Why It’s Time To Hire An Influence Marketer
Should you hire an influence marketer?
Let’s take a step back – Ten years ago, content marketing was just beginning to gain traction and has now evolved into a marketing best practice for most companies. Having a full-time Content Marketer in-house is now considered standard within most marketing departments. It can be hard to remember what a marketer’s life was like before content marketing. Much like the evolution of content marketing, influencer marketing is the next wave of change that will drastically impact the marketing space as a whole.
The “Age of the Consumer”
Fundamentally, a critical shift has occurred in the way that marketers engage with audiences. Communication is no longer a one-way street from brands to their consumers, but instead has evolved into a busy and fast paced, two-way conversation that requires constant attention. This pivot has been named the “Age of the Consumer” due to the major shift in power and control. Thanks to social media, customer ratings and views have been given megaphones, through which they voice their opinions, both good and bad. Lonnie Mayne puts it best when he says, “In today’s hyper-connected world, a brand is no longer what it tells the consumer it is — but what consumers tell one another it is.” This major change has rattled the marketing industry and is in the process of changing the marketing role as a whole. The loss of control in conversations can seem overwhelming at times, so how have marketers reacted to this shift? Engaging more with their customers in different ways than ever before, on platforms that didn’t even exist.
The Power of Influence
When the customer voice is defining your brand, how can marketers manage this powerful voice? One word – influencers. Influencers have a greater share of voice than the average consumer and lead a majority of online conversations. In fact, 3% of the people control 90% of the conversations. By focusing on connecting and building relationships with that 3%, a brand can effectively rise above the noise and better reach their audience. Now that influencers have gained recognition among marketers, so has the need for an in-house marketing position to grow and manage these valuable relationships. The number of professionals who focus on developing, managing and growing these relationships on behalf of brands should naturally increase as well. I know what you’re thinking. Prove it. In order to make a human resources investment in influencer marketing there needs to be a ROI. Marketing impact and marketing spend are currently out of sync. While 61% of marketing spending goes towards paid media, authoritative content (such as influencer marketing) holds 51% of consumers trust.
Investing in Relationships
If you can, we would recommend having a full-time Influence Marketer allows influencer marketing to be done the right way. When a single person is dedicated towards influencer marketing efforts, it allows them the necessary time to build long-term relationships with influencers and track how these relationships progress overtime. It allows for genuine connections to be made and streamlines communications. Although many people on your team are forming relationships with influencers, having one dedicated person that manages and tracks these relationships will allow for a complete influencer marketing strategy to be built. Knowing where your relationship is It is critical that communications are personalized and consistent with influencers so having a central location and person that manages these interactions can greatly enhance the relationships that come from these efforts.
Time is of The Essence
Now is the time to invest in influencer marketing. Breaking into this space before it reaches mass adoption could reap huge benefits for your marketing efforts and your organization as a whole. Good influencer marketing strategy is rooted in building and developing relationships with influencers. Without having an employee dedicated to developing these relationships, your company risks being lost in the noise. If you aren’t building relationships with the right influencers but your main competitors are, and by the time you enter the race your competition might be at the finish line.
Influencer metrics are essential to executing a successful influencer marketing program. Being able to prove the ROI of marketing has become an essential piece of the modern marketing puzzle. It is imperative to collect data and analyze it in order to make informed marketing decisions. The same is true with influencer marketing. Analysis is necessary to see what methods of influencer marketing are working, and revamping what isn’t. Whether you are interested in seeing keyword mentions, share of voice, or tracking shares of links it is critical to have a person dedicated to these efforts. Having a marketer dedicated to influencer marketing allows for influencer efforts to be properly tracked.
Who to Hire
Influencer marketing is so new that it may be hard to find qualified candidates who have significant past experience with influencer marketing. In order to help bridge this gap, look for candidates with PR or Community Management backgrounds. PR because the ideal candidate for an influencer marketing position knows how to network and build strategic relationships with critical influencers in your space. Not only can they build relationships, but they know how to get long-term results from those relationships. They know how to act as a spokesperson for the company when meeting new people. They should also know how to maintain strong connections with influencers and know the right time to leverage relationships.
Community Management because social media managers and community managers already have experience building online relationships and can easily translate these skills to spearheading influencer relationships at your organization. Many of our amazing users are social media managers by trade.
Some candidates have begun to add influencer tools to their qualifications. So, look also for candidates who have experience working in multiple social media and influencer marketing platforms.
If making this hire isn’t doable for your marketing department at the moment, that does not mean you are out of options or should give up on influencer marketing. In order to begin managing influencers all you need is someone on your marketing team to be the main point of accountability. If kicking off influencer relationship management is a top priority, turn to your PR and/or social teams and channel their relationship building skills.