Maximize Your Return on Relationship (ROR) in 3 Key Steps
Written by: Jasmine Chen
Last week, we outlined why financial services brands should start thinking about influencers; seasoned journalists, industry leaders, finance bloggers, self-directed investors and satisfied customers. We’ve also recognised that influencers play a vital role in fuelling digital word-of-mouth networks.
Indeed, the latest paper by TopRank Marketing and Traackr reveals that an overwhelming 71% of participants regard influencer marketing as strategic or highly strategic.
However, despite the growing recognition of the importance of influencer strategies, it is still clearly underused and – for all but the most advanced marketers – has yet to progress beyond mere “tactical” utilisation.
So how best to tackle influencer strategies?
First of all, strong personal relationship-building is essential in order to nurture a long-term engagement that is mutually beneficial. This in turn means making sure that what you have to offer is of value in order to gain something of value. After all, influencers are by their nature very well-known and established within their specific industries, and what they have to say about your brand can have a profound impact on your business.
Executive Director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions, Mark Scaefer agrees: “The true power of influence marketing is coming from: network connections of the individual; long-term collaboration that results in authentic understanding and advocacy; quality, trusted content that is seen and shared by a relevant audience; and face-to-face and word of mouth advocacy”
We’re used to meeting the demands of maximising ROI in financial services marketing, but now it’s time to think about your Return on Relationship (ROR).
To complicate things, often there is no single “owner” of these relationships with target influencers; such relationships needs to be sought and maintained by all departments through all channels.
While it would be easy to be put off by the complexity of nurturing influencer relationships, there are three key steps that anyone can take to create and implement a successful influencer strategy.
1. Revisit your business objectives
Whether it’s increasing brand awareness or launching a new product, service or program, there needs to be a clear alignment between your commercial goals and what you want to achieve by engaging with influencers. Your desired business outcomes will also need to suit the needs and expectations of target influencers and – most importantly – your ideal customer.
As a first step, this requires doing a deep dive into the psyche of your ideal customer and identifying effective and ineffective touchpoints. What are their motivators, pains and triggers? Who or what are their sources of information? And what channels do they use?
Armed with this information, you'll immediately be in a better position to establish meaningful engagement between your business, target influencers and ideal customers.
Take another look at TopRank Marketing and Traackr's top ten goals of influencer marketing; revealing that most aims are (and should be) customer-centric, and focus on raising a brand’s profile to in order to extend their reach to new audiences.
2. Understanding your target influencers
Secondly, invest a considerable amount of time in researching your target influencers, including an in-depth study of their past work, published content and communications behaviour – before you reach out to them. Tools such as BuzzSumo are a great starting point for identifying the top few individuals with the greatest authority and reach in your specific industry. To increase the likelihood of forming any brand partnerships, it’s crucial to also understand why and how influencers have earned their communities - from your customers' point of view, what makes these influencers interesting? From here you can begin to consider what a mutually beneficial relationship might look like.
Bear in mind that your customers' influencers may not be who you'd expect. So rather than grouping potential influencers into broad categories such as bloggers, journalists or industry bodies, try taking a more holistic persona-driven approach. Influencers come in many shapes and forms, and it takes time to find one with the right audience and motivation.
3. Measure for engagement, impact and growth
As with everything we do, clear KPIs should be established at the outset, so you can measure for engagement, impact and growth.
This can be done by identifying the outcomes that matters most to your business, influencers and – most importantly – your customers. This could be as specific as tying influencer KPIs to each stage of the customer journey (i.e. awareness, sales, support and loyalty), or making sure these KPIs complement existing metrics (i.e. reach, acquisition, conversion and retention). And last but not least, your metrics should also measure influencer engagement, performance and fulfilment.
With these building blocks in place, you should be ready to nurture new contacts and ultimately build a strong lasting relationship – with a partner who is happy, satisfied and brings out the best in you and your brand.
Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21
Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017
Click the headline to read the full article. Enjoy!
Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti
The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside
Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard
How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel
According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild
I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing
Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini
Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®. Many of us take our image and reputation for granted. Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke
The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier
Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter
Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond
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