Unless you have been on one of those silent yoga retreats with no internet for the last two weeks you have no doubt caught wind that influencer marketing is topping many (I dare say all) trend lists for 2017. This news excites me as I have been focused on influencer marketing for the last few years. I have seen many, many successes and almost as many failures. The concept of influencer marketing is simple. But it has many moving parts and if the influencer criteria is not correctly identified and campaign goals are not clearly defined…influencer marketing will not be the easy win you were hoping for.
To start – what exactly is influencer marketing? Here is my definition:
Influencer marketing is a spin off of marketing that focuses on using business leaders to amplify your brand’s message. Instead of marketing directly to a large group of potential customers you collaborate with influencers who already have rapport with your desired audience to help tell your story.
If you are reading this I truly hope you start an influencer marketing campaign in 2017. It is possible no matter what size business you have. But before you embark on your influencer marketing journey allow me to give you some advice. And if you are still reading this you are surely wondering who I am and why I feel I am in a position to give you influencer marketing advice. Well, I have the unique experience of having created influencer programs for many fortune 50 companies and startups as well as participating in campaigns as an influencer. I know some things.
So, this is my advice. Before kicking off your influencer marketing strategizing first look IN, then UP and OUT, and most definitely to the SIDE. What do I mean by this?
Look inward at your employee’s, current customers, and business partners before seeking industry influencers to campaign on your behalf. Your employees are already passionate about your mission and brand. Your customers carry great influence and often reach a more diverse audience than you do. Your business partners are likely to have great rapport within your industry.