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Influencer Marketing Tools: How Do You Influence an Influencer?
Posted on June 9th 2014
Influencer marketing is extremely difficult to get right. The very nature of influencers means they have some form of influence with your brand’s target customers. It also means they are hard to reach and even harder to influence. Reaching effective influencers is a tough battle even for brands with large marketing teams and plenty of resources. For the rest of us, it’s typically an exercise in frustration and missed opportunities.
Social media is an area where influencers can prove their social weight in gold. You can take the short sighted view and try to find influencers solely based on follower count, however they tend to be outrageously expensive and of course popularity does not always equal influence. (At least maybe not for your target customers)
Influencer marketing tools are a new and growing market. There are a great many platforms, tools and strategies for building a strong influencer marketing program. I found a new one that seems to have some solid potential. It’s called Postbokx.com.
Postbokx is a newly rebranded (previously Onwardz Social) and pivoted service that aims to connect brands with influencers and create a sort of ‘mutual benefit party.’ Brands get their message out; social media influencers get rewarded for their service (Get paid). It is a simple, streamlined service that is easy to use as an influencer. In fact it’s almost too simplified and streamlined as there are not really any instructions or guides so the whole thing feels a bit confusing to setup. They need to work on adding some hover helps, callouts or something to help explain the steps, odd fields etc. to reduce some of the friction in the on-boarding process.
Overall it was a mostly straightforward setup and I received my first influencer outreach gig within a few days. And I have gotten a decent stream of briefs.
So how does it work?
Postbokx’s concept is simple to conceive (but difficult to do well) Postbokx allows Brands to get in touch with Influencers directly to discuss social media promotion opportunities. They use the concept of “briefs” and “quotes” to make it feel more like an agency-client setup. Here's a short little video that walks through the concept pretty well.
An Influencer can receive a brief in 2 ways:
- Direct: A brand uses the search functionality to filter registered influencers (by topic, area of influence, geography, demographics etc.), see their pricing per activity and send them a brief directly.
- Send out a brief: A brand fills out a brief (Topics their audience is interested in, audience demographics, etc.) and this brief gets sent to those Influencer profiles, which match.
The interface is the typical post-modern un-finishedism so in vogue at all startups: Mac-white backgrounds, age-faded consignment shop vintage colors and minimal information.
You can approach it as a brand or an influencer. As an influencer, you create a free account and then start adding your social media platforms, blogs, and publications you write for and anything else you think might prove your worth as an influencer.
Make sure you pay particular attention to the “What do you talk about?” and Topics sections as those are used by brands to find and select influencers. Pro tip: keep your what you talk about section updated to keep on the brand radar. You can easily edit any section afterwards.
Several brands sent me briefs on what they wanted to accomplish. As always some were well crafted, clearly thought out and outlined mutual benefits, and a few were thinly veiled spam-like pitches with little merit. To date the majority have been the good ones. I simply declined the ones I did not like or that I felt did not match my personal brand.
I accepted the ones that met my criteria: I liked the product or service and felt it was valuable and worth talking about.
That’s the great thing about services such as Postbokx.com and others it allows both parties to retain some control and independence. You can pick and choose from any brief you receive. You can even negotiate a bit back and forth on the details of the campaign, the type of promotion and the payment for your services. Make no mistake, it’s still payment for services rendered but it’s certainly a welcome change from the usual groveling and justifications.
There will always be brands that put little to no value on marketing and will offer ridiculously low payment for your support and promotion. One of the best aspects of Postbokz is that it only attracts brands that are serious about it and willing and able to put at least some of their money where their marketing is. You may not get rich, but if it’s a great product or service that you like you might as well get paid a little bit to promote it.
After all if you are an influencer you should use your influence for good. Yours and the world’s.