Embrace influencers

A digital influencer is someone who has increased their social presence by creating content that engages audiences. They have the ability to affect opinions and change behaviors because they are trusted sources of information amongst their followers. So why don’t more brands reach out to them?

When I worked with Microsoft on the rollout of Windows 7 I recommended that we reach out to influencers with a special offer.  We offered the a free laptop with Windows 7, before its official release, and asked that they BLOG about their experience.  On the day Windows 7 was released, we offered to sponsor influencer parties complete with free versions of Windows 7, pizza’s and other goodies.  The results were amazing.  Not only did we increase the buzz, but we had an extremely fast adoption of Win 7 among early adopters.

So the question is why don’t more brands target influencers?

Who Are These Influencers?

Influencers spend an enormous of time on their social media presence. Over 85% spend 6 or more hours a week researching, creating, posting, tracking, and responding to followers. Additionally, over 21% spend 21+ hours a week into elevating their online personas.

The key to influencer popularity is authentic content, especially when it comes to branded posts. For 1/2 of social media personalities, the top reasons for working with a company is their own personal affinity for the brand or their personal use of the product. Authenticity is crucial for long term brand engagement as 77% of influencers work with brands as part of ongoing and evergreen campaigns.

When it comes to working with businesses, nearly 83% of influencers would work with a brand again if the partnership was collaborative while allowing for creativity.

On the other hand, the top reason influencers would not want to work with a brand again include over-controlling of the content and unrealistic expectations of the process or results.

The thing to remember about influencers is that you need to be open and transparent with them.   Don’t try and control them and don’t be afraid to give them free products to help promote your brand on their networks.

There are some professional influencers who demand money for their influence, but I strongly recommend that you avoid them as the public thinks that they have “sold themselves” to make money.