One of the most underused but overly effective marketing strategies I've seen lately is the concept of brands powering an opt-in network of influencers.
I look at building a network of influencers as having these branches:
- Organic influencers
- Happy consumers
- Paid media
- Fans who don't know their fans
- Opt-in influencers (advocates, super fans, brand ambassadors, and other buzzwords)
My recent ebook, The Dangers of Not Owning Marketing Relationships, is a complete guide for marketers to solidify and build out all branches of their influencer relationships.
For the sake of this post, I'm just going to tackle opt-in networks and how some brands are making a killing with this tactic and others need to jump on the band wagon!
What Does an "Opt-In" Network Look Like?
Opt-in friendly: One of the most overlooked but most engaging aspect of building an ambassador network is having a strategy in place that allows fans to "opt-in" to your influencer network. In the form of a blogger network and other social presences, brands all over are seeing huge success by implementing programs where influencers apply to be part of it.
Why should my network be opt-in friendly?
- Cut down process of activating ambassadors for new message or product
- Passion is there
- Authentic shout outs
- Vetted for fit
One of the many benefits of powering an opt-in network is that brands can cut down significantly on the process of getting a new message or product promotion out. Since these influencers are already vetted as fans and as having an authentic connection to your brand-they can quickly be activated when needed.
- If you're a GroupHigh user you can deploy a form through your homepage that links to your GroupHigh account.
- You can also use Google webforms to capture your applicants.
Give Them Something to Talk About
One of the most important jobs a marketer has when managing a network of brand ambassadors is communicating with them. This is not to be confused with mass emailing them, asking them for constant favors or only checking in once a year.
Since the goal is to earn posts and media about someone's experience with your brand, it's important to equip your network with creative assets and to stay on their brain for ongoing experiences.
Creative ways to interact with your network to stay on their brain and score brand mentions
Here a few ways that you can provide that extra something to score extra word of mouth recommendations from your network.
• Produce creative content in the form of videos and infographic that don't talk about your brand, rather talk about a pain point your average consumer experiences.
• Send packages for their birthdays
• Give them exclusive product and information
• Have events just for them
• Share your brand's human element with them. Cool stories, values and even an occasional happy hour selfie helps humanize you
• Survey and invite them to weigh in
Have you seen any examples of brands who are powering opt-in influencer networks? Share in the comments!