There are few things more powerful in the world of communications than word of mouth recommendation and so it makes sense to target those specific individuals whose opinions are valued by the audience in question. They can have a disproportionately positive influence on campaign outcomes but how do you achieve that influence?
The methods vary considerably depending on a huge variety of factors however the one thing that influencer marketing campaigns have in common is that they recognise that you have have to provide something of value to the influencer. That could be something tangible (like a product sample) but it could equally be something else of value – an early look at a product or solution, access to new intelligence or unique data.
As an example, for Babel’s client Astound Commerce, quarterly dinners at fashionable restaurants are hosted and a range of Astound’s retailer clients and prospects are invited, together with a sponsoring partner (e.g. Worldpay). During the dinners, held under Chatham House Rules, a series of questions are posed relating to retail e-commerce and a free flowing conversation ensues with a member of the Babel team taking notes. Those notes are used to draft a whitepaper, supplemented by industry data and opinion.
The whitepapers contain unique insight, gained directly from C-level executives that would never normally
be available. Who knew, for instance, that at least one high value jeweler uses Google Street View to look at the houses of new customers to make a judgement on financial status and reduce fraud?
And what does Astound gain?
- Direct access to some of the most important influencers in their market for the cost of a dinner
- New market knowledge
- A whitepaper, filled with unique insight, that is used by Astound and the relevant partner for direct and indirect outreach and lead generation
- An enhanced relationship with the attending customers and prospects and a greater likelihood that they will engage further
- A partner (often the strongest of influencers) that has gained something tangible for their own business – the whitepaper produced with Worldpay as the partner has proved to be their most popular
- Sector intelligence that is used to secure a range of editorial opportunities including industry features and by-lines