Influencer marketing tops the charts in 2015

Publishing a blog and identifying 10 influencers to form relationships with is a good place to start

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EDMONTON, Alta. Nov 27, 2015/ Troy Media/ – Disruption in sales and marketing left many savvy business leaders bewildered over recent years. But social media began to stabilize in 2015 and it turns out that influencer marketing and blogging are winning the day.

We know this because several major studies, including the Augure Management Report asked social media experts to predict the trends for 2016. Here’s what they found.

  1. Influencer marketing matured. A reported 93 per cent of respondents agree that using influence marketing in social media gives better results in terms of visibility and recognition. This compares to 70 per cent satisfied respondents last year.

My take-a-way: This strategy continues to prove itself for my business and for my clients who started with zero presence in the online networks. The catch: It takes time and attention to find your influencers, respect them by liking and sharing their efforts, and build relationships.

  1. Influencer marketing requires persistence. This is a big challenge that marketers face (76 per cent). Among others:
  • Follow-up activities of the influencers (32 per cent)
  • Sufficient budgets to implement campaigns (26 per cent)
  • Automated processes to engage interaction (26 per cent)
  • Qualified personnel (8 per cent)

My take-a-way: 1) Discover influencers who share your values and vision. 2) You’ve found a ringer if they agree to collaborate with you; of course, not 3) everyone will share enthusiasm for your mission. 4) If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

  1. Twitter is preferred by influencers. The Augure study revealed that Twitter leads the way with 68 per cent while 54 per cent of respondents prioritize blogs. Facebook follows at (51 per cent), Instagram (24 per cent) and LinkedIn (20 per cent). The art of persuasion, though, is a delicate dialogue based on several levels of knowing, liking and trusting your connection.

My take-a-way: The door is wide open to find those individuals – if you capture their attention and follow up. An invitation to a live broadcast using Periscope on Twitter or to LinkedIn is another touch. It also is a good idea to move these connections to email or offline.

  1. The main motivation for influencers: Community and content quality Influencers often are motivated by the greater good. They respond to the needs of their community because they keep up relationships with their members. Find common ground that serves the influencer and community within context of their brand.

My take-a-way: We want to see leaders’ commitment to the community. Your employees feel better about their collective efforts, your customers appreciate the shared empathy, and you get to feel really good about it all.

  1. Collaborate with influencers at events or on blogs. Ideally, influencers will join you at various corporate events (appreciated by 70 per cent of respondents). Next, blog posts are proving valuable (69 per cent). Business bloggers boost your enterprise when they agree to amplify your efforts, interview leading lights, or simply mention you and your organization. Other types of preferred content include:
  • Video 44 per cent
  • Webinars 32 per cent
  • White papers/studies 29 per cent
  • Infographics 27 per cent
  • Press releases 26 per cent

My take-a-way: Two key methods for establishing a brand profile are a do-it-yourself strategy or tag along with someone who’s paved the way. Again, a collaborative spirit will serve you well.

  1. Social media marketing is everybody’s business.

A powerful strategy is to find influencers among your employees, customers and partners. Here’s why:

  • Those with social authority have a wider reach. They often are researched by followers who value their opinion;
  • Content published by influencers is considered worth their followers’ time;
  • Experts keep themselves informed about their industry and form respected opinions on their industry.

Establishing presence in the digital world can seem overwhelming. Start your influencer marketing campaign by publishing a blog and identifying 10 influencers to form relationships with.

Communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a print business magazine for 21 years. She now works to assist clients in digital marketing. Sharon is included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.

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