Influential Marketing and How Brands are Using It

People are overwhelmed with the information present and generally look for other’s opinions while deciding whether to purchase a product or not. 92% of consumers say that they trust the opinion of their friends and family over all forms of advertising. With millions of brands and variations of products, establishing trust with consumers and gaining brand loyalty is the key. Influential marketing means engaging with the people in your business niche who have a large number of followers in your target audience and these influential people can shape the conversation, set trends and influence the buying decision. Thus they can impact how your brand is perceived in a positive way.

Influencer marketing is about forming relationships with influencers. If the influencers love your product, they will be genuine advocates of your products. They can shape the opin­ions and behav­iors of your target audience before they even get in touch with you.

In this blog, we have collected few things to consider before you decide to have influential marketing in your overall marketing strategy.

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Connecting with The Right Influencers:

Influencer marketing, when done right, can be one of the biggest driving components in company's growth. (Read: How we got from $0 to $75,000 MRR with zero marketing budget)
A McKinsey research shows that a small number of active influencers accounted for a disproportionate share of total recommendations which is obvious from the fact that 5 percent of the recommenders accounted for 45 percent of the social influence generated. (Read More)

Here are few steps you should consider before partnering up with any influencer.

  1. First identify in which part of your customer life-cycle, influencer plays an important role. Then depending on that lifecycle stage, he influences their buying decisions, and what factors come into play that could either encourage or disrupt these decisions. When you identify these insights, you can take an intelligent decision on the effectiveness of the influencer at moving the customer along the purchase life-cycle closer to the purchase. The best way to find is to use the customer lifestyle mapping.

  2. Build your network of influencers before you need them.

  3. Have an influencer strategy. Simon Sinek’s golden Circle is a good resource for it. Always start with answering the question: Why do you need an influencer.

  4. Put in enough efforts to research about what the influencers care about, where they are headed in terms of their growth strategy and what are their goals. Do this research before reaching out to them.

  5. While partnering with the right influencers, make sure you also help the influencers in achieving their own goals. Think of a multi-channel marketing strategy for building a long-term relationship.

Here are some companies who are using influential marketing effectively:

1) Uber
Uber, which was valued at nearly £17bn this year, has a slick social media plan. Uber offered referral credits to some influential users and celebrities to enjoy months of free travel if they share their unique code online and have their followers sign up. This way Uber attracted a huge number of users.
(Read more)

2) Nike
Nike is a sports accessories company. By using Sport’s heroes as brand ambassadors, Nike has been able to easily address to their customers, and increase their brand appeal. They got Ronaldo signed up for a billion dollar deal. Who is a better influencer for its products than the most famous and one of the best footballer of all times?

3) IBM Watson
To boost up sales, IBM runs an IBM evangelist program.These evangelists create a hack around a product and create awareness around it. Jeremy Waite (head of Salesforce's digital strategy), is one of the evangelists.

4) Zara
Zara understood how demanding consumers have become. They want to look exactly like the Models in the photos they see. Zara uses famous fashion Instagrammers as influencers for their social media strategy. These influencers post their photos wearing Zara’s apparels and include a product reference in the photo description.

And one more…

5) Apple
Who are the better influencers than the customers itself? Apple reached out to its early adopters who were technology enthusiasts and visionaries to be their evangilists and they acted as the banner-carriers to the rest of the market. (Watch: Here’s to the crazy ones)

Last Tip:
A true influencer will drive actions, not just sales. For a brand to be successful with influencer marketing, the brand should find influencers that are a perfect match for their brand essence and preferably someone who is a loyal customer.

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