Business Magazine

Influencing the Influencers: Tips for Engaging Thought Leaders

Posted on the 14 November 2013 by Marketingtango @marketingtango

Influencer marketing is the process of developing relationships with key communicators within an industry or community. It’s like WOM (word of mouth marketing) on steroids but with the potential to reach millions of people instead of handfuls.

The goal of influencer marketing is to gain awareness and exposure of your product, service or cause by persuading trusted individuals to recommend or endorse it. Keys to success include offering something of real interest or value to the world (content, innovation, opportunities, etc.) and convincing influencers to encourage their followers to try it, who then tell others, and so on.

Who Are They & How Can They Help?

Influencer marketing can work for large and small companies. Both will find helpful strategies and tips in SalesForce’s 2013 whitepaper, “Win Over Your Industry’s Social Media Influencers.”  In it, the company defines influence simply as the “ability to change how others think and act.”  For integrated marketers, influencers may include bloggers and journalists, pundits and podcasters, or others in your industry, community or service area who have an established platform and large or loyal following.

The Moz Blog, a respected influencer in the online/inbound marketing space, identifies three ways influencers can impact your business in today’s social-media driven world:

  • Write a blog post or article about you.
  • Share information about you in their social media accounts.
  • Have you guest-post on their blog or site.

How to Get Started

Work with a creative services provider or check these tips to hone your social media skills. Then follow these steps summarized from the SalesForce paper:

  • Strategize first and be clear on your reasons for doing influencer marketing; what are your goals, what’s the payback, how will you measure success?
  • Select thought leaders within your industry or niche most capable of helping you. Identify online and offline sources. Remember, trust building takes time, so be patient and professional, even when people are unresponsive.
  • Supply influencers with incentives (following FTC guidelines) for chatting you up, such as special access or information (insider scoop), samples, gifts or discounts.
  • Support your new friends by publicly acknowledging them whenever possible. If trust is the engine that drives influencer relationships, reciprocity is the oil that keeps it humming.  

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog