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Creating Successful Influence Marketing Programs (Continuum follow-on)


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This eBook is a follow-up to the Influencer Continuum™, our proven methodology for engaging influencers and cultivating them into Super Advocates™ for your brand. In this eBook, we provide the steps and guidance to create influence marketing programs which will move your target influencers through our Influencer Continuum, or to any level of engagement you hope to create.

Creating Successful Influence Marketing Programs (Continuum follow-on)

  1. 1. The Appinions Influencer Continuum™Our Influencer ContinuumTM begins with topic based influencers – those whocause others to take action. The methodology serves as a guide to helpbrands form deep connections and advocacy with these influencers.In this eBook, we’ll provide you with the steps and guidance to createinfluence marketing programs which will move your target influencers throughour Influencer Continuum, or to any level of engagement you hope to create. Click here to learn more about the Influencer Continuum 2
  2. 2. Who is an Influencer?Appinions defines an influencer as a person, brand orcompany who expresses a contextually relevantopinion that is meaningful enough to elicit action fromothers.Social presence alone does not always indicateinfluence. Influencers may have a popular blog orstrong social media presence, speak offline to press orto audiences, and/or have a strong network online oroff.Most influencers are active in their topic of expertiseover a period of time; we call those Earnedinfluencers, and, in most cases, consider them themost credible and valuable. Other influencers mayhave short-term influence on a topic, or they may beup-and-coming in their space. 3
  3. 3. Why does this matter to you? Because influencers have the ability to drive action, converting influencers to advocates for your brand can be a powerful way to amplify awareness and support your brand initiatives. When an influencer becomes an advocate for your brand, we call them a Super Advocate™ – a fan of a brand who also has a platform to influence for the brand. 4
  4. 4. What’s an influence marketing program?Influence marketing programs are designed withthe end goal in mind – to build loyalty amonginfluencers and turn them into SuperAdvocates™.These programs may incorporate traditional,digital, and social media marketing tacticsdepending on where your influencers fall on theContinuum and how they like to interact withbrands.Influence marketing programs are typically long-term engagements. Any one program can havemultiple touchpoints and is often built overmonths, if not years. 5
  5. 5. Steps to an influence marketing program 1 2 4 As outlined in the Influencer Continuum, there are four major steps to creating a successful influence marketing program: 1 Identify your Influencers Map Influencers to 2 Continuum Phases Determine which Brand 3 Assets you possess (or want to create) 4 Create your program 3 6
  6. 6. 1 Identify your Influencers You have two options when identifying your Influence Cluster: •  Consider influencers you’ve already engaged with •  Find new influencersNote: If your company or brand has already engaged with influencers, skip to Page 10. If you’d like tofind new influencers, read on.   7
  7. 7. 1 Identify your Influencers (cont’d)How to Find New Influencers•  Identify the topics within which you’re looking to engage influencers. –  These may be prominent themes that your brand focuses its reputation on, attributes or characteristics of your target audience, or industry topics related to your product or service.•  Listen to what people are saying across the web and traditional media. –  There are countless monitoring tools that you can use to search conversations, news articles, and blog posts across the web. Find the tool that’s right for you based on the volume of conversations, number of keywords, and budget. –  Pay attention to sentiment around the topic – you will most likely want to engage with influencers who are positively disposed towards your topic, and not negative about your brand or product. 8
  8. 8. 1 Identify your Influencers (cont’d)Identify Known Influencers to Engage•  Consider “known” influencers you or your teams (PR, marketing, corporate communications) have already engaged. –  These influencers can be clustered and moved together to a new Continuum phase.•  Consider influencers you may already be following. Here are a couple of places you can find them: –  Blog authors from your RSS reader, if you think they’re smart on the particular focus topic. –  People you’re following on Twitter, if they regularly engage on your topic. –  Newsmakers in traditional media. 9
  9. 9. 1 Identify your Influencers (cont’d)Analyze Your Influencer ListOnce you’ve compiled a list of potential influencers, evaluate each individualfor credibility, engagement, and activity.•  Understand the point of view for each influencer you identify. For example, if they are already a strong advocate for a competitor, they may be less likely to want to work with your brand.•  Look to see if their blog posts or articles get comments, and whether they’re active in responding to those comments.•  Do they have a social media presence and are they active? If so, which channels are they most active on and do they engage in conversations with their followers?•  Is there an easy way for you to contact them? 10
  10. 10. 1 Identify your Influencers (cont’d)Another Option for Influencer IdentificationIf you’re not interested in spending the time and energy it takes to manuallysift through content and monitor conversations, remember that theAppinions Influence Marketing Platform does it all for you. Let’s talk! 11
