Let me start by saying that Influence Marketing is not only about influencers. Rather it is the systematic development of a strategy to create positive behavior change amongst current or future customers.
Influencers are a sub-category within Influence Marketing. They fall within four key elements within the Influence Marketing quiver. These four key elements are:
Influencers by their very definition are people who have the power to influence their communities and affect their behavior. There are two types of influencer profiles and in some cases an influencer can fall into both, these being online influence and offline influence.
Online influence is created through an influencer online and digital presence. The problem is, that people often confuse online influence for audience. Audience doesn’t necessarily convert to influence, although, it can if influence creates behavioural change. However, offline influencers are people with strong personal connections, and active social lives who are advocates for a brand/s who influence people on the ground within their communities.
The most important aspect of understanding and using influencers is to understand their organic narrative. This means understanding how they align to brands, and how you can insert your brand into that narrative by converting them into brand marketing influencers.
Communities are important as this is predominantly where messaging circulates and where advocacy is built. There are two types of communities, inbound and outbound:
Inbound communities share messaging within their communities and allow brands to become a part of that community, within this community there is a strong sense of comradery. Whereas, outbound communities share communication outside of their communities and will become broadcasters for the brand they advocate for. It’s important to recognize that within this community there may be a large sense of competition.
Environments are spaces or places where communities gather and through which marketers can influence these communities.
These are key influencing behavior because this is how you build the emotional connection between influencers and consumers. This connection enables the brand design to move consumers from what they do now, to what the brand wants them to do.