As almost everything has shifted into the digital realm, brand communication, and influence, are now also taking place on and through digital platforms. For your brand to succeed, you need to not only influence your target audience, but first and foremost, your influencers.
Today, influencers are not the same as they used to be. Thanks to the Internet, anyone and everyone can become his or her own media. Nowadays influencers are artists, celebrities, CEOs, creatives, leaders, bloggers, trendsetters, online journalists, and so on.
So how can your brand get a message across in today’s digital world?
In this post I have designated what I call the Triangle of Influential Marketing, or the three keys to feeding your influencers.
Here they are, explained.
The top of the triangle of influential communication is Information. In order to influence your influencers, it is crucial to feed them interesting information on your brand in line with your brand idea and brand belief. This pillar is well demonstrated by McDonald’s Canada video campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions.” This operation allowed people to ask their questions about McDonald’s, which McDonald’s in turn answered thoroughly through demonstration videos published on a dedicated website and their YouTube Channel. With this campaign, McDonald’s offered transparency on their brand like never before. This free and open information addressing sometimes touchy and sensitive questions also made for very shareable content, so influencers could pass it on and consequently turn viral. Giving your influencers information also allows them to respond to objections and gives them arguments to defend your brand, which they stand by.
2. Exclusive Access
The next key pillar in influencing your influencers is Exclusive Access. To get influencers interested in your brand, you must offer them exclusive, VIP treatment and advantages in the form of enjoyable and shareable experiences. This VIP treatment can be in the form of invitations to private shows or ceremonies, backstage passes, opportunities to test out products before their release on the market, and so on. It can also be co-creation, or letting the influencer be a part of your brand. This past year, Nina Ricci’s designer Peter Copping invited influencer & blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller to co-design a bag which they named Le Marché x Man Repeller, available on Net-à-porter. This win-win collaboration gave exclusive access to the blogger and trendsetter behind the scenes at Nina Ricci, an experience Medine in turn widely shared via her very popular blog. Giving your influencers exclusive access gives both your brand and the influencer exclusive visibility.
Finally, the last indispensable step in influencing new influencers is Services. Hotelied, a brand of luxury hotels, perfectly demonstrates this crucial aspect in influential communication by offering discounts to highly influential people. When a customer wishes to book a room at Hotelied, he or she creates a profile that is linked with his or her Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts. The more influential the client, the higher discount he or she will receive at one of Hotelied’s luxury hotels. The idea behind this is the customer with the highest influence will share his experience with the most people, and thus play a greater role in spreading Hotelied’s brand.
In today’s digital world, we cannot neglect influencers’ ability to advance a brand. Consequently, it is important to remember the three pillars of digital influential communication: Information, Exclusive Access and Services. So tell all to your influencers, treat them well, reward them, and they will give back to your brand.