René Power: “Influencer Marketing”


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  • Thanks for joining this session today. I’m Rene Power from BDB and today we’re focussing on influencer marketing and how to market through others. We’ve got a packed session – and apologies in advance it is bright to counteract lunch – but I hope you’ll go away brimming with ideas on how to start to create your own influencer marketing programmes.

  • Today’s agenda and learning objectives – we’ll also cover off some important steps in creating a influencer marketing plan and look at some businesses that are doing it well.
  • Takeaway no 1: Understanding what influences you and motivates you to take the actions and decisions you take will have a real impact on your ability to plan influencer marketing techniques that will aid your business.
  • To return to influence, I think it’s worth us taking a few moments to understand what influence is and how we’re influenced in order to understand how to be able to the nature of influence. I picked up this interesting observation online in preparation for this session.
  • To return to influence, I think it’s worth us taking a few moments to understand what influence is and how we’re influenced in order to understand how to be able to the nature of influence. I picked up this interesting observation online in preparation for this session.
  • Who are those five people – commonly your parents, significant other, best friend, boss, business partner / teacher or a celebrity.

    Here’s another spin on it using modern social speak. What is interesting is to start to see how those much more closer to us exert more influence. Girlfriends and wives wont like the fact that mum comes first. And thinking about the relative influencer different types have and the reach they can bring to bear helps us to start thinking about how to tap into them.

    And deep down, everyone is a Belieber, right?
  • Why do the people who influence us, the way they do. What are we looking for?

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a well worn but time tested model used to illustrate our psychological needs from the physical and emotional through to the aspirational. So from our base needs of food, shelter and warmth through to Buddhist notions of transcendence, we have at different times the need for belonging, achievement and recognition.

    Influence comes to bear on us at different times – achievement and recognition of completing exams and becoming professionally qualified, the materialistic nature of work and advancement, the quest for knowledge. Influence and influencers play a big role in this too.
  • So if we recognise that the greatest influence by and large comes through our close connections (remember your five primary influencing relationships) comes through deep personal bonds and relationships. Word of mouth is one of the primary vehicles for this and historically the pathway of message distillation from brands to customers (where influencers have been used) has been fairly linear and one dimensional. The message is shared / recommended and then decisions are made and actions taken.

    But the operation environment has evolved. Whilst there is, to a certain extent in many B2B sectors, a linear pathway, instead we are seeing much more dynamism in the conversation amongst customers. Customers have greater choice and the influence of their peers has become as important as the influencers. Thinking, still about our own interactions, I think this makes a lot of sense when you being to think about your own social media threads and recommendations that come your way.

    (This is lifted from Danny Brown’s excellent book Influence Marketing – the link is provided at the end of the session.)
  • Here are some elements to consider when rating influencers. In some instances their overall reach in terms of numbers of followers, fans, subscribers etc are significant but these should be tempered with use of influence scoring sites like Klout, Kred and PeerIndex – all of which I’m going to delve into when we arrive in measurement and evaluation.
    For now its suffice to say that can get a good measure of online influence fairly easily; offline influence is restricted to traditional PR evaluation and brand scoring.
  • 1/ Can be as simple as starting to RT them, read and comment on their blog, share it on Linkedin. Give before taking.
    2/ Make any offer very simple and very attractive – e.g. for product reviews take care of all the logistics (make it fool proof), make call / meeting arrangements to suit them.
    3 &4/ Taking your knowledge from point 1 further by understanding their audience (your audience) and talking in the right terms
    5/ Quantify what is valuable to them and deliver on it
    6/ Become reliable and desirable. Don’t be the pushy PR guy always wanting something for (next to) nothing.
  • Takeaway 3: Taking a structured approach to your identification, prioritization and rating will mean you are more likely to have a more relevant influencer pool to start to work with that will have cache with your target audience.
  • To end the section on selection and recruitment it’s worth reminding ourselves that this is the most important part of a four step process.

    Picking the right people is crucial as effective influencer marketing dovetails with other marketing activity and should be based on solid communication principles of right content being served up to the right people through the right channel (platform) at the right time. Getting all this things right maximises the targeted reach and ensuing impact of what you are trying to achieve.
  • So we’ve had a look around, we have an idea of who we want to work with, their areas of expertise, we’ve ranked them and now want to put a plan in place.
  • When it comes to influence, there is a lot of talk online about personas right now. Personas help us to make sense of a demographic set which is way too hard and too broad to segment. Talk of personas and clustering is relevant when we consider influencer marketing too.

    The graphic on the screen is the first in a five step process to help create an influencer marketing programme. Rather than individual personas, we can look to cluster target influencers by role, type, function and create bespoke communications platforms using specific tools at key points.

