If you look up the word ‘influence’ in the dictionary, you will most likely find a definition that resembles the following statement. The term ‘influence’ is a noun that describes the power of an individual to compel or persuade someone else to do something that they would not have otherwise done. When we apply this concept to marketing, we find that influence marketing is about the subtle art of crafting communication designed to persuade your customer to take action.
The only problem with this definition is that, as many have learned, it’s easier said than done. Fortunately, for you – this piece was written to shorten your learning curve by highlighting the four keys to successfully implementing an influence marketing plan.
1 – Knowing Your Brand
At the heart of every successful influence marketing campaign is a brand that possesses great self-awareness. Knowing your brand is not just about understanding your strengths and weaknesses; it’s about celebrating them. Brands that are comfortable in their own skin exude confidence and this certitudehelps drive influence.
It boils down to this – no one will follow someone who is unsure of themselves. So learn what makes your brand unique and be sure to communicate that whenever and wherever you can.
2 – Understanding Your Audience
Knowing what makes your audience tick is just as important as understanding your brand. Brands that develop a strong awareness of their prospects’ goals are able to speak directly to the needs of their audience. In contrast, brands that don’t understand their clientele are forced to throw spaghetti at the wall and hope that it sticks.
Needless to say guessing your patrons’ needs is not going to help you build influence. Knowing your audience, on the other hand, will help you anticipate the public’s needs. This helps to break down their resistance and makes it easier for them to respond to your calls to action.
3 – Be Generous
When it comes to influence marketing driven tactics such as word of mouth marketing, attracting brand advocates, influencer outreach or crowdfunding campaigns – the main thing to keep in mind is that you’ve got to give a little to get a little. In fact, there’s a saying that is often quoted in the sales and marketing professions that says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.
What better way is there to show your prospects that you care than to give them something of value? If you can consistently approach your audience with generosity, they will happily follow your lead when it’s time to act.
4 – Leverage the Power of Authority
Learning to leverage the authority of others can be highly challenging. However, once you’ve mastered the first three tenets of influence marketing, putting this technique into practice is easier than you might think. Namely, because if you know your brand and understand your audience, then identifying individuals who reflect similar values to your organization and who already influence your prospects is less of a challenge.
Likewise, when your organization is known for its generosity, influencers will want to be associated with you. This means that when your messages begin appearing on influencer blogs, social media platforms or reviews; the connection will look more natural to your consumers. Hence, they will trust your association with the influencers and should be more likely to act upon your suggestions.