The following publication was a contribution by David Koller from Media Gurus and may not reflect the views of Tech Help Canada.
If there is one universal thing that holds true in the world of business, it is that interpersonal relationships are the most important skill one can possess. Think about it, does a CEO of a major steel manufacturing company know more about steel than any of their subordinates? Of course not! In fact, there are dozens, even hundreds of technicians more efficient at this. Accountants know more about the numbers, while team leaders may be more proficient as project managers. So, what are the skills necessary to keep it all together? Knowing how to handle these different types of experts interested in your company and Brand.
In a present-day world, a lot of your company’s efficiency can be attributed to its performance in the digital world. This raises yet another question – in what way can inter-personal relationship give your company’s digital footprint a boost? The answer to this question might be simpler than you’ve expected:
Through good relations with the right influencers!
But there are a few things you need to know about this to ensure that you’re picking the right Influencers.
1. Number of Followers is Not The Same as Influence
The way in which this relates to the world of influencer marketing is also quite transparent. Like with any other group, there are certain divisions amongst influencers. This mostly comes down to the networks on which these individuals are active and popular on.
The crudest division tries to simplify the influence of these people by focusing on the sheer number of followers. Influencers with less than 100,000 followers are considered to be micro-influencers, while those with more than a million are usually considered to be macro-influencers.
The first major misconception about the number of followers is that they indicate one’s, well… influence in the digital world. This, however, is as far from the truth as it gets. You see, a micro-influencer who is an expert in the field may drive more sales than an A-list celebrity who has nothing to do, whatsoever, with your products or services.
2. Influencers Can Only Get You So Far
Even though their importance should not be underestimated, you need to keep in mind that influencers aren’t all-powerful.
Look at it this way, if your website is unprofessional, non-responsive and constantly crashing, your audience will turn away from it regardless of who vouched for you. Apart from this, some of the most reputable influencers will steer clear from working with you in fears that this affiliation will damage their own reputation. This is why your brand needs to be able to stand the ground on its own before it can fully reap the advantages of influencer marketing.
3. No Such Thing as Insignificant People
Think about some of the greatest scandals in history and you will soon see a pattern. Namely, they all began as an effort of a single outraged whistleblower. Because of this, in the age of the Internet where everyone has a chance (through various platforms and social networks) for their voice to be heard by millions, there is no such thing as insignificant people.
This should also come as a warning, due to the fact that succeeding to disappoint, offend or disregard the wrong person might result in some serious brand damage for your company. Unfortunately, a lot of people have a hard time staying diplomatic when their ego is attacked.
4. Think About Brand Ambassadors
As it happens, influencers should not be the only target demographic that you try to appeal to. What about average users who use your products? Sure, their reach is significantly smaller than that of their influencer counterparts but their services usually come free of charge.
In other words, they generate an insane ROI. According to the latest statistic, companies worldwide spend about 1 billion dollars annually on Instagram influencers alone, while brand ambassadors spend the word of your brand out of their own conviction.
Apart from being more cost-effective, this also means that the message they are sending is more genuine and, therefore, more convincing and relatable.
5. Working to Your Mutual Benefit
In his iconic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, author Dale Carnegie states that people aren’t interested in what they can do for you but what you can do for them. This is a principle that can be applied to all relationships including that between your company and the influencer in question, as well as that same influencer and their followers/audience.
While establishing a relationship, you need to look for those influencers whose personal brands will benefit from association with your company, seeing as how they will be the most motivated to help you out.
Remember, just because you are paying for the service, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other party will be motivated to give it their best.
At the end of the day, while it is true that most aspects of marketing are evolving and changing forever, one principle that remains at the helm of this industry is networking. The greatest difference, however, is the fact that now you don’t have to mingle with people on corporate events and seminars but can simply establish this mutually beneficial relationship online.
While this may sound a bit impersonal, keep in mind that the basic mechanic of interpersonal relationships hasn’t changed at all. This is why your own relationship with influencers might play a pivotal role in the future success of your brand.
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