5 Takeaways from the WOMMA Influencer Guidebook

jacob-hurwithRaise your hand if you have ever launched, considered, or recommended some sort of an Influencer Marketing program? Now, how many of you where just winging it when you launched the program (Ask yourself this question again after you read the new WOMMA Influencer Guidebook and see if your answer changed)?

The 2013 WOMMA Influencer Guidebook is a leap forward in five important ways:

  1. An updated definition that includes four critical elements: Influence, Key Influencers, Influencees, and Influencer Marketing and their relationship to each other
  2. The identification and description of five distinct categories of influences: Advocate, Ambassador, Citizen, Celebrity, and Professional/Occupational
  3. A discussion of three levels of program considerations a marketer should consider when constructing their influencer marketing program
  4. Clarifying the difference between “potential to influence” metrics from that of “actual/observed influence” metrics – there is a difference and different methodologies are required.
  5. A discussion and list of Attributes that an influencer can possess that a influencer marketing program manager can measure

Influencer Guidebook

Why did we undertake these five items in the guidebook?

A definition of influence and influencer marketing is nothing new. WOMMA, with the help of the Social Media Conclave wanted to clarify a few key points in the definitions. These were:

  • That influence is the ability to cause a change in opinion or behavior. Now, unless you are in people’s minds, a brand marketer cannot actually measure this. Instead, we as marketers and researchers measure proxies of influence as outcomes (actions) taken, both offline and online.
  • The initial actor that brands pay attention to is the Key Influencers. If the individual weren’t key, this person would be like everyone else and we wouldn’t be influence marketers, just marketers. Practitioners are seeking to maximize outcomes, therefore, they want to focus resources on those who are likely to produce better results – hence Key influencers.
  • It is implied in the definition, but influence requires two parties, the person doing the influence and the influencee. WOMMA is not the first to suggest this relationship; we do want to reinforce the idea that an understanding of all actors involved is important.
  • Lastly, Influence Marketing is what brands and communicators do to achieve a business outcome.

The guidebook calls out five distinct categories of influencers. We did this intentionally because each type of influencer requires different program skills to run. Additionally, each type of influencer is likely to be more effective at producing a specific business outcome for the business – you probably wouldn’t hire a celebrity to drive customer service transactions, but you would enable citizen influencers to write ratings and reviews. Therefore, the guidebook outlines three levels of consideration an influencer marketer will want to keep in mind when deciding on their influencer program and the selection of which category of influencer is most appropriate to maximize the results of their business objective.

Clarifying the difference between “potential to influence” from that of observed/actual influence is a difference often overlooked by brands and marketers. Identifying influencers and determining their potential to drive business outcomes is quite a different mechanical process than measuring the outcomes they achieve once the program launches. 

Lastly, not all influencers are the same. We define attributes that individuals or cohorts may possess that may aid in identifying key influencers. Additionally, improving the attributes of a cohort could be a program itself – getting your Ambassadors to communicate regularly and with compelling content, for example. Identify which attributes are critical for the success of your program and consider making them KPIs.

These five items in a single document make the guidebook an important read for anyone considering or implementing an influencer marketing program.

 

For the original post go to: http://www.womma.org/blog/2013/05/5-takeaways-from-the-womma-influencer-guidebook

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