A 3 Phased Approach To Influence In The Customer Journey (and worksheets, too!)

It’s increasingly true that we trust friends, colleagues and experts more than advertising.

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Marketers who get this devote time and resources to creating authentic relationships with the people who matter most to their business. These people are the ones who influence your customers and shape your industry.

Influence Is Everywhere

In the past, influence was exerted by a select few (analysts, journalists, celebrities). Now, influence is spread out. And influence isn’t just about reach – it’s about relevance.

In the words of Jeremy Waite, Head of Digital Strategy at Salesforce EMEA, “nobody cares how big your audience is.” Your job is to find the most important people for your brand – whether they’re among your prospects, current customers, industry experts or passionate individuals – and build real relationships with them.

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How To Find The Right Influencers

The process of finding the right influencers is what puts your influencer marketing strategy into action. It’s a deeply human approach that relies on your ability to be creative, interpret what you observe and develop themes that are meaningful to the people you are targeting.

We suggest a three-phased approach to use along side your methodologies and processes you find useful to discover the people that matter most to you:

I . Understand your customers and define your user profiles

Finding the right influencers for your marketing activities starts by developing a deep understanding of your customers’ needs, goals, and aspirations. Mapping out who you want to influence, what their needs are and who they rely on for information will help you determine who is truly influential to your customer.

II. Map the customer journey and identify influencer touchpoints

Once you develop your customer profiles you can start mapping out their customer journey. At each stage of the journey, your customer will be asking different questions and turning to different sources for information and guidance. To figure out the most relevant influencers to engage, you need to know what your customer is looking for and who they are relying on for advice.

III. Derive topics for each touchpoint and find influencers by topic

After you’ve mapped out the customer journey, identified key touchpoints, and figured out what types of people play a role in your customers’ decision-making and information gathering process at each stage of the journey, you get more clarity on possible topics to engage your customers via influencers. You can then develop relevant topics for each stage, generate keywords from those topics, and start looking for the people leading the conversations.

Now how are you going to get all this done in a scalable, organized manner? Oh, we have downloadable worksheets to get you started! Throughout this process, influence dynamics will become clearer, helping you see how influencers play specific roles in your customers’ decision making process. The end result will be an influencer identification strategy that ties directly to your business goals.