Since announcing our book at the tail end of last year, both Sam and myself have been asked why write a book on influence marketing.
Additionally, some people have said they’re looking forward to the book because “it will put social scoring [Klout] in its place” (paraphrased).
The answers to both points are simple.
For the first question, while there have been books written about social scoring and growing your own influence, we wanted to write a true business book on how influence marketing can be used for that most important element of business longevity – lead generation, sales, and the customer life cycle.
For the second question, this is definitely not an anti-social scoring or an anti-Klout book.
Instead, we offer our methodology (and the platforms that can use this framework), to truly understand what influence marketing is, why it’s important to business, and how to use it as a lead generation tactic with true measurable results and clear strategies to build advocacy, profits and customer engagement.
It’s what Sam and I call The Business of Influence, and for us it’s where the third wave of influence comes into play and will move the space forward.
Beyond Social Scoring
As I mentioned at the start of this post, we don’t discount social scoring platforms, contrary to the popular belief of some people.
We see where they offer value (initial identification of groups and conversations), but we also understand where their limitations lie. PeerIndex in particular are open about who they cater to – the mass information and data regarding the 70,000 people relevant to a topic versus the truly influential seven who can drive real actions and contextual reactions.
For businesses, however, social scoring currently doesn’t dive deeply enough into moving the customer along the purchase life cycle; nor does it offer the kind of in-depth analysis and the way an influence campaign can be disrupted via several situational factors.
It’s this kind of data – how a message is disrupted, how it can be put back on track, who are the secondary and tertiary influencers that can step up to redirect a disrupted message, etc, – that brands are clamouring for, and which we provide the framework for in the book.
The Influencer of Tomorrow
Another reason we wrote the book is because, as marketers ourselves, we saw a core area that the popular definition of an influencer was missing.
Whereas the route for an influence campaign on scoring platforms may be built around identifying mass numbers and attracting with brand perks or similar, to entice conversations around a product, this was still placing the influencer themselves at the heart of the marketing circle.
But, as we’ve seen countless times before from brand campaigns and case studies, if the influencer is either generic or one built on amplification and sponsored by a brand, does their trust factor get diluted? And, if it does, where does this leave brands looking to actually drive sales from these campaigns?
What was needed was a clearly defined path to where influence tips – that moment a decision moves from interest, to intent, to action (ideally, a purchase), and beyond.
By identifying this tipping point, brands could clearly identify who the true influencer is – and, as we share in the book, it’s not the usual suspects of today’s influence model, and is one of the key reasons influence marketing as it stands today is still seen as something of an enigma.
Brands know getting influencers to promote their product or service can be beneficial – but, much like celebrity endorsements, can be rife with risk as well, if the influencer isn’t chosen wisely.
This is where we felt a new methodology had to come into play.
For the original post go to: http://influencemarketingbook.com/the-business-of-influence/