Category : Definitions

Unlock the Success of Influencer Marketing Through the 4 ‘A’s

influencer marketing 4as

Earth is flat and exists at the centre of our Galaxy…

If someone taught you this in school hundreds of years ago, no one would bat an eye. However, if this was taught today, our smartphones would prove them wrong before the chalk hit the floor.

The four ‘P’s of the Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) is one of the oldest marketing theories still enforced. It hasn’t faded from our textbooks and acts as the foundation for many marketing plans. Is it wrong? Not necessarily. Is it due to be updated? Absolutely.

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4 Elements of Influencer Vetting (Part 1)

It’s safe to say that most of us have seen a TV show where every character is driving the exact same car or a commercial where a well-known face is endorsing a product they have clearly never used in real life. In many of these cases, marketers are just trying to gain maximum exposure, regardless of whether or not the fit is right. Enter: Vetted Influencers.

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Who is Your Social Media Audience? Really, Who Is It?


I am actually askisocial media audienceng the question – who is your social media audience? And I’m asking because I don’t know.  Yes, it is important to identify your audience, to speak to them and to actively engage with them.  Doing so is vitality important to having your message heard and your brand promoted.  But as I was doing just this (identifying my audience) I stopped, and paused, and got stuck.  Let me explain.

The Social Media Audience

This is how I have come to understand the social media audience.  Your social media audience has different categories of people who engage and interact with you differently.

  •  At the very top, are your Relationships.  These are personal connections, who you have a meaningful, emotional connection with.  They could be personal friends or even family who use social media.  You communicate with them frequently.
  •  At the next level are Evangelists. These are the people who engage with you, who highly and often recommend you, and who you have on-going interactions with.  They are the super fans of you and your brand.
  • social media audienceThen there are these people.  These people have an interest in you and you have an interest in them.  But they don’t have that emotional bond you share with your relationships. And they are not an evangelist, cause they are not really super fans. They are more than a connection. They are something different. Who are they?
  • At the next level are Connections. These are the people who follow you and who you follow. Who you have established some kind of connection with and who you sometimes engage with.
  • Next, Acquaintances. These are people you know and have at some point engaged with, but infrequently and there is no real meaningful relationship between you.
  • Finally, there are your Followers.  Followers have some kind of interest in you, but have not interacted with you beyond a watchful, passive presence. Followers at any time may become acquaintances, or evangelists or even relationships once they start engaging and interacting with you more.

One other thing.  I use the term ‘audience’ throughout this post for simplicity sake, but I think its important to note that there is a difference between your audience and your community.  Your ‘community’ is your top level engagers – your relationships, evangelists and your ‘who are these people’.  Where as your audience would refer more to the bottom 3 categories, who have a more silent, watchful connection with you.  They act more like the audience of a broadway show – interested, and watching, but not interacting with the actors. 

The third-level of engagement

But now back to this third-level of audience.  I think this is an important group to define because this is a highly engaged group who are very important to maintaining interaction within your community and sharing your content.  These people interact with you, they respond to your calls to action and you are able to have 1-on-1 conversations with them.

We all have these audience members. People who we have built a relationship with via social media.  With these people, you have established a close, almost friendship with, but its not a relationship.  And their interactions with you a definitely different than an evangelists.

Think about your audience, who are ‘these people’ that fall between connections and evangelists, and what do you call them? 

Really, I’d like to know. Please leave a comment below, and share with your community!

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What Is Social Media Influence?

What is influence
Really, what is it?

It’s a term that’s really hard to define, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Klout deems themselves as the standard of influence, but is it actually influence that they measure? It depends – what are your goals?

If your goals are to have as many re-tweets and likes as possible, then yeah, they’re probably a decent measure of influence. But there are issues with gaming Klout sores that might render these engagement scores completely useless.

But what if you’re a brand trying to influence people to buy, or try out a new product? Klout can’t measure that. So what do you do, how do you measure influence? How do you even define influence?

What do the experts think?