  11. 11. 2 Map Influencers to Continuum PhasesBefore you begin your program, you need to determine where your targetedinfluencers are on the Continuum.For example, if influencers already know about your brand, product, or service,you have passed the awareness phase and should focus on the credibilityphase. Further, if you have activated your influencers in the past and they’vebuilt that credibility, you may want to focus on the emotional connection andloyalty phases.  12
  12. 12. 2 Map Influencers to Continuum Phases (cont’d)Mapping InfluencersInfluencers who fall into each phase of the Continuum are likely to meet thefollowing criteria. Note that some of your influencers may be pre-Awareness;your program goal may be to move them into Awareness. Awareness Credibility •  Aware  of  your  brand,  product,  or   •  Have  shared  your  content  on  their   service   website,  social  media  channels,  or  in  a   •  Have  visited  your  website   conversa;on   •  Follow  one  or  more  of  your  social  media   •  Have  interacted  with  your  brand  either   profiles   in  person  or  online   Emotional Connection Loyalty •  Have  formed  a  personal  rela;onship   •  Are  repeat  customers   with  your  brand  through  physically   •  Refer  you  to  their  network  regularly   mee;ng  representa;ves  at  an  event     •  Recognized  contributors  to  new  product   •  Have  first  hand  experienced  of  your   ini;a;ves   product  or  service   13
  13. 13. 2 Map Influencers to Continuum Phases (cont’d)Developing Influence ClustersInfluence Clusters are highly focused groups oftopical influencers aligned to a particular niche,goal, or objective. These are especially valuable ifyou are focused on promoting several topics withdifferent types of influencers because each group orcluster may require different levels of attention anddifferent engagement tactics.When creating influence clusters, assign influencersin the same topical area, who are at the same phaseof the Continuum, to the same cluster. 14
  14. 14. 3 Determine Your Brand AssetsWhat is a Brand Asset?Brand assets are tools you can use to help engage with influencers. Meetup White Paper Meet R&D Team Invite to Primary Speak at Research EventTradeshow VIP Treatment Expert Voice Content Give Products Contributor Online Event Demo Brand Party 15
  15. 15. 3 Determine Your Brand Assets (cont’d)Identify existing Assets or create newonesDetermine which assets you haveavailable and set aside the ones youwill need for this effort.If you don’t yet have any assets, comeup with a strategy for creating theassets you need to move influencersinto the Continuum phases you’d liketo affect. 16
  16. 16. 4 Create Your ProgramMap Influence Clusters to AssetsOnce you have mapped influencers mapped tothe correct phases of the Continuum, determinehow you wish to engage them to move themthrough your influence marketing program.You will be using each asset you have identifiedto engage with an influencer, or cluster orinfluencers.Planning and tactics are extremely importanthere, as influencers should be approached andrelationships fostered with care. 17
  17. 17. 4 Create Your Program (cont’d)Program TemplateUse this template to create your influence marketing program. For examples of Influencer Continuumprograms, also visit our website.Program  Name   Give  this  program  a  name  to  dis;nguish  it  from  others  you  have  running  simultaneously  Timeframe   Describe  the  ;meframe  in  which  this  program  will  run  (i.e.,  January-­‐February  2013)  Con/nuum  Phase   Describe  which  phase  you’re  expec;ng  to  move  influencers  into  (i.e.,  Build  Awareness,   Awareness  to  Credibility)  Objec/ve   Describe  your  objec;ve  in  crea;ng  this  program  (i.e.,  generate  coverage  for  product   launch,  establish  brand  as  thought  leader)  Influence  Cluster   Describe  the  influence  cluster  you  are  targe;ng  with  this  program  (i.e.,  local  mom   bloggers,  B2B  tech  writers  in  the  storage  space)  Brand  Assets   Describe  the  brand  assets  you  will  be  using  in  this  program  (i.e.,  product  giveaway,   tradeshow  invita;on,  wri;ng  opportunity)  Program  Descrip/on   Describe  the  program  in  detail  Notes   Keep  notes  about  the  program’s  progress;  make  note  of  successes  and  opportuni;es   along  the  way   18
  18. 18. Conclusion:Reap the Rewards of Influence MarketingCongratulations! You’re on your way to creating influence marketing programs.Don’t forget, the power of influencers must be cultivated on an ongoing basis. Once your plan is inmotion, keep up the momentum! Continue the conversation regardless of who your influencersare, whether or not your goals change, and despite any staff turnover.And remember: influencer engagement takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you’re unable toattract influencers right away. Putting the pieces of an influence marketing plan into place beforeyou start the process can take a significant amount of time and energy, but the hard work is worththe payoff in this case.Finally, once you’ve converted an influencer to a Super AdvocateTM, keep them involved andactive. It is at this point that these relationships are the most valuable to you and your brand. For more information on creating Super AdvocatesTM, check out our Resources page on our website. For ongoing tips and tricks to influence marketing success, subscribe to the Appinions Influence Marketing Blog. 19
  19. 19. Enjoyed this eBook? Spread the word! Share this ebook 20