#1 Incorporating Integrated Influencer Marketing Throughout the Customer Journey
Influencers can be classified into 3 main categories: mega-Influencers, macro-Influencers and micro-Influencers.
If 2017 is the year of micro-Influencers, then 2018 is going to be a year of integration. There will be a growing demand to formulate integrated influencer marketing strategies which will weave together mega-Influencers, macro-Influencers and micro-Influencers as well as merge other well-established word-of-mouth strategies such as Loyalty, Advocacy and Referral Programmes. All of which will result in an integrated customer experience strategy.
Influencer marketing aims to build an experience and emotional connection between a brand and their target customers. This means building relevant content touch-points along the entire customer journey.
Depending on where on the journey a marketer may be focusing their efforts, different influencers, content channels and strategies can be employed.
In order to generate awareness in the social media space, brands can work closely with macro-influencers and micro-influencers who are relevant to their business. At this stage, influencers create inspirational content through storytelling to introduce new products and feature capabilities to followers. This will instantly elevates brand’s image and fosters strong brand affinity among their fans.
At this stage, Influencers answer common questions about the product and services. Often times, it means taking the prospects through a series of interactions by providing interesting, educational and valuable content. However, creating good content is difficult. Determining the type of content that is appropriate for the business and taking into the consideration the unique proposition of each influencer the brands are working with isn’t easy either.
With heightened interests, businesses can start planning offers or promotions exclusively for the influencers’ followers or subscribers on social media. This is when brands can demonstrate that what they are selling will satisfy desired needs through reviews or testimonials etc. The right offer (with the right price), with proof confirming the quality of the product or service, will enhance their desire to purchase.
At this stage, influencers direct customers to the correct paths and channels to complete their purchase or further evaluate options (measured in downloads, trials, demonstrations, inquiries, purchases, etc.) After the prospects transform into paying clients, it will prove the brand has used its social media channels successfully. One of the returns of investment (ROI) of social media marketing is converting leads into sales. But it is relatively challenging to measure how many people convert to customers through influencers. One of the most common method is to use ‘promo-codes’ and track the conversion brought about by each influencer.
Besides placing emphasis on Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action, delighting a customer through the whole customer journey is the underlying factor which will turn a customer into a brand advocate. By leveraging on social media, this sales process can be extended to the point of turning the customer into an advocate for your product. When customers engage actively and spread the word, they become great ambassadors who can continue the brand’s sales cycle automatically.
The word-of-mouth that advocates spread is powerful. The more advocates one has developed; the sooner one can reduce the cost-per-user acquisition through influencer marketing.