Every brand has a certain personality and some brands have even adopted a specific way of communicating with people. The challenge is finding a connection with people and this is where the influencer can play a direct role, potentially connecting with people the brand was previously unable to connect with.
The original role of the influencer was to find early adopters and work with these people to build brand awareness. In this respect the brand will often abuse the influencer, expecting them to be extremely vocal, over communicating and even spamming people about the product or service. The safety of this approach is that if people complain, it is easy to blame the influencer, or you can own the space – depending on how brave you are. There is no doubt that you need to be different and that is when you get noticed. It is often difficult for the brand to be different, but working with influencers can certainly bring about a difference to the way people perceive, engage and interact with your brand. Opinions can be given by influencers and the reaction of the audience can be gained, instead of the brand having an opinion that may be rejected by the audience.
The stories told by the brand will be seen only as self-promoting unless they are stories told about people who interact with your brand, but they could still be viewed as contrived. However, when you establish deep relationships with influencers, the stories can be far more authentic. These relationships will need to be nurtured and the communication well thought of if you are aiming for a specific outcome.
If you want to be really authentic however, you need to provide great service by simply being kind to people and showing them empathy. If you are able to do this, every story that is ever told will be authentic and all you need is to ensure that influencers amplify the stories so that as many people as possible can hear your message.
Stories have incredible power. When someone can feel that they too could have been part of that story, then stories get told and passed on. People want something to talk about to get them noticed, and when they can be part of your story, they will carry your message forward.
Advice vs Truth
When talking about a product or service, too often stories involve how you could possibly use it, instead of how something was actually used. This is the same as when you ask a waiter at a restaurant if he would recommend an expensive dish and in turn he replies “sorry sir I don’t know, we only get to taste the cheaper items on the menu”.
Authentic stories are truthful stories and it is the truth that resonates well with people.
Stories are built over time, but it is your duty as a brand to find the stories that are being told about your brand, product or service.
Start with what you know and then broaden your brand engagement using the influencers.
Finding the stories can be done by social media listening, but influencers can and should also encourage their audiences to tell the stories. This is when brands can get the real value from an influencer.
Who is your audience?
Always try to understand your audience and how you can connect. Look for creative ways of getting influencers to interact with your audience. This can be achieved by using a variety of influencers with varying personalities, thus ultimately appealing to a broad spectrum of personalities.
When thinking about influencers brands often tend to go for the big names, but more often than not these big names are more interested in building their brand and earning big money, instead of actually becoming a strategic influencer with a brand. These big name influencers will also be stingy and share as little as possible, whereas the smaller influencers will often give you much more value and share a great deal more.
Therefore for the same budget as one big influencer, you can often get ten smaller niche influencers, which will result in you getting 100 times as many stories to share.
Never forget the small people who interact with your brand, product or service on a daily basis. These people include the delivery people, the security guys and other people who are actually the real face of the brand. It is important to think about these people and think of some way to empower them in your influencer plan.
When it comes to modern marketing and especially influencer marketing, there are no silver bullets. Thinking differently, constantly looking for new stories and trying creative ideas will definitely pay off in the long run.