We all have influencers we love to follow, whether it is on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or another social media platform. These types of influencers are great, but they aren’t the only ones out there. There are influencers of all kinds, including marketing influencers. These people might not be as glamorous as the ones you follow on Instagram, but they can be very effective when incorporated into your marketing strategy. On the Real Marketers Podcast, Laura Rose, Global Marketing Director at STANLEY Security, discusses how her marketing team started an influencer program in the security industry (yes, you heard that right) and how they saw a ton of success from it.
There Are Influencers in Every Industry
As marketers, we need to shift our mindset from influencers only being social media gurus to influencers being all around us. There are influencers in every industry, even if you don’t realize it. They are the subject matter experts, thought leaders, and visionaries that understand and predict where an industry is heading. In fact, there are probably influencers within your own organization. When you shift your mindset about who can be an influencer, you can start leveraging the power of these individuals by helping them grow their reach and helping your business grow.
Influencing Goes Beyond Social Media
Just like we need to shift our mindset on who can be an influencer, we also need to rethink where influencing happens (spoiler alert: it’s not just on social media). While social media might be the place we are most familiar with seeing influencers in action, that doesn’t mean it’s the only place where their reach is effective. One example Laura gave on Real Marketers was using influencers to create long-form content rather than a social media post. This could be in the form of a blog, case study, or infographic. These pieces of content might then be posted on social media, but there is more substance behind them. This is a great way for thought leaders and subject matter experts to share their expertise with others.
How to Create an Influencer Strategy Internally
Creating an influencer program within your marketing team really isn’t that difficult. Why? Because you likely already have multiple industry influencers on your team. When creating an influencer strategy you should first consider what topics you are going to focus on within your industry. This will help you narrow down what influencer will be a good fit. For example, you might be in the security industry, but you want to focus on mobile messaging or mobile marketing in the industry. Or maybe how mobile apps are being used. Next, you need to find a group of influencers who can start creating content. The trick here is that you need to make sure you are offering them something in return. Make sure you are helping them grow their personal brand while they are helping grow your brand. Finally, make sure the pieces of content are being shared by internal team members. This last step should be fairly easy because when you connect content to a person’s name, people are more likely to share it because they are proud of the work that has been done.
Creating an influencer program can actually be very easy and successful once we establish that influencing can happen outside of social media. If you want more tips on how to create an influencer strategy or how to get your team on board, you can listen to Laura’s full Real Marketers episode here.