Raymond Morin
January 26, 2016

10 Steps To Becoming an Influencer in Your Sector

In recent years, influencer marketing in social media has evolved very quickly, and has become an increasingly common practice among marketers. Companies and organizations active on the web and social media have integrated this still relatively new marketing approach to reach their customers.

Today, if the confidence level towards non-governmental organizations and businesses rises slightly compared to last year, as demonstrated by the new report Trust Barometer that Edelman just published earlier this week, it is because CEOs are more involved. These organizations seem to have finally understood that they must now have the first say, establishing their own leadership in social networks.

The 10 phases of influencer marketing

From campaigns of recommendations and spokespersons with ¨influenceratis¨, to social media ambassador programs with employees, marketing influence evolved from a measurement based on the social score (calculated from algorithms) to a contextual analysis, focused more on the quality of relationships developed with influencers.

Now, within organizations, relationships with influencers are not only the realm of public relations and communications / marketing, but also of executives as well as the customer service after sales. Companies that have adopted influencer marketing soon realized that an effective strategy has several inseparable and essential aspects that can have an impact on every aspect of the organization. And, at each stage, different departments need to be involved in the transformation process.

From a company and marketer perspective, this involves the following:

1 – Set a marketing mix strategy

First, and foremost, we must define our objectives and be clear regarding who the target audiences are. We must first create a portrait of acquired (or owned) media in the organization (website, blog, or any other broadcast media) and analyze the impact and value of its own social network and that of its partners and collaborators. This will make it easier to select the right social platforms to operate in a marketing mix strategy, which will also include an advertising or sponsorship panel.

2 – Building a secure digital identity

The digital identity is DNA – fingerprints that identify us whenever we connect to the Web and social media. These are our credentials and each of the tracks and data that we transmit daily. For all professionals on the Web, it is the essential basis for building a strong reputation in social networks, and earning the trust of communities.

3 – To establish its brand image

To ensure effective presence and stand out in social networks, we must first clearly define the corporate or personal branding we wish to convey. With social media, it is a step that is both public relations and communications or marketing. For brands and organizations, it is the first step towards a more social and digital transformation.

4 – Consolidate its social network

Depending on digital identity parameters of the target audiences, and the branding and marketing mix strategy adopted, companies should first consolidate their existing network of earned media and develop their communities (subscribers and fans). We must first estimate the value and impact of its content on different platforms, and make revisions and updates that are required before selecting new platforms to exploit and produce new content.

5 – Listen and participate in conversations

Social networks should not be considered only as new distribution channels, but rather as a new ecosystem where communities dictate their own rules. Today, prosumers expect to establish and exchange trusting relationships with brands and organizations. For brands and businesses, you have to listen to the conversations, contribute to discussions, and better understand the motivations of users and meet their expectations.

6 – Provide added value with relevant content

The publication of relevant and engaging content remains the cornerstone of any influencer marketing strategy in social media. Users now prefer the quality of the experience before consumption. For their trust and loyalty, businesses and professionals on both the web and social media, must ensure to provide real added value by also focusing on content curation.

7 – Confirming its leadership with a blog

Today’s consumers expect a direct and personal contact with brands and organizations. In this context, the production and dissemination of a blog are also proving essential tools to affirm leadership in its sector. The creation and publication of exclusive and original content in different formats, used to establish its authority and credibility, are crucial before undertaking a business relationship with influencers.

8 – To seek the right kind of influencers according to its objectives

Before identifying the influencers we seek collaboration with and whom we will develop a business relationship, we must first understand the real scope of each according to the type of campaign that we want to carry on the Web and social media. The ¨influenceratis¨ – new celebrities on YouTube and other platforms – make perfect campaign spokespersons. Meanwhile, the ambassadors of corporate programs and relationships with influencers amplify the message in the target communities.

9 – Maintain a fair business relationship with influencers

Depending on the type of influence marketing operation (campaign recommendations, ambassadors programs in business or business partnerships with opinion leaders), brands and organizations are now required to develop and maintain relationships with different influencers. Attributions and possible compensation vary with the interests of influencers and ambassadors, and the objectives of the operation

10 – Evaluating the return on investment

Finally, it should of course evaluate the return on investment with marketing operation influencers in social media. This is an issue that still raises much debate, and which still offers no clear answer. Of course, the value of social capital can be estimated with algorithms, but we must also consider other performance metrics (KPIs) and extended value (LCNV) if we want to accurately assess ROI.

(NOTE: The main topics of this article were first published on Maximize Social Business, and were repurposed and updated here.)


Image attribution: http://influitive.com/blog/which-is-right-for-you-influencer-marketing-or-advocate-marketing/

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Raymond Morin

SMO Senior Consultant, Author/Blogger and Speaker at Virage 2.0
Strategic analyst / consultant for over 20 years, specializing in optimizing Web marketing / social media for businesses and organizations, Raymond Morin is also the author of three reference guides (in French), and co-author of three other books about digital marketing, public relations and human resources management. A recognized professional blogger, in both languages, he regularly presents and facilitates conferences for organizations, as well as in-house training workshops. In English, he contributes monthly to various platforms of professional bloggers and social media influencers. His next book, Generation C - Confluence Marketing at the Era of Connected Consumers, will be published next fall on Friesen Press Publishing.