Imagine yourself at a cocktail party. A woman comes up to you and starts talking right away. About herself. Her genius kids. Her impeccable house. Her amazing career. Her amazing life.

“Let’s be friends,” she says.

You excuse yourself and go get a drink. A mutual friend joins you at the bar, starts a casual conversation and mentions a few very nice things about Ms. Amazing on the other side of the room. Now you’re listening.

WELCOME TO THE MARKETING PARTY

In marketing speak, the first scenario is kind of like a brand saying, “I’m the best. Buy my product because I rule the world!” You become cautious. Guarded. Because, let’s be real, no one wants to talk to the loud woman at the party who only talks about herself.

The second scenario is akin to influencer marketing. Your mutual friend (the “influencer”) is essentially connecting a brand (Ms. Amazing) with you. And it often works. Because most people trust their friends’ opinions when they vouch for others.

INVITING THE POPULAR KIDS

Today’s consumers are more independent. They want to do their own research on products and services and learn about it from people they trust. We all know word-of-mouth marketing works. In fact, it can generate twice the sales of paid advertising. That’s nothing new. But when you combine word-of-mouth with influencers and social media, positive recommendations (and criticisms) can spread like wildfire.

Influencers are everyday people, but they are powerful in their own right. Active blog curators and social media mavens (particularly Instagram), influencers command followers ranging from thousands to millions. Many followers monitor these influencers so closely that they often read their blogs multiple times a week and are eager to buy what the influencer is wearing, driving or eating.

PICKING THE RIGHT THEME FOR YOUR PARTY

Aligning with influencers means having the opportunity to directly connect with their audiences through their voices. And because influencers have such loyal followers who truly know their personalities, likes and dislikes, they have to be careful in selecting what kinds of brands to work with. An interior design blogger, for example, would be hard-pressed to explain to her audience why she’s partnering with a dog food brand. Collaborations need to be genuine and authentic – and when they are, both parties win.

GETTING THE PARTY STARTED

To be clear, influencer marketing isn’t about recruiting random bloggers, handing them a creative brief and letting them go. It’s about finding the right mix of influencers who are passionate and eager to share your message, because it’s something that they believe in already – whether it’s a deep-rooted philosophy or a wildly patterned footstool. Finding that sweet spot will deliver the outcome you’re looking for: authentic voices speaking honestly about your brand while inspiring their audiences to take action.

Through Fraser’s research, experience and careful vetting, we’re excited to put influencers’ power to work for many of our clients, including Jonathan Louis, bewaterwise.com, and First 5 California. Each client’s audience helped determine out approach:

  • Jonathan Louis – We selected and partnered with key influencers in the design and lifestyle space, leveraging their expertise and credibility to spread the word about the brand’s stylish, durable furniture.
  • bewaterwise.com – We invited bloggers in the green or conservation spaces to a press conference.
  • First 5 California – We joined forces with dozens of mommy bloggers across the state to serve as trusted voices for providing tips and resources to support the Talk. Read. Sing.®

Our innovative tools and expertise help us pinpoint the right strategies and influencers to get the job done efficiently and effectively, and it’s no surprise that more of our clients are catching on and wanting to be a part of this different approach to marketing.

Now, let’s get back to that cocktail party. And I’ll have whatever Ms. Amazing is having.