BzzAgent's Klout Marketing Manual
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BzzAgent's Klout Marketing Manual

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BzzAgents' Klout Marketing Manual helps companies run word of mouth marketing campaigns based on Klout’s influencer analysis. Klout can be an important marketing tool, but it is only one component ...

BzzAgents' Klout Marketing Manual helps companies run word of mouth marketing campaigns based on Klout’s influencer analysis. Klout can be an important marketing tool, but it is only one component of an influencer marketing strategy. As with any direct marketing list source, an effective campaign requires the right messages, monitoring and measurement to be successful. The best practices summarized in this document will help marketers turn a list of highly influential people into an active community of persuasive product advocates.

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BzzAgent's Klout Marketing Manual BzzAgent's Klout Marketing Manual Document Transcript

  • The Klout Marketing Manual: Using Twitter Influencers to Generate Word of Mouth As online social networking sites like Twitter continue to attract users of all ages and demographic backgrounds, marketers must continue to explore new ways to incorporate Twitter-based word of mouth in their marketing strategy. With over a hundred million registered users and 300,000 new people joining every day, it can be difficult for marketers to identify the right people to reach. A new breed of analytic tools like Klout apply a sophisticated “human algorithm” that looks far beyond the number of followers a person has to quantify how effective they are at influencing others. Marketers have begun to notice Klout.com. Ad Age and Forrester recently covered the company, and it has been enthusiastically profiled by a number of prominent bloggers. The attention stems in part from the uniqueness of Klout’s algorithm, but it also comes from some innovative marketing programs the company has run for clients like Starbucks, Virgin America, and Danone. Twitter is an essential tool for generating word of mouth about products and Klout is the best tool for identifying the most influential people in your category. But like any direct marketing list source, an effective campaign requires © 2010, BzzAgent, Inc.
  • The Klout Marketing Manual: Using Twitter Influencers to Generate Word of Mouth the right messages, monitoring and measurement to be mentions, and clicks to measure the impact each Twitter successful. BzzAgent has partnered with Klout to manage user has on all other Twitter users. 60% of their influence marketing campaigns to date. We’ve outlined our insights from these programs in this document The profile uses some basic game mechanics to to provide you with the following 7 best practices for a encourage repeat use: “achievements” indicate progress successful Twitter-based word of mouth initiative. in establishing influence, and “classes” describe qualitative behavior characteristics. The profile also highlights other Twitter users influential to the analyzed account, or who are influenced by it. Based on the content of their posts, the profile outlines the specific topic areas where the user has demonstrated a level of authority. “BzzAgent has partnered with Klout to manage 60% of their influence marketing campaigns to date” How Klout Works People use Twitter to share their insights and to expand their personal networks. Many of them visit the Klout website to gain a better understanding of how they are influencing their followers. Are they starting conversation trends? Are people clicking on the links they provide? How often are others “re-tweeting” their posts or forwarding their comments to others? Klout staff frequently mention “ego” as a key driver when discussing the site’s popularity among Twitter users. Klout.com looks beyond basic follower counts to provide users with a simple and very sophisticated measurement of their influence profile. The Klout website is easy to use. Users simply enter a Twitter account name into the site, and it generates a succinct profile that describes that account. (See Figure 1.) The profile features the user’s “Klout score”: a single number that summarizes that account’s online influence. The score is based on more than simply follower count – it also factors performance indicators such as retweets, © 2010, BzzAgent, Inc. 2
  • The Klout Marketing Manual: Using Twitter Influencers to Generate Word of Mouth 7 Best Practices for Klout Marketing Success 2. Use Klout’s Permission to Recruit Influencers BzzAgent has identified seven best practices for getting the When we first partnered with Klout, we tested two most out of a Klout influencer marketing program. messages: one that invited Klout users to join the BzzAgent community in order to test a free product, and another that 1. Engage Influencers with Real Product Experiences made no mention of BzzAgent, positioning the product test 2. Use Klout’s Permission to Recruit Influencers directly from Klout. The second version outperformed the 3. Programs Require Active Management first, as Klout members are familiar with the brand and trust 4. Not All Brands are Talkable it. The downside for marketers is that many of the tweets 5. Train Participants to Be FTC Compliant generated by Klout programs are about Klout itself, and 6. Discussions Start Quickly, But Need Support to Sustain sometimes make no mention of the client brand itself. 7. Track Discussions Across Multiple Channels Sending participants an educational welcome kit at the start of the program will clarify the roles of the brands involved in 1. Engage Influencers with Real the program. This builds credibility and makes it clear what Product Experiences actions we are asking them to take with their followers. Klout has the potential to solve one of marketing’s most enduring challenges: a repeatable way to influence the 3. Programs Require Active Management influencers. Tactically this is accomplished through two steps: identifying influencers and then taking action to Starting off with the right list of individuals is important, engage and persuade them. but to get them to review your product and engage with their followers, you need to give them the right tools. The first part is simple. Klout has created a hierarchy BzzAgent had an advantage when running these early of millions of Twitter users across thousands of topics Klout programs. We designed them to follow our core – enough targeting and