This Simple Exercise Will Kickstart YOUR Influencer Marketing Strategy
In the MIX, we talk a lot about Influencer Marketing because it is so immeasurably valuable to your business. Word of mouth customers are just better overall — they convert easier, tend to spend more, and are more positive and optimistic from the start because they already have a level of trust and confidence in your business that has transferred to them from the person who recommended you.
One of the core values of MIX is a fundamental belief that MARKETING IS A LOVE STORY. And so, the key to a strong Word of Mouth strategy is to first create an epic experience for the customer. If you haven’t already, then you’ll definitely want to start there–focus all of your energies on serving your clients and customers in such a way that they cannot help but fall in love with your brand. People refer others to your business because they want to share something they love. Not just because they might get a discount voucher for doing it.
Influencer Marketing is all about that purely love-centered referral model.
Once you’ve developed a customer experience that you’re really proud of, the next step is to tap into that affinity that your customers have for your business. But where do you begin?
Here are three steps that you can do today that will kick off your Influencer Marketing efforts:
First, ask yourself and your team a simple question: “Who are our top three customers?” and for this exercise, do NOT overthink or over-define what it means to be a ‘top’ customer. Whatever your reasoning, write down those first three names that pop into your head. Using this sort of thinking, formulate a short list of your initial Influencers.
Take a look at all of the decisions that you’re currently facing in your business–perhaps you’re considering a new marketing campaign for next quarter or maybe you’ve made changes to your website. Whatever you’re grappling with, give some thought to ways that you’d really benefit from directly hearing your customers’ feedback. Define ONE thing that you’d like to get feedback on and then create some sort of fun experience around it. Your goal here is to take this short list of top customers and provide them with an experience that demonstrates how you perceive them as an influencer — you’re looking to make them feel seen and heard.
Once you’ve identified your list of Influencers and constructed a meaningful experience, reach out to them, preferably by a personal contact such as a phone call or handwritten note — or maybe even step up your game with a nicely packaged message that will really grab their attention. This is a great opportunity for you to surprise and delight them, so make it meaningful and memorable. Let them know that you have noticed and appreciate their loyalty to your brand and explain your ask, carefully describing exactly what it is that you want from them. You may say something like "We appreciate your business and the fact that you refer so many of your friends to us. Now, we'd like to get your insights ... ". Keep it really simple, emphasizing that there’s no gimmick, nothing for sale, you merely value their opinion. Give them clear directions as to what sort of feedback you’re looking for and let them know the next steps. Here are a couple of examples:
SPA OR SALON: Let’s say that you’re considering a new line of hair products. Then the experience that you create might look like this — reach out to your top customers, let them know that you’re considering a new line of hair products and would value their opinion on them. Ask if they’d be willing to try them at home for a month and then give you feedback. So for that feedback, you invite them into the salon for a free styling of their hair and then take a photo of them, thanking them for trying the new line. If they are comfortable, you film a short video with them giving their opinion. Then, you thank them profusely and ask nothing more.
SMALL BUSINESS: Let’s say that you’re interested in launching a new website. The Influencer Marketing experience that you create might be that you reach out to your top customers and let them know that you’re thinking of revamping your website. As one of your most valued customers, you’d really like their opinion on what’s most important to them and ask if they’d be willing to spend five minutes reviewing your current website and then providing you with answers to three simple questions that you provide to them (remember, keep this simple and easy for them to quickly complete). Proactively reward them, maybe with an item from your collection if you’re in retail or perhaps a nice gift from another local business. The point is to surprise and delight this person as you reach out to them. The key isn’t so much in what you’re asking from them, but rather that you’re engaging with them, demonstrating that you appreciate their feedback. Let them know that you’d appreciate them being one of the first ones to offer honest feedback on this new website once it launches.
Resist the temptation to sell them anything—at this point, with this small number of influencers, you aren’t trying to sell them anything, this is purely an investment on your part and all that you’re asking in return is just feedback.
This exercise will, with very little effort, provide you with the jump start that you need to tap the magical power of Influencer Marketing. Where will you go next with your Influencer Marketing efforts? When you become a member of Marketing Idea Exchange, you can head over to the member forums to discuss!
MIX is a like-minded community of entrepreneurial leaders who find marketing tactics that simply work. 70% of small businesses manage their own marketing. Whether you oversee or execute, if yours is one of them then you are one of us.