    These points are the stages of the AIDA model redefined for the Internet generation, as we recognise the need to move influencers from being unaware of us to aware, to credibility to connection to loyalty to our brand.
  • Here is a rudimentary plan of certain types of content and approaches to be used at each stage along the influencer conversion pathway. You can see how things start our being straight forward (off the shelf) before quickly scaling and becoming more personalised as influencers move to loyalty status.
  • Communicating correctly with influencers is critical. First impressions count. I’ve added a link to a great video featuring the Technology editor for The New York Times who discusses in fairly vocal terms how not to pitch him when you think you have some news of interest to his readers.

    Watering holes are great for making soft introductions and subtly joining discussion.

    When it does become more one on one and there is a proposition to table, it needs to be simple and unequivocal.

    Platforms are key too. Lets look at some of these in turn now…
  • For an influencer to want to advocate for a brand, there needs to be a strong emotional bond. There needs to be a story to tell that can be simply told and which will resonate. There are simple rules to follow in engaging influencers.

    Don’t sell – they are often not buying.
    Be human – talk benefits, history, experience.
    Talk their language – leave your company and sector vocabulary at the door.
    Make it about them – ask ‘what’s in it for me’ but from their perspective not yours.
    Make it easy for them – as said earlier any products, documentation, images, web pages, virals need to be easy to use.
  • How to make contact and deliver information is critical. Influence through PR for example has often been conducted insufficiently with cold emails containing an expansive news release that isn’t honed to the needs of the media recipient and therefore his audience. Then when he’s called to check receipt and if it is of relevance, it’s no surprise he might get a bit frustrated.

    Fortunately, we have things like the Internet, and telephones to both do our homework up front and make soft connection – using techniques we mentioned earlier like connecting, following and sharing on social and creating some common ground so when you do make a first approach, it is more likely to have the intended outcome.

    But as we’ve seen throughout this session, personal contact is best as we’re developing long term relationships so opt for techniques that break down those personal barriers.
  • Take away 5: Measurement on this sort of marketing is actually critical to getting the upfront commitment and seeing it through long term. Set quantifiable measures linked to your top line marketing and business objectives in order to have a benchmark once you get underway.
  • The first one I’ve selected is one of our trade PR clients and is a case study in thought leadership through media influencers. Pentair V&C (previously
    Tyco) has a century of engineering innovation under its belt, delivering high end flow control products into unforgiving applications across oil and gas,
    power, process, mining and more.

    Since 2010, we’ve been working with the team to build and extend the companies profile exclusively through trade media. With 2-3 globally
    established media houses and a raft of magazines and sites that the industry has come to rely on, building reputation in these sectors is a real

    Operating in oil and gas requires a blend of education and benefit marketing. Pentair trade PR showcases understanding and knowledge of issues,
    solving problems and positioning its industry leading products in an educational way. Press releases were replaced with dedicated features specifically
    addressing target journalist and magazine requirements leading to much better informed coverage.

    Articles targeting the challenges faced by working in deep water, operating at high pressure, meeting evolving environmental requirements, delivering
    global supply and enduring products were seen as the way forward. This guaranteed Pentair content is featured in tier one international press like
    Offshore, Offshore Technology, Oilfield Engineer, World Pipelines and more.

    Results x10 ROI based on standard AVE metrics, huge positive sentiment, OTS in the millions, people coming onto exhibition stands with copies of
    articles wanting to place orders! And editors that not only know what they can expect from Pentair in the future – but also can approach Pentair directly for
    comment and insight.
  • Rockwell, like scores of large global companies, rely on distributors, to position their products and services locally. They are custodians of the brand in the eyes of their customers and can offer manufacturers a larger market, but at a reduced margin. The challenge then is to remain front of mind (in non-exclusive distribution markets especially) and be the best, most supportive manufacturer to the distributor pool.

    I like what Rockwell have built in their Partner Network as they have given an identity and Authorised Distributor badge scheme to this initiative and have worked hard to create a sense of belonging (remember Maslow) so this group of influencers are more likely to give more. There is an abundance of tools and support – behind a log in, I’m thinking events, awards, training too – to ensure they have all the tools to do the best for Rockwell in the field.

    Distributors often need a lot of love and a big push to do what you want them to do.
  • IBMs “VIP Influencer” program for their Smarter Commerce conferences initiative came after the client attending CMO Club Summit and realised that active, social influencers could deliver the brand to many more people than IBM marketing ever could (yes even more than IBM).

