
Traackr is the fastest growing influencer management platform with influencers tracked across 17 social platforms, indexing content in 68 languages. The platform enables brands to scale their influencer marketing programs by finding the right influencers, uncovering authentic social insights to nurture key relationships, and applying metrics to their engagement.
With offices in San Francisco, Boston, New York, London, and Paris, Traackr partners with more than 150 customers and 2,600 enterprise and agency users in 39 countries around the world. Visit www.traackr.com for more information; follow Traackr on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Simpson, Jack. “Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion & beauty brands.” Econsultancy, 26 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016