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The New World of Influencer Marketing

I got to sip on a very hot topic at the Business Growth Café with social media expert, author of Maximize Your Social, and social media agency owner, Neal Schaffer. Neal helped to reconfirm many of my maxims about social media marketing along with illuminating some new exciting territory that we all need to start venturing into if we aren’t already.

If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it

First things first: if you don’t use it, you won’t get it, and if you don’t get it, you’ll lose it . . . the revenue opportunity, at least. As a business owner, if you aren’t a user of social media then you aren’t going to truly understand why and how a customer is using it in the first place. So if you just perceive Facebook or Instagram as just “another potential revenue channel” but you’re not a user yourself, you simply won’t be effective at it. It’s essential to understand the first-hand experience of your customers.

For those of us who feel a knee-jerk reaction to say, “but digital shouldn’t replace the real world!” I agree, as does Neal. It’s about the Yin and the Yang: people are digital-first, no doubt about it (even if you doubt), but offline events and marketing are still very powerful if they are integrated with digital. Don’t go to one extreme or the other but find the harmonious balance between the two. You’ve heard me say it before . . . there is no silver bullet when it comes to marketing.

Conversions are Key

Many of us can be seduced by big social media “vanity metrics”: lots of video views, likes, etc. But often, when you look under the hood to see who actually clicked over to your website or bought something . . . let’s just say it ain’t looking too pretty.

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to conversions,” says Neal.

Amen. It’s far better to have a video with 500 views that resulted in 50 clicks and 10 product purchases than a video with 2,000 views that received 10 clicks and 1 product purchased. Don’t be overly seduced by the young intern who can show you flashy numbers without the return.

The New World of Influencer Marketing

“People don’t trust brands, they don’t trust ads, but they trust people,” boldly states Neal, whose current passion is what is called the influencer economy.

What is a social media influencer? An influencer is someone who has an audience that listens to and trusts them and can help introduce your company to potentially more business. Historically, these were just like celebrity endorsements: Michael Jackson with Pepsi and Michael Jordan for Nike. Nowadays, due to the democratization of media, these “super celebrities” have spread out into a small demographic of people who have cultivated their own tribe of online influence. Hell, it could be your neighbor across the street who is an expert on garden tools, or your client’s kid that is a sunglasses fashion guru. You wouldn’t know it on the street but these people, in the online world, have the dedicated eyes and ears of many.

Tapping into these people in order to grow your business is what is called influencer marketing, and those who utilize this marketing are going to be vastly more successful than those that ignore it. If you’re going to spend money, spend it on content or the people who can introduce you to their tribes.

To learn more about influencer marketing, listen to my podcast with social media influencer expert, Neal Schaffer. Click on the picture to hear the podcast.

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