Moscow ballet dancers

Watch the ballet. Save the world.

Earlier this year I attended Ballet under the Stars, I haven’t been to the ballet in years and it was definitely worthwhile! It was actually a dress rehearsal, but the organizers had very kindly agreed to allow children from MINDS to attend free of charge. It was a private viewing of the ballet mixed with really fun interaction from the Artistic Director (choreographer).

I’m pretty sure it didn’t cost the theater company anything, and was helpful for the performers to have an audience. It had tremendous value for the kids & their parents though, not to mention our team of volunteers (who were suitably impressed). Even though it was a great opportunity, there wasn’t any press coverage. They did it because it was a good thing to do. It was a small contribution to making the world a better place.

“The Marc Benioff approach of choosing one thing that