This post originally appeared on Crain’s Detroit Business.
Influence is an interesting subject because people (and companies like Klout and Kred) define and measure it in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to tapping into influencers for marketing purposes. Before I go any further, I want to make sure you know that influence means having the power to change or affect something. Unless the desired action occurs, it’s not true influence.
As more and more people started using blogs and social media to build an authoritative online voice, the importance of tapping into these newly deemed influencers became just as critical to PR/marketing as it once was to get recognition from third party sources, like media. People became influential because they gained a large following online. Every person with 10,000 blog subscribers and 30,000 Twitter followers is super influential, right? And you should only focus on those influencers with a mega following online when planning marketing campaigns, right? Wrong.
Danny Brown, VP of Marketing & Technology at ArCompany, co-author of Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing and successful marketing blogger recently visited Detroit as part of his book tour and a Social Media Club Detroit event. Danny says only caring about the mega-influencers is the wrong way to think about influence marketing. Sure, many people with a huge online following are also influential in several respects. But, Danny argues we often overlook the micro-influencers with a smaller, yet more engaged, community. Those micro-influencers can be the true hidden gems that create real, actionable results.
He’s absolutely right. I had an experience where we partnered with someone on behalf of a client who had a very strong online following, but not enough influence in the particular market we were targeting. So while it was great to have the support of this influential person and a new relationship, the partnership didn’t produce the results we were looking for. We should have partnered with a micro-influencer with a defined following in our desired market. Lesson learned.
Danny notes in his most recent blog post about why influencers deserve to be paid, “Instead of wasting time and resources on partnering with bloggers with 10,000 subscribers but only 900 actual interested readers, you can connect with a blogger with 1,000 subscribers and 900 interested readers.”
Caring more about the micro-influencers was the biggest takeaway from Danny’s presentation. Here are a few other influence marketing nuggets of wisdom he shared:
Context drives. Why do people buy one brand or the other? Context. Marketers can inspire desire by knowing the context behind choices. #SMCD
— C. Hipke (@hipkec) October 23, 2013
— David Murray (@DaveMurr) October 23, 2013
— Nikki Little (@nikki_little) October 23, 2013
Your marketing efforts have a much better chance for success if you put the customer at the center of your efforts #SMCD
— Mike McClure (@mikekmcclure) October 23, 2013