Category Archives: influencer-marketing

Connecting influencers to your brand: VMWare Speaker Bureau

The topic of influencer marketing has come under a lot of scrutiny lately, especially around the notion of paying influencers to write content positive towards your brand.  I think it’s important not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater here and not consider all influencer marketing to be equal.
For example, take a look at this approach VMWare Code takes to making influencers feel a part of their brand:
Key points:
  • These folks all have some relationship to the brand. They are either customers or partners to VMWare.
  • Most of them have built their own personal brand on social media, which the page highlights
  • As the page points out, these are not necessarily paid gigs for influencers: that only happens over time
  • I found the page via a paid social ad with a focus on one of the speakers and their photo – a great example of humanizing a paid social strategy
vmware_influencer
Bottom line here is that at its core, influencer marketing is about building relationships. The way you build relationships can range from thoughtful to sporadic to overly-commercialized.
Just as with any business relationship, you need to engage in a way that reflects you and your brand.

Comments on ‘Advocate Marketing Explained’ (@briangladstein)

I like the way Brian Gladstein makes his point in this presentation on Advocate Marketing:

It’s interesting that Brian focuses on the customer as advocate and not other groups such as employees or partners. That said, he does make the case why customers are increasingly important for SaaS providers whose customers can switch services at the drop of a credit card.

What struck me as interesting:

  • You should think way beyond just social media activation, but consider engaging advocates for product innovation, speaking at conferences, training.
  • Buyers get 57% of the way through the buying process before they talk to a sales rep. I’ve seen similar stats for the amount of time purchasers spend off-domain before they visit your website. Bottom line: you need to externalize as much of your marketing as possible. 
  • The agreement is one that should have mutual benefit. Make sure you are giving as much as you are getting!

If you want to find out more about Brian and this area, check out Explorics.