My team and I just held a recent event based on a book I contributed to… on influencer marketing with Nick Hayes, co-author of Influencer Marketing: Who Really Influences Your Customers.
The interactive session provided a select number of friends with an overview of the strategy involved in developing a model for engaging with key influencers. The efforts of Microsoft, Palm, Lego, Adobe and other companies were reviewed and we spent some time discussing how social media can harness the power of influencers.
Influencers in vertical markets can provide a rich return
The approach has proven especially effective when targeting groups within vertical markets–especially early adopters who may be highly technical. One case presented a set of users so driven by their needs that they used a software product in ways the company that developed it never thought it could be used.
Here are a few nuggets from Nick’s book:
- As mass media impact wanes, the role of influencers grows
- Blogs, wikis and other social media are enabling new influencers to emerge. They also disperse traditional sources of influence.
- Most of the money spent on influencers is being spent on the wrong people, leaving the real influencers all too often untouched.
- Influencers may not do the buying, may not be not obvious, usually can’t be bought, and start off neutral – which is why their potential to affect sales is so great.
- Influencers are not all equal – they can be assessed, ranked and prioritized to be used effectively.
- Influencers can be influenced. The greater question is how to get to them to generate market awareness and leads.