Amanda Maksymiw: 3 Common Roadblocks to Influencer Marketing

By now, you know that influencer marketing is a great practice to build into your marketing mix.

After all, influence marketing is nothing new; marketers have been targeting influential people and groups in order to effectively reach their target audiences for years.  But there are new components to influencer marketing, with the most important being change being brought on by the Internet.

The difference today is mainly twofold: 1) the influencers in your target market include a whole new set of businesses and individuals, and 2) you have direct access to these people through social media. – Joe Pulizzi

Here are some challenges you may encounter when you start focusing on your online influencers:

  1. Not focusing on the right influencers. Influencer marketing can have a great impact, but only if you are targeting the right people, at the right time, with the right message.  Since virtually anyone online has the opportunity to become an influencer, it is important to do your diligence and screen each influencer before committing them to your list.  To do this, read their blogs, track their activities on social media, and review any metrics you can find (i.e. web traffic using Compete, Twitter followers, Klout score, etc).  Just note that your decision shouldn’t be based on one of these metrics but the whole picture!
  2. Not managing the relationships.  Influencers are human beings and won’t just react to your cold calls or emails.  You need to nurture the relationship just as you would in a sales process.  There are several ways to manage the relationship.  For example, you could keep track of your influencers by using lists on Twitter (tip courtesy of Joe Chernov) and track your activities in an excel sheet.  Or you could customize your Salesforce.com application to have a more solid approach.
  3. Delivering the same content across the board.  Chances are your influencer list is going to be fairly diverse.  Even if your influencers are focused on one general topic  they are each going to have different perspectives and different interests.  They may be interested in writing or hearing about trends or how to information.  To tackle this challenge, always take a step back and ensure that you are delivering the right content to the right influencer with the right message.  You may even take this a step further and develop influencer personas to better keep track of your influencers.

Last week the OpenView Labs team released a new eBook offering a complete guide to getting started with influencer marketing.  Take a peek for more tips on solving your challenges for influencer marketing and more.

Originally published 06 December 2011 on OpenView Blog

Amanda Maksymiw is a Marketing Associate at OpenView Venture Partners.
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