    Over a year IBM grew a pool to 25 influencers attending events and social media reporters to amplify content (transparently). Influencers selected through ‘buzz’, using tools like OneQube to help you navigate, measure and manage social relationships.  Targeted a cluster of influencers who were prolific at generating content and who also had a very engaged following. Some notable people include Jay Baer, Ted Rubin, Pam Moore, Bryan Kramer, Kim Garst and Glen Gilmore - well known social commentators, bloggers, writers and consultants. 
    IBM treated them like VIPs and give them insider access to the strategy and brand. Influencers tend to be a passionate, entrepreneurial community. Sharing your passion for your business with them and asking for their help to accomplish this is perhaps the secret ingredient of a successful influencer program.
 IBM asked them to be guest bloggers on an ongoing basis. Promote influencers throughout the year so they receive value from IBM. IBM has a strong social fabric—one that’s getting stronger every day—and that’s helping to extend the value of being aligned with the IBM brand.
    The campaign passed 2 billion impressions and we’ve seen a significant increase in engagement on our owned properties. Driving from owned to earned is a slow process since you need to build a community and following over time, but it is definitely measurable.
    Their advice: If you’re going to start an influencer program, take the time to think through the process of choosing the right brand sponsor within your organization. The program need to be nurtured by someone who will invest the necessary time and personal investment. It’s not a one-shot event—it’s a strategy that will evolve over time.
  • René Power: “Influencer Marketing”

