We’re hugely excited to welcome best-selling author and Principal Analyst and Futurist at Altimeter, Brian Solis, as keynote speaker to WAVE 2017 Influence 2.0 Marketing Summit.
Brian will share his vision of Influence 2.0 and why as an industry we need to completely re-think how we have approached ‘influencer marketing’, including customer and employee advocacy. We caught up with Brian to talk influence.
Get your tickets to WAVE 2017: waveinfluencersummit.com
What is the problem with Influencer Marketing?
In a word or three, it is basic, unstructured and promising. We are still operating under Marketing 101 assumptions. We are really not doing anything new. Current influencer marketing strategies are really just taking the principles of broadcast marketing and applying it into a new paradigm.
Marketers too often confuse the word influencer with celebrity. They don’t press pause to understand what the word influence actually means. All of my research around influence – and not just influencer marketing, but what influence actually is – shows that most marketers don’t actually understand what the word actually means.
So, there's confusion first of all on what influence is - the definition?
Yes, marketing is guilty of misappropriating almost every word it adopts, like engagement, impressions and experience.” What the dictionary says the word means is to cause effect or change behaviour. And if you look at both of those aspects, you can have a before state and an after state, of which you can measure.
Influence is not related to the number of followers that an individual has on a platform like Instagram, but rather that individual’s capacity to alter their follower’s behaviour.
Instead of solely measuring metrics like reach and Likes, influencer marketers should be assessing the state of something in any given place at any time and then assessing the effect of your work against that benchmark*.
*Brian speaks more about this in his new paper ‘The Influencer Marketing Manifesto: Why The Future of Influencer Marketing Starts With People And Relationships Not Popularity’
Do marketers need to re-think ROI around Influencer Marketing?
ROI, if you really start thinking about it from this before-and-after perspective, means Return on Influence. There is a different influencer for the different types of outcomes you want to have – and there isn’t only one type of outcome that you should seek! This is why influencer marketing can be far more strategic and universal throughout the organization in that it is not a one trick pony it is actually very complex if you give it the time and attention.
What is influence 2.0?
Influence 2.0 is asking the audience to become far more strategic, thoughtful and also pioneering in how we modernize influencer marketing to be value-added throughout the entire organization.
Stop doing ‘influencer marketing’ and look at ways to add value to influencers and the people they reach. Everybody should get something out of an influencer marketing program: the audience, the influencer and the brand.
How does this tie into the modern consumer?
Connected consumers are so much more sophisticated, empowered, informed and also self-important now. In fact, everybody, in their own way, is influential.
As such, influence can no longer be measured by superfluous numbers such as followers, likes, comments, reactions, etc. It’s much more meaningful and significant. Influence is about real-world influence and trust. Among everyday consumers, trust in brands and executives erodes each year. At the same time, according to Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer, trust is increasingly democratized. For the ﬁrst time in its study, “a person like yourself” is as credible a source for information about a company as a technical or academic expert (all three at 60%). Credibility of CEOs is at an all-time low, with a 12-point decline in the last year.
Influence literally means the capacity to have an effect on someone or something. And now, influence and trust is connecting people with others like them via social media. Nowhere does it say that influence is the capacity to get views, likes and shares. Those are just activities tied to engagement. The key is to always measure the states of before and after and develop strategies that move the needle toward desired after effects. But more so, doing so must always yield mutual benefits and value to all stakeholders.
Join Brian Solis and other leading experts in building brand influence and advocacy at WAVE 2017 Influence 2.0 Marketing Summit on 14 November, Kings Place, London
*Get your tickets to WAVE 2017: waveinfluencersummit.com
Leading brands including Ryanair, L’Oreal, Suzuki, Yotel, Time Inc, Kuoni, Air Mauritius, Warner Bros, Orange Business Services, American Express, EDF, NSPCC, The FA, Costa, General Electric, The Dune Group have already signed up to attend.