“Though blogs and influencers don’t get a large portion of brands’ digital spend, they rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence … In short, where brands are spending is not fully aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value and being influenced.” — Technorati 2013 Digital Influence Report
According to Technorati, 65% of brands are participating in influencer marketing. Among the influencers surveyed, nearly half report being paid for a sponsored post or article. So, while brands are incorporating influencer marketing, they’re not getting super creative with the tactics. If we know that influencer marketing is an effective way to shape consumers’ perceptions and buying decisions, marketers should develop campaigns that foster ongoing relationships, not just one-off blog posts.
With that in mind, here are 10 opportunities to boost your influencer marketing beyond a basic blog post:
- Establish an advisory panel, where influecners can receive early access and provide invaluable feedback
- Create a content partnership, like this one from Cision and Jay Baer
- Bring the influencers to your customers through a “roadshow,” similar to this workshop series from ExactTarget, featuring Jason Falls and Nichole Kelly
- Partner with an influencer to serve as an ambassador on behalf of your brand at a conference
- Organize a meet-and-greet or cocktail hour with an influencer as the “headliner,” like we did for this client’s launch party
- Organize a webinar, with an influencer as the “hook” to drive attendance, similar to how we helped Marketwired host a number of influencers, including Amy Jo Martin, Chris Brogan and Chuck Hemann. (Bonus: This can also serve as a lead-generator for your company.)
- Host an intimate dinner, perhaps at a conference or tradeshows, for a small group of influencers, letting them network with each other and your brand
- Initiate a “takeover” on your brand’s Facebook or Twitter page, where your online community can ask questions to the influencer, similar to a Reddit AMA
- Woo influencers with some surprise + delight love
- Host a Q&A session in the comments on your blog, like Spin Sucks did last week with Michael Brito.
How have you extended influencer relationships beyond a standard blog post? Have questions about implementing any of these ideas? Give me a shout on Twitter, or leave a note in the comments. Let’s brainstorm!