In this article, you'll learn...
- How to build relationships with powerful brand influencers
- Three key concepts about using bloggers as influencers
- The four pillars of mastering marketing judo
The following article is based on excerpts from Ivy Worldwide's Social Media Judo: The Essential Guide to Mastering Social Media and Delivering Real Results for Your Brand, authored by Chris Aarons, Geoff Nelson, and Nick White (with Dan Zehr).
To carry off a marketing campaign worthy of a judo master—one that derives the maximum success from the most efficient effort—a company must craft a program that benefits online influencers as much as, perhaps even more than, the company itself.
That means you, the marketers, must ask the influencers you've targeted at least a few questions to get input before you launch into the campaign. It means you have to first build personal relationships with these bloggers and content producers—the people who can influence hundreds or thousands of your customers. It means coming to influencers with an open mind, keeping their needs in mind first, and demonstrating that approach at every turn. And you must offer those bloggers and your online partners a way to promote themselves, their expertise, and their value to their audiences.
Otherwise, your conversation with influencers—and, by extension, with your customers—will dry up pretty quickly.
Every brand wants a cadre of evangelists who can help sway millions of readers with product reviews, blog posts, videos, tweets, etc., but the only way to do that is to allow influencers to make up their own minds, post about what they believe, and adopt your message as their own.
Those influential bloggers might not give you a glowing review for your latest product, but by establishing a track record and relationship with your key influencers, you can get valuable feedback on your product development, support processes, and marketing cycles—every part of your marketing engine.
Besides, bloggers—like anyone, really—are less likely to trash a company they know and trust, especially if they like the people there. They may give your product a good review if they don't really know you; but if you build a personal relationship with them, they'll give you the benefit of the doubt when you stumble (and, let's face it, everyone stumbles at some point).
Three Key Concepts