Some of the top experts on “influencer marketing” don’t even agree on a definition of influence.

Jure Klepic (@jkcallas) states in one of his article that:

“popularity is not influence and influence is not popularity. I believe that the strategy of finding influential people is an old marketing tactic. With the web, we should focus on established connections and not simply on influential people. These people may not be as visible as the celebrities, and they may not have the highest Klout rankings, but they have the right attributes to produce the positive results you need… Marketers who can find and motivate large numbers of people with this type of clout will fare better than those who rely on celebrities with Klout.”

Now compare this to another influence expert, Mark W. Schaefer (@markwschaefer), who states that social proof is the best measure of online influence, or maybe the ONLY measure of online influence. In an article, he says that:

“A badge like number of Twitter followers or a Klout score may be the ONLY mechanism we have to determine influence in the online world.  Offline, we may have the chance to meet people, or ask a mutual friend to help us determine credibility.  But this type of validation is often not possible online, so we seek a shortcut, and on the social web, there are plenty of them!”

Even the experts don’t agree on the definition of online influence! Who’s right? Is the true definition somewhere in between? What is social media influence?

So what is social media influence?

Here are my views on the definition of influence: Influence is the art of creating action. In the case of social media, this could be creating action personally, or on behalf of a brand.

Your mom is an influencer, your friends, your boss, celebrities, actors, physicians, a stranger, etc. Anyone, at any point in time, can have influence over your actions. Even when they’re not there, they have influence over your actions! Have you ever found yourself wondering what your loved ones would think about you doing a certain action, or buying a certain product? They’re not physically there, but they still influenced your actions.

The point is influence means something different to everyone. From a brand perspective, it really comes down to what are your goals, and then finding people that can help you achieve these goals. If it’s brand awareness you want, find a few influencers with large audiences that can spread your message around. If you want sales, find people that can credibly talk about your product, and get them to help promote your message (e.g. professional chef endorsing a new type of jelly). Find out what you want to do BEFORE you try to find people that can influence action.

What are your views on influence? Do you have a definition you want to share? Please leave a comment below! :)


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The Challenge of Defining Influencer Marketing

One of the most challenging aspects of launching a new technology platform, particularly one to do with influencer marketing and social media outreach, a relatively new industry, is using the correct words to describe that platform.

As a start-up, you have to be able to explain what you do in 30 seconds or less. The “elevator pitch” must be easy to understand by a wide, diverse group of people. For us at InNetwork this is particularly true since we have to engage with influencers, marketers, investors and research analysts. Frankly, it is pretty difficult to satisfy everyone. In fact, I’ve been stopped midway through a sentence, by people who are quick to point out my incorrect use of descriptors.

influencer marketingLet me give you an example: I would refer to an influencer’s aggregate audience as a “channel” that marketers should leverage to achieve their media or communication objectives.  With InNetwork, a ‘channel’ of 400,000 target people could be created by building a roster of 5 influencers, for example. But the word “channel” may not be best to describe the aggregate audience.  In fact, it could even offend as it traditionally seems to refer more to commodities (like billboards or banner ads) than to content creators, who are often involved in social media outreach campaigns.

Another example may be using traditional media industry standard cost methodology and language.  When an influencer reviews or endorses your product or service we would report that as an impression, and we cost influencer impressions on a cost-per-mention (or CPM) basis to give marketers a guideline for budgeting and price negotiations. We then calculate unduplicated reach and frequency. If an influencer says, “try this product – it rocks”, that is going to be more powerful than a 30-second spot that is trying to achieve the same objective. But what about tweets? Although “potential impressions”, do they really deserve to be counted according to the same formula traditionally assigned to influencer impressions in media?

Perhaps over time the influencer marketing industry will define more standard terms of their own. “Impressions”, “cost per mention” (CPM), or “cost per endorsement” (CPE) will likely come to mean something different in the influencer marketing industry.  Until then, we must re-purpose the old, even though they have inherent weaknesses.

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