Break Through the Noise in the Marketplace With Next-Level Influencer Marketing
Shayna Rattler, CEO, Corporate Attraction
To stay relevant and profitable in the overcrowded, commercial-avoiding marketplace—and with the decreased attention span of consumers—corporations can find it challenging to get seen and sell products and services. About a decade ago, corporations began to explore the use of influencer marketing because it appeared to be a viable means to solve the ever-growing challenge of creating effective marketing and understand how purchasing decisions were being made.
Advertisers and marketers can learn and unlock the power of this promising and underutilized tool in order to reach and make millions! The problem, as I see it, is that the potential of influencer marketing has evolved, but advertising and marketing departments are not fully optimizing that evolution.
Let’s face it: Traditional advertising and marketing do not have the same bang for their buck that they once had. Unless it’s the Super Bowl, consumers are fast-forwarding through commercials and driving past billboards without so much as a glance, and the information super-highway is so crowded that digital ads are skimmed over. At the same time, the largest single item in most corporations’ marketing spend is advertising, accounting for between a quarter and three-quarters of budgets. Yet the link between marketing and consequential revenues is rarely demonstrable.
The bottom line is that marketers need more than an audience. They need an audience that cares about what they have to say, and they need a way to influence the buying decision.
Influencer marketing, by definition, is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential buyers and orients marketing activities around those influencers.
There are three powerful principles that can give your influencer marketing efforts the biggest bang for your buck:
1. Don’t ignore the most overlooked sources of influence. Traditionally, the types of influencers utilized by corporations in their influencer marketing campaigns have been limited to bloggers and celebrities. These types of influencers typically have extensive reach and name recognition, but the issue is that their audiences often have a habit of bouncing quickly from one blogger or celebrity to the next as soon as the trend or season changes, and the blogger or celebrity typically does not know their audience on a deep level. It’s important to note that reach is not equal to engagement.
In contrast, there are micro-influencers who can have massive impact on a marketing campaign and produce astounding results. Examples of micro-influencers include life and business coaches, professional motivational speakers, authors, etc. Not only do these micro-influencers have a substantial reach to a large audience, but their audiences are already coming to them for advice and guidance as well, which means they trust and take action based on their recommendations. They typically serve their audiences in unique ways both online and offline, increasing opportunities and impressions for your brand.
2. Take a different approach to sponsorship. In addition to an evolving type of influencer that is not being tapped into, there is also an amplified way of implementing influencer marketing that is left untapped. Sponsorship is one of the most overlooked yet impactful sources of influencer marketing. Rather than a corporation simply hiring an influencer to post about their product or service through their social media channels or appear at one of the corporation’s events, they can tap into platforms where the influencer is already in front of their audience in the natural course of their work, such as live events, webinars, social media, private coaching programs, websites, newsletters, etc. This can be in the form of pure advertisement, but content placement and presentations by company representatives have proven to yield the best results and equate to more sales. The key to making sponsorship worth the time and money invested is to expand beyond the walls of only sponsoring nonprofit initiatives or live events. Consideration should be given to all of the platforms available by your influencers.
3. Go beyond social. Historically, social media and blog posts have been the flagship activities for influencer campaigns. In order to increase ROI on marketing dollars spent, a more diversified approach should be considered. I propose what I call a 360° Activation.™ This simply means going beyond a social strategy and relying on company-generated content to utilizing all platforms made available by the influencer. The driving forces behind the 360° Activation™ are engagement, content placement and using a combination of company initiatives along with influencer initiatives.
The harsh reality is that we live in an attention economy, and the only way to get and keep the attention of your ideal target market is to buy it. Additionally, corporations have to be willing to do something different than what they have always done.
Make next-level influencer marketing a priority now. If you continue to approach influencer marketing as usual or ignore it all together, you are preparing to be left behind, losing control of your brand and the ability to compete in a world where consumers are in control.
Shayna Rattler is the ultimate go-to matchmaker for top brands and influencers. As CEO of Corporate Attraction, a global consultancy based in Dallas, Texas, she has spent more than a decade working with corporations, entrepreneurs and influencers of all shapes and sizes to create perfect alignment between brands and talent for not only effective brand representation, but also increased visibility and profit.
An expert in understanding what makes you incredibly attractive to corporate sponsors, Rattler also created the exclusive training program Sponsorship Magnet,™ uniquely designed for business owners and up-and-coming talent who want to learn how to land corporate sponsors.
Her clients have included international best-seller Lisa Nichols, media star Steve Harvey, Susan G. Komen Foundation and big-brand corporations like UPS, Delta Airlines, State Farm and Mary Kay International.
Rattler has been featured in more than 250 media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Enterprising Women and Black Enterprise. In 2012, she was the recipient of the National Association of Professional Women’s “Woman of the Year” for her industry.
Her mission is to forever change the way that businesses in America market and prosper. To learn more about Rattler or Corporate Attraction, visit www.corporateattraction.com.