How to Fail at Influencer Marketing

By: Guest Blogger

November 16, 2015

By Kristopher Bober, Senior Manager at Accenture Digital, and Sandeep Kumar, Manager at Accenture Operations

With so much content available online, it’s hard to cut through the noise and make sure your voice is heard. For brands, finding and engaging with influencers can help spread your message, gain a buyer’s trust, drive action, and win customers. With studies from Nielsen showing that 92% of global consumers[1] trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising, business can’t afford to fail at influencer marketing.

How Influencer Marketing Works
So who exactly are influencers? Influencers are people who are very active in communities related to your brand promise. Most importantly, influencers are trusted, impartial, very active on social platforms, and have a voice that feels authentic to their followers. Engaging with influencers can help you tap into a much larger audience via people who are already trusted by your potential customers.

Building an influencer community can be extremely powerful when done right. At Accenture Interactive, we’ve helped many brands build and grow their influencer strategies. But, we’ve also seen a lot of common mistakes to avoid.

Common Mistake to Avoid: Engaging with Everyone
Influencers are everywhere online, from Twitter and Facebook to platforms such as Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. But that doesn’t mean all of them are right for your brand. Figuring out who to target for your influencer marketing campaigns is vital to your campaign’s success.

We’ve seen many brands pick out influencers primarily by the number of social followers they have. But the best way to identify influencers is by first outlining the specific goals of your marketing campaign.

For example, we work with a gas and electricity company that had found itself in the press for environmental violations and faced backlash that they weren’t contributing to the local community. We helped them identify strategies influencers with the specific goal of improving brand perception around environmental activities in mind. As a result, the influencers we picked out for this campaign were from political circles, environmental groups, and independent blogger groups. The influencers were key in helping to raise awareness around the company’s community engagement and environmental initiatives in an impartial and educational manner.

Insider’s Tip: Track Key Metrics to Help you Identify the Right Influencers
When identifying your influencers, you need to go a bit deeper and evaluate context, reach, and sentiment. The Clarabridge Engagor platform can help you easily identify influencers and monitor their activity.

When measuring context, find influencers who are relevant to your brand identity and check that your influencer’s followers match up with you target customer. Tracking reach isn’t limited to a single metric, such as number of followers. Identify numbers such as the number of retweets, snaps, pins, blog reposts, or how many people have commented on their social activities in a certain period of time. Finally, understanding the degree of positive or negative sentiment that influencers have towards your brand can help you figure out the best way to leverage them for your campaigns. Influencers with negative sentiment are also strategic to track, for example, to help you keep an eye on trends leaning towards brewing negative backlash.  Your ultimate goal is to find the right influencers who can drive your audience to act.

Once you identify your pool of influencers, create influencer maps to help you identify relationships within and between influencer groups. Use these maps to identify which influencers best support a specific campaign or attain a particular goal. For example, some influencers may be more relevant to engage with when responding to a PR backlash, while others can help you launch a new product, attract new customers, or build social advocacy.

Inspire Long-Term Value
When building out your influencer strategy, make sure to find the right people to help you reach your specific campaign goals. With strong influencer engagement, you can build more fruitful relationships with your customers; relationships that go beyond just purchase amount, and instead, inspire long-term value for both you and your community.


About the Authors

Sandeep Kumar, Manager, Social Analytics Delivery Lead, Accenture Operations. Sandeep has 9 years of experience across Strategy Consulting and Social and Digital Analytics. He has deep expertise in social media listening, digital marketing, value realization, and business strategy.

Kristopher Bober, Senior Manager, Accenture Digital. At Accenture Digital, Kristopher works cross-functionally to identify the most relevant social technologies to help clients manage the increasingly complex and fast-evolving social business landscape. Kristopher’s expertise lies in advising clients how to best leverage and integrate social media in order to deliver end-to-end customer centric and omni-channel solutions that drive business transformation.


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