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What is influencer marketing and how can you improve it?

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 17 Aug, 2017
Essential Essential topic

New report download - the Definitive Practical Guide to Influencer Relationship Management

Influencer marketing has grown in importance in recent years as the popularity of content marketing has grown. Influencer marketing is an exciting strategy with “84% of marketers worldwide saying they would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next 12 months” according to eMarketer

For the lack of a better analogy, if influencer marketing were to take human form, it would be an awkward just post-pubescent teenager. It’s growing up yet not quite mature; it’s gaining a voice but isn’t always taken seriously. But teenagers do eventually mature, they just need some guidance along the way. The exact same goes for influencer marketing.

What is influencer marketing?

You'll know that influencer marketing is not a new concept. Word-of-mouth, social influence, PR and Public Affairs are all closely related.

Influencer marketing has many different definitions and forms as you would expect in such a fast moving and evolving marketplace. So it can be hard to understand when, how and why to use it to support marketing. This new free guide from Onalytica - The definitive Practical Guide to Influencer Relationship Management draws on the expertise of many leading experts in Influencer relations to explain how influencer relations can be best applied to modern marketing.

The guide explains this measurement framework so that you can see how to prove the commercial value and ROI of influencer marketing:

Influencer marketing measurement framework

Although the common industry category and buzzword is 'influencer marketing' this report focuses on Influencer Relationship Management which is the most organic form of Influencer Marketing where relationships and partnerships are at the heart of the strategy. Building organic relationships with influencers is based on an equal value partnership between the brand and the influencer where the goal is to deliver value to your target audience.

As so often in an emerging marketplace there are lots of different versions of the truth so it is important to state what is NOT Influencer Marketing as well.

Our view of influencer marketing is NOT:

  • Paying celebrities to endorse products - this is advertising
  • Sponsorship or Product placement - this is advertising!
  • Selling directly to Influencers and customers - this is advertising

What does the new influencer guide cover?

With such confusion across the industry on what TRUE influencer marketing is, these are some of the key messages and takeaways from the paper:

  • How to start influencer relations programs
  • What can be achieved
  • How to measure success
  • You don't have to pay influencers; there are copious opportunities for organic engagement
  • There has to be something in it for the influencer AND your brand
  • Integrate different skill sets within your strategy
  • Influencer marketing ramps up and increases the quality of your influencer generates content
  • Success heavily lies on credible influencer discovery

The hurdles and challenges expand beyond just getting started however: the subject of fake influencer; how best to work with influencers without necessarily offering financial compensation and how to best integrate influencer marketing into your marketing mix.

The bottom line is that everyone seems to want to do it, but given the industry's fast-moving and evolving nature coupled with the lack of established 'best practice', there needs to be some guidance and frameworks in place to provide clarity to brands - something that hasn't been done yet.

Download our Definitive Practical Guide to Influencer Relationship Management to improve your influencer marketing.

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