    1. 1. Creating a buzz through others B2B influencer marketing guidelines and best practice @renepower René Power, director BDB and author - Brilliant B2B Digital Marketing #edgemanc
    2. 2. Session learning objectives @renepower Establishing the nature and importance of influence Understanding what influencer marketing is and how B2B brands can benefit Identifying and ranking influencers Communicating with influencers Measuring the effectiveness of influencer marketing programmes #edgemanc
    3. 3. Understanding influence Establishing how you are influenced can help unearth how your customers may be influenced
    4. 4. Understanding influence @renepower Who influences you? #edgemanc
    5. 5. The many faces of influence @renepower #edgemanc
    6. 6. Understanding influence You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
    7. 7. Different influencers #edgemanc
    8. 8. The psychology of influence People want Security Material gains Symbolic awards @renepower Physiological needs Safety Belonging / love Esteem Need to know Aesthetic needs Self actualisation Transcendence #edgemanc
    9. 9. Word of Mouth @renepower Brand Influencer Customers Action Message Recommend / share Decision making Brand Influencer Customers Action Message Recommend / share Decision making #edgemanc
    10. 10. B2B buyer / influencer objectives @renepower • Speeds and feeds • Impact on existing systems and standards Technology Advocates • Implement and train • Minimize aggravation and griefEnd User Advocates • Budget • Cost of Ownership • Operating Impact Business Advocates Looking for improvement in process / delivery Looking for easy implementation and impact Looking to minimise cost and risk, maximise value and return (step three) #edgemanc
    11. 11. Understanding influencer marketing @renepower
    12. 12. What is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing, (also Influence Marketing) is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of recent practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers. @renepower “It is finding and building relationships with those who hold sway with your target audience.” “The ability to sway the purchasing decisions of your target audience. The distinction is that influencers must be able to impact purchasing decisions.” #edgemanc
    13. 13. How can brands benefit? Third party brand evangelism Increased credibility Extended reach Complementary marketing effort Cost savings @renepower Increased sales opportunities Increased referrals Differentiation Competitive advantage #edgemanc
    14. 14. Understanding influence Every b2b marketer should target influencers as well as decision makers with their marketing efforts
    15. 15. Identifying influencers
    16. 16. Influence in b2b procurement @renepower Idea planters Trend setters Predicators Proclaimers Aggregators / communicators Scopers Recommenders Persuaders Negotiators Validators High low Timescale for decision making process Involvementofdecisionmakers Decide to do something Decide what to do #edgemanc
    17. 17. Understanding influence Question: Who are your influencers?
    18. 18. Who are your influencers? @renepower Academia, authors, bloggers (and micro bloggers), business and trade journalists, buyers groups, purchasing lists and procurement authorities, commentators and other individuals, complementary partners, conferences and events, consumers and consumer groups, customer firms, financial analysts, government agencies and regulators, Individual and niche consultants, industry analysts, industry bodies, forums and federations, Internal influencers/employees, management consultancies, online forums, peers (role-based, industry-based), retailers, specialty consultancies, standards bodies, systems Integrators, distributors and similar channel partners, venture capitalists and investors Filter Amplifier Macro Distill from a large audience Project to a large audience Micro Distill from a niche audience Influential in smaller niche audience #edgemanc
    19. 19. Finding influencers • Focus on influencers that “influence” your customers • Media titles • News (commentators) • Events • Websites / blogs • Forums / communities • Linkedin / Twitter @renepower #edgemanc
    20. 20. Rating influencers • Market reach – no. of people an individual has the ability to connect with • Independence – whether an influencer has a vested interest in promoting a particular point of view • Frequency of impact – no. of opportunities an individual has to influence buying decisions • Expertise – how much of a subject matter expert is the influencer • Persuasiveness – the degree of consequence in ignoring an influencer's advice • Thoroughness of role - the extent to which influence is exerted across the decision lifecycle. @renepower Image: #edgemanc
    21. 21. Beginning to work with influencers @renepower 1. Start by making sure the influencers know you exist 2. Make participation easy for influencers 3. Understand what motivates your influencers 4. Know their audience 5. Decipher what it is of value to them 6. Become reliable and desirable #edgemanc
    22. 22. Understanding influence Identify, prioritise and rate influencers as most relevant to your brand (communications) before contacting them
    23. 23. Effective B2B influencer marketing Reaching the right people Delivering the right content Finding the right time to reach out Using the right platform @renepower #edgemanc
    24. 24. Creating an influencer marketing plan @renepower
    25. 25. Step 1: Influence clustering @renepower Jill Dale Dave FordJohn Smith Awareness Credibility Connection Loyalty + = Influencer plan Brand asset mapping #edgemanc
    26. 26. Awareness Credibility Connection Loyalty Step 2: Mapping brand assets @renepower White Paper Webinar White Paper Trade shows / events Demo PR Primary research Expert voice Host event Focus group Session with R&D Give product Invite to contribute content Social media ‘callout’ Regular content contributor Regular events VIP treatment Invite to speak #edgemanc
    27. 27. Step 3: Communicating with influencers Where – watering holes How to approach and engage influencers Getting the message right Selecting the right platform Creating an enduring relationship @renepower #edgemanc
    28. 28. Step 4: Engaging influencers @renepower Don’t sell Be human Talk their language Make it about them Make it easy for them #edgemanc
    29. 29. Step 5: Selecting the right platform @renepower How best to reach them F2F Phone MailEmail Social #edgemanc
    30. 30. Proof of influence @renepower #edgemanc
    31. 31. Understanding influence Influencers will be interested in genuine and clearly demonstrating expertise, leadership, authority or value
    32. 32. Getting influencer marketing wrong @renepower Time Attractive Values Exclusivity Risk #edgemanc
    33. 33. Mitigating risk @renepower Communicate to team members and employees Accept a loss of control over communications Build for the long term – success will not come over night Use the right platforms Don’t leave it to one person to handle Don’t leave it to the wrong person or people Develop a tailored plan for each influencer Set measurable goals for what you want to achieve 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 #edgemanc
    34. 34. Measurement and evaluation
    35. 35. Measurement and evaluation • Establishing what to measure and setting benchmarks on key influencers by – market reach (amplification) – frequency – traffic generation – sharing – persuasiveness @renepower #edgemanc
    36. 36. Deeper questions to pose @renepower Who drove the desired action the most? What message permeated the most? What value did the influencer bring compared to financial outlay? How many messages did certain personas need to move to the next stage? How was the campaign perceived? How close to our goals did we come? How was our product or service improved as a result of feedback? Did it add to our bottom line while improving our top line? How effective was our targeting? What was the sum effect on our brand and our competitors? #edgemanc
    37. 37. Klout @renepower
    38. 38. Kred @renepower
    39. 39. Peer Index @renepower
    40. 40. Linkedin @renepower #edgemanc
    41. 41. Hootsuite @renepower
    42. 42. Understanding influence Decide what success looks like from the outset and set metrics to help you achieve it
    43. 43. Session learning objectives @renepower We established the nature and importance of influence We now understand what influencer marketing is and how B2B brands can benefit We can identify and rank influencers We know a little more about how to communicate with influencers We can begin to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing programmes #edgemanc
    44. 44. Sources & further reading Sites • influencer-marketing-and-brand-transparency/ • marketing/ - B2B agency Gyro’s take on influence • ma_b_4098892.html - US consumer examples • • How to pitch tech to David Pogue of the New York Times – video Books • Influence marketing Danny Brown • Influencer marketing Duncan Brown @renepower #edgemanc
    45. 45. More from me @renepower Version 1 of Brilliant B2B Digital Marketing is available from Amazon for Kindle now covering digital strategy, websites, search, content, social, CRM and evaluation This and hundreds of other guides and resources are available to Smart Insights Expert members. @renepower http #edgemanc
    46. 46. Examples Examples
    47. 47. Trade media: Pentair Valves & Controls  In oil and gas  Traditional press and event support  Regular technical features developed written and placed by BDB in tier one international publications  Syndicated in multiple languages to support in- country sales and marketing @renepower #edgemanc
    48. 48. Distributors: Rockwell Automation @renepower #edgemanc
    49. 49. IBM – smarter commerce Site Case study @renepower #edgemanc