scale to be relevant to most BzzCampaign process, which includes similar steps of marketers. In BzzAgent’s experience we were easily able targeting, opt-in engagement, and activation through to identify Twitter users influential about topics including product experience. We also had in-house solutions for coffee, fitness, and cosmetics. We were also able to layer shipping product, measuring impact, and monitoring for additional parameters to further qualify the audience by potential FTC violations. applying filters like geography, gender, and recency of tweets on a relevant topic. Klout’s specialty is its methodology to build your target audience list. It is not a marketing services firm, so The second part requires more work. We sent invitations to companies will need to develop the right strategies and targeted Klout users offering free product samples in return execution to run a successful program. Marketers will also for honest tweets about the product. Those Klout members want a clear measurement plan and toolset established who clicked on the invitation were taken to an “offer” page in advance, as Klout’s in-house analytics for campaign where they learned the details of the campaign and could measurement are minimal. choose to opt in. Those who accepted the offer received a kit in the mail that included the product sample(s), and links to additional resources and communications to get them 4. Not All Brands are Talkable excited about sharing their experiences with others. Klout users can be cautious to embrace these programs and fickle about the brands they will endorse. Starbucks and Virgin America are popular brands and inherently © 2010, BzzAgent, Inc. 3
  • The Klout Marketing Manual: Using Twitter Influencers to Generate Word of Mouth talkable – it’s not surprising their Klout programs generated within minutes of launching their program. The downside is significant buzz. But other brands have generated very few the buzz dies down very quickly. Unlike standard BzzAgent tweets from Klout participants. BzzCampaigns which sustain product word of mouth over an eight-week period, tweets tied to Klout programs Compounding this problem is audience size. Even though typically end within a week or two (see Figure 2). Marketers Klout monitors north of ten million Twitter accounts, adding should consider adding additional program tactics targeting parameters can quickly reduce the pool past the (messaging, contests) if they want to sustain program buzz. point of usefulness. When BzzAgent searched the Klout membership for fitness enthusiasts in Toronto, we had had For example, BzzAgent’s BzzCampaigns have a dedicated trouble finding enough influencers to join the program. web page with all the details of each program. Weekly email updates keep the program top of mind and provide participates with updates on product news and relevant 5. Train Participants to Be FTC Compliant events. This results in a level of discussion that sustains over a much longer period of time. An important part of any word of mouth program is the training your participants receive about their online conduct. The FTC has revised their Endorsement Guide for reviews posted in social media to ensure that claims are accurate and any affiliation with a company is disclosed. BzzAgent takes several steps to ensure transparency and authenticity. All our agents receive training on our “code of conduct” which requires that they are unpaid, unscripted and disclosure their affiliation with the company. A staff of 100 moderators reviews all posts for accuracy and proper disclosure. 6. Discussions Start Quickly, But Need Support to Sustain We saw a “two bump” pattern emerge in the programs we ran through Klout. (See Figure 2) The first bump in tweet 7. Track Discussions Across Multiple Channels volume comes as soon as Klout users are contacted with program invitations. These tweets include descriptions of The reach of Klout programs extends beyond Twitter. the program invitation, speculation of who else has been Influential people tend to share their thoughts in multiple invited, and sometimes positive mentions of the sponsor channels online and offline. Many of the influencers brand. The second bump comes when Klout members reached through Klout also maintain blogs, have large receive their product samples. These tweets include links followings in Facebook, and post reviews frequently on to product reviews, praise for the product, and gratitude sites like Amazon. to Klout for sending the products. This second bump lasts three to four days, depending on shipping patterns. We’ve seen participants update each of these channels in the course of our programs so marketers should be prepared The benefit of this pattern is speed: marketers can to track these additional channels for compliance with FTC generate thousands of influential peer-to-peer impressions guidelines around disclosure and accuracy of product claims. © 2010, BzzAgent, Inc. 4
  • The Klout Marketing Manual: Using Twitter Influencers to Generate Word of Mouth As effective as the social web is for work of mouth, most About BzzAgent discussion happens offline. BzzAgent specializes in providing the structure and the tools to capture these BzzAgent is an international word-of-mouth (WOM) media discussions so you can gain a comprehensive view of network powered by more than 700,000 people. We create the word of mouth a program can generate and a better a deep connection between consumers and brands to understanding of the impact on product sales. accelerate word of mouth across social and offline media. BzzAgent’s proven process and media network allows marketers to activate and measure millions of conversations Summary and understand their impact on product sales. Klout has the potential to be an important marketing tool, but BzzAgent has been at the vanguard of WOM marketing since it is only a part of the solution. As with any direct marketing 2001. We have conducted over 1,000 programs for major list source, an effective campaign requires a comprehensive marketers including P&G, Wrigley, L’Oréal, Michelin, Johnson strategy to drive action. The best practices summarized & Johnson, Burt’s Bees and Logitech. in this document will help marketers design an effective program that can turn a list of highly influential people into For more information visit: http://about.bzzagent.com an active community of persuasive product advocates. 500 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA 02118 617.451.2280 sales@bzzagent.com © 2010, BzzAgent, Inc. 5