What's Your Brand's Influencer Strategy?

Kobe Bryant just received a retirement gift during the NBA All-Star game this past weekend. The entire line of Air Jordan’s, models I – XXX, from MJ himself! Nike struck gold when Michael Jordan erupted onto the scene by becoming the influencers of all influencers.  And 30 years after its introduction the “Air Jordan” brand continues to thrive. Having a macro-influencer as part of your brand strategy can make sense. Especially if it’s the right person who aligns with your desired brand image and can help meet your goals along the purchase funnel. 

However, more often than not, word-of-mouth is driven by “micro-influencers.” Your next door neighbor, a co-worker, or the circle of friends on your social network. As social media has embedded itself into the worlds daily routine, it has opened up innovative opportunities. Brands can now easily identify people who; are passionate about key topics, are wired into their social circles, and genuinely love to share out content of value.  Once these micro-influencers have been identified, brands now have the opportunity to build even deeper relationships with their most loyal advocates.

As I continue to interact and learn from start-ups in the marketplace, there are some that I’ll feel are worth sharing. Here’s the low-down of a start-up focused on influencers:

Name: Sideqik

What they do? They’re a marketing platform that identifies a brands best micro-influencers and activates them via content campaigns.

Value Delivered to Marketers? If the only one pushing out your content toyour audience is you, it's kind of like a bearded lady at the carnival promoting her own show. At some point you become a shill and consumers will see you as such. 

Finding a team of advocates who are authentically excited to share your brands story, can serve as valuable ground troops in today’s share of voice battle.

Why Brands Should Care? Consumers trust other consumers more than what brands have to say.  So here are a few things to note:

  1. The trend of Ad Blocking will only continue with Millennials and Gen Z taking the reins of digital media consumption.
  2. 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness. [Nielsen]
  3. 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy/Google/TNS]

I’m not here to say Sideqik is the only solution in the marketplace, though their capabilities are pretty impressive (and they are not paying me to say that).  The bigger question is however, what IS your brand's influencer strategy?