If you’ve read my blog before you know I am passionate about influencer marketing. I just get so excited when brands and companies are able to see its true impact on real goals like improving awareness, increasing web traffic, and closing more sales. It isn’t a new strategy by any means, but it is something that is becoming more and more important for B2B marketers to explore. By engaging your influencers and building true relationships with them, you will have an incredible opportunity to market with and through their channels.
I recently participated in a Q&A with my friends over at the Influencer Marketing Review. Here are some of the highlights, but be sure to check out the full read!
IMR: What makes influencer marketing so ideal for startups?
Influencer marketing is great for startups for a few reasons. It can be a cost-effective strategy to help you compete against bigger, more well-established brands because with the exception of staffing and time, many activities are free. And they can really pay off. By tapping into the influencer network and getting introduced to their audiences, your company’s reach will be ultimately be greater.
There is also a trust factor that comes into play. Influencers are, well, influential for a reason. People look up to them and listen to what they have to say. Startups can also use influencer marketing to test their messaging statements with their influencers and attain critical feedback on their products or services to improve them over time. Once you reach the stage when you are marketing with influencers, it can really drive awareness, traffic, and sales because you essentially have a trusted adviser validating your brand.
IMR: What are some of the impediments you’ve seen people encounter when trying to implement or execute influencer marketing programs? What can be done about them?
Amanda: The biggest issue I often see is the lack of focus and time. People don’t necessarily understand that it takes time to identify the right influencers and build the relationship. It cannot be an afterthought or something “tacked on” to the overall strategy. My best tip would be to start small and only target a handful of influencers rather than setting your sights on building relationships with 100 people. I also shared five great tips to help make influencer marketing manageable in my blog last year that I think could really help resolve this impediment.
IMR: Everybody seems to have an opinion on algorithmic “influence” scoring services like Klout, PeerIndex, and Kred. PeerIndex just recently rolled out its own “Perks,” as you’re no doubt aware. There’s now something called Circle Count to measure your “influence” on Google+. And there’s already PinReach (formerly PinClout) for Pinterest. What’s your take on all of this?
Amanda: I think marketers just have to be careful about getting caught up in the numbers game that is associated with all of this. Instead of focusing on only boosting your Klout score, ensure that your overall influencer marketing efforts are having an impact on your goals such as increased traffic or more inbound leads.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Have you started executing against an influencer marketing program this year? What’s holding you back? What are you successes?