If you’ve heard of sites like Klout and Popular Pays, you know that many businesses are taking advantage of the social influence of their everyday consumers. This allows brands to extend their reach through what essentially comes down to word of mouth.
Inbound marketers know just how important word of mouth can be to spreading their message, so looking to influential consumers to boost the reach of content only makes sense. We know that constant conversations via things like social media platforms are important to fostering brand influence and customer loyalty, but what is the next step?
For many, it’s working directly with influencers to promote their products or content. You can’t go about choosing these individuals willy-nilly, though, if you want to do it right you’ll need a plan.
Where do I start?
There are several Digital Influence Vendors out there which measure influencers according to different aspects of their social capital, like their reach, relevance, and resonance. TwitterGrader and PeerIndex are two such sites.
These vendors analyze social influence and produce measurements as scores. It’s important to remember that scores aren’t necessarily direct indicators of social capital, but monitoring influencers within the context of the community or industry you are looking to reach will give you a good idea about how good of a fit they might be for your brand.
Implementing A Plan
Work backward from your goals to determine which influencers to monitor and interact with. Are you looking for influencers with tons of followers and a broad range of interests or ones with specialized knowledge and social standing within a close-knit community?
Here are some key points to keep in mind when creating your plan:
- Take the time to learn precisely what makes influencers valuable to the communities you are interested in
- Provide connected consumers with ideas, content, and links to share with their followers
- Consistently monitor and track your campaigns
- Appoint a program manager and support system to guarantee success
- Measure digital engagement throughout the customer journey by keeping track of milestones and goals and looking at the effect of every action you take on the ROI
If the concept of digital influence strategies doesn’t seem too complicated to you, that’s because it’s not! We have known for a while that consistently interacting with our circles on social media is important to our marketing efforts. A concrete digital influence plan is the logical next progression! Just remember that it’s all about value - if you can provide real value to influencers, you should definitely be reaping the rewards.