Brands are obsessed with using influencers so much it’s now dominating conversations over programmatic. - this is recent feedback from a huge European industry event!

As a C-Suite Marketing guy I have burnt quite a lot of advertising dollars over the years. Getting a 'celebrity' to front your adverts used to be the epitome of how cool it is for your brand to be aligned & associated with such a BIG name, and of course how big your marketing budget was/is. 

Who remembers the Sly Stallone ads for 'Warburtons', or the Claude Van Damme adverts for 'Coors' & many others?

The one that sticks out for me (old school alert) was the guy 'Victor Kiam' whose famous phrase "I loved the product so much I bought the company". It seemed to work because, well, Victor came across as a genuine guy, and as for his product (Remington Shavers) his ringing endorsement seemed to hit home that the product was 'that good' we just had to believe him - after all, he did 'buy' the company didn't he?

All this was great, probably because we didn't know any better, nostalgic of course but also something that belongs in the distant past when we had no choice but to be spoon fed what time we could watch our TV programs, and be bombarded with adverts from which we had no control over.

Then came the internet, well to be truthful - then came online social networks.

Fast forward to today when at no time in history have you and me been in more control of where, how, and what we watch our flavour of content. Technology has empowered us so much we can now consume as much content as we can eat, and all without those intrusive adverts. So, if you need to get your brand message across, and get heard above the barrage of noise we have come to know as 'the internet' what have we chosen to do?

We have elected with our marketing budgets to seek out those cheeky millenials with their 'Instagram/Facebook' followers (how do they get zillions of followers?) and induce them to 'jack' their feeds with our product/service offer. WHY? because we don't quite understand how they do it.

Disney is a global brand with just over 2m followers on LinkedIn- think about it, a Global Brand with just 2m followers on a platform with over 600m registered users.

I don't know what business you might be in at the moment, but as you're probably reading this lets assume you are in either B2B or B2C - doesn't matter because the principles are the same, just slightly different objectives.

If you think you are too important to understand 'Social Media', or its something for the agency, or marketing team to post pictures of what we sell, then this is probably not for you.

Let’s look at how you could/should use ‘Social Media' as a highly effective program to drive brand attribution, at the lowest cost, creating the biggest reach, and most potent & authentic ‘influencer’ campaign EVER.

It’s called an internally aligned ‘Social Selling’ strategy & its cost don't increase as your reach and engagement aspirations do on 'paid media'.

How can this be you might ask, what do you mean I don't have to pay for this?

Go with me, this is for example only.

Assumptions: - It requires effort!

Company has an average of 50 employees , includes ALL areas of the company, and I mean everyone.

Each employee has an average of 500 connections on LinkedIn.

You encourage them how to write (subject matter) content, stories & conversations that reflect your company & brand (all in their own style) including all relevant keywords that are important to ‘why’ you do what you do.

Make sure they are NOT selling - influencers don't sell - they INFLUENCE!

{Scary shit eh}

Get them (including you and your board) to do that (consistently) twice a week each month for 6 months.

Your bit - {leadership required}

1st level influencer reach = 600,000

Imagine if they then interacted with comments, conversations & made new connections which grew that network even bigger?

Finally, make sure you have enough people to answer all the pre-qualified ‘inbound sales enquiries’.

The biggest ‘influencers’ of your brand should be it’s leadership team - FACT.