Influencer Marketing Can Be An Easy Button

by · October 28, 201312 comments

There isn’t a marketer alive not looking for an easy button. Our culture and societal influences make us thirsty for them. We want things here, now, fast, cheap and smart, and we don’t want to put forth any effort to get it.

Social Media Marketing seems like an easy button to those that know no better. “Just open a Facebook page!” “Just get on Twitter!” “It’s Free!” and other assurances have driven many of today’s marketers to think Social Media Marketing is an easy button for their success.

But it’s not. However, one facet of social marketing can get close.

When you collect around you a community of enthusiasts, loyalists or fans and can measure both their reach and true impact for your brand, you have a conduit to here, now, fast, cheap and smart, all with little effort. Because when you do, you can see exactly who it is that motivates the most people to act on your brand’s calls to action.

no-easy-buttonInfluencer marketing tools (Klout, Kred and more) are supposed to help you identify who influences the most people around your brand. What they actually do is distract you with silly numbers and show you the alleged reach of your marketing message. In reality, a fraction of what you think is your reach is actually realized.

My tweets, for instance, certainly don’t reach 80,000 eyeballs. Yet the influencer tools will tell you they do, and that I, Jason Falls, am very important. While I’m flattered these tools think of me in that light, what they should tell you is where to find your easy button.

It’s not enough to know who your influencers are. What you need is which ones actually have an impact when carrying your message forward?

Jason Falls may actually reach 2,500 digital marketers with each Tweet and 10% of those may take action on said messaging. But if Arik Hanson actually reaches 750 digital marketers and 95% of them take action, who is your true influencer?

If you’d like to get as close to an easy button to distribute your message in the social space, ask these questions of your influencer toolset vendors:

  1. Do you measure what actions are taken by the influencer as a result of our content?
  2. Can you rank our influencers by multiple data points?
  3. Can you tell me, in addition to how many people are reached by a given influencer, what the quality of his or her following is?

If they can make this data available, you can see a modest blueprint for an easy button. Brand has a message to send. Based on timing and resources, look at your prioritized list of influencers and pick the number you have time to contact. The bigger the impact of those influencers, the easier your button gets.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Your article makes perfect sense.

  • http://www.referralcandy.com/ Zach @ ReferralCandy

    Jason, thanks for the article. This is a great point: Number of followers != influence per se. I’m surprised that Klout (or the other influencer marketing tools) do not already take engagement / impact into account.

    However, I think the hard part in influencer marketing is not in figuring out who to reach out to. By nature of being an ‘influencer’ in the real sense, these people already stand out in their industries.

    But the hard part is in coming out with quality content that the influencer will actually care about and retweet or reblog about it to their followers. Essentially, how does someone get a ‘Jason Falls’ or a ‘Arik Hanson’ to notice and rebroadcast their content? Is there an ‘easy button’ for that? Would love an answer to that question!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      There’s not an easy button for that, Zach. That’s all about the relationship. The tools only take you so far. But they should at least get you to that list of prioritized contacts.

      • http://www.referralcandy.com/ Zach @ ReferralCandy

        Thanks Jason. The questions I posed were a little tongue-in-cheek and it makes sense that tools only get you to a certain level, and relationships carry you the rest of the way.

        That being said.. there might be no easy button, but there may be a reproducible strategy –

        Step 1. Post a comment on the influencer’s blog
        Step 2. Get him/her to reply to you and start a conversation / relationship
        Step 3. World domination

        I kid with Step 3 =)

        Cheers and have a great Monday!

        • http://www.onalytica.com/solutions/onalytica-irm Thomas Lloyd

          Hi Jason, Zach,

          Thought I’d chip in :)

          Certainly tools can only ever be but one component of many in the content marketing process, as more “human” factors such as creating original, compelling content and building relationships with influencers will always be key to success here.

          However, when it comes to getting your content noticed by the right people, tools can go some way towards an “easy button” (inasmuch as this approach relies on quality content to begin with) – for example, using technology to automatically match your content against what your influencers are talking about (on Twitter, blogs, etc.) to surface potential opportunities to be useful and send your content to your influencers when it is relevant to them.

          While there are never any guarantees when it comes to influencer marketing, this can be a powerful way to seriously increase the chances of your content subsequently being shared/actioned by influencers, and across their networks.

          Tom

  • Larry Levy

    Jason,

    Insightful and honest post. You’re preaching to the choir when it comes to the team at Appinions as we’ve been beating this drum forever… How many failed experiments do marketers have to go through before they figure this out? Popularity & activity does not equal contextual influence.

  • Holly Hamann

    Thanks for the great article, Jason. Many marketers are still getting their heads around the whole idea of influencer marketing and are beginning to realize just how powerful it is. While I wouldn’t necessarily say it is easy, if done mindfully, it certainly is proving to be a powerful way to engage consumers. I totally agree that marketers should ask smart questions when looking for tools, technology and providers. It is entirely possible now to measure the individual influence of bloggers and influencers on a campaign (not just UV’s but comments, FB posts, tweets, likes, shares, votes, etc) and measure the dollar value of every piece of content produced and shared. At TapInfluence, we call this Total Media Value, which gives marketers the dollar value of all content produced and shared and this can be compared to their spend. Looking forward to following your content in this space.

  • http://pop-pr.blogspot.com Jeremy Pepper

    Pitched a company that was based on this idea, using machine language and other algorithms to see what relationships actually do work. Pretty fascinating stuff.

  • http://blog.wishpond.com/ Adella @ Wishpond

    Hi Jason. I totally agree that influencers can be an easy button to drive tons of traffic. The fab Mari Smith almost caused our server to go down this past summer when she shared our blog with her subscriber list. As an influencer yourself, I’m sure you get bombarded with requests. What types of “sharing requests” do you like to receive?

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