5 Tips for Selling Influencer Marketing to the Man

YOU are a convert. How do I know? Easy, you’re reading this post. Your boss on the other hand, not so much…

You’ve been waking up in sweat in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to convince your boss to throw a few dollars your way to get started with influencer marketing. Here are a few pointers to help you make your case.

1: Reframe the conversation and debunk any influencer marketing myths

The way to debunk the preconceived ideas senior folks may have about social media marketing and influencer marketing is to have a simple business conversation. Here is an example:

Your boss’ preconceived idea:
I don’t believe in influencer marketing (unstated: I don’t believe in social media).

You reframing:
“Yes you do! Our company spends a good chunk money on research firms like Gartner, Forrester or IDC in hope their analysts cover us. Our sales force offers up special pricing to win the hearts of our VIP customers. Marketing runs referral programs and takes extra good care of our top referrers”.

“Influencer marketing simply creates a structure on a very important practice already established in our organization. By concentrating more time and resources on influencer marketing across our channels, we can amplify and unify many of things we are already doing”.

For more fodder, take a look at our presentation on going Beyond the Hype of Influence.

2: Focus on impact, not activity

Your CMO or CEO has their eye on their quarterly targets so you need to demonstrate how influencer marketing impacts their bottom line. For decades, the (mass) marketing profession has been obsessed with activity metrics as a measure of success.

When it comes to influencer marketing, activity metrics make your influencer campaign look A LOT smaller than it actually is because when you spend time cultivating relationships with high yield individuals, you are choosing to focus on a smaller number of people who have a disproportionate ability to impact your bottom line.

Instead, focus on impact metrics, the language of sales and Wall Street. Is this initiative moving the needle (more leads, more sales, more profit, less cost)? Speak that language and management will hear you.

3: Think big, aim small

It’s important to share the long term potential of influencer marketing with examples from competitive or analogous brands, but you need to quickly move the conversation to a well-scoped project that can yield tangible and measurable results quickly.

Managers understand the cost incurred when you are late to the party. So, if you can show the opportunity (think big) and translate it to a concrete project to get started (aim small), management will pay attention.

Get ideas for how to start small and scale in our Guide to Influencer Marketing.

4: Walk in with a plan

Do your homework to identify concrete opportunities where influencer marketing could be tested and make an impact. Articulate the goal of the project, expected outcomes, success metrics and the execution plan, which includes Traackr of course :).

Walk in with some baseline data to give context for the project. For example, have a sample list of influencers you plan to engage and show your team what they’re saying today about your brand and your competitors. This is an excellent way to get to a serious conversation with the powers that be.

5: Measure and adapt and measure some more

The key to success in influencer marketing, in your conversation with your boss and yes, even in life, is to walk the talk. Make sure to share state what you’ll measure (KPIs) and how you’ll measure it.

S/he can help you get the access you need to measure success (e.g. get your sales force to log a new lead source for your project). It’s critical to start measuring as you start your project because it enables you to finetune what you do.

You might find your project generates additional results that you decide to start tracking. Your ability to define and track those KPIs is what will turn your boss around and convert him into one of us :).

If you need more pointers or have questions, please chime in. Or reach out to anyone on our team, we’re happy to help.

* Give credit where it’s due. The good folks at Expensify inspired this post. Thanks guys and keep up the great work de-sucking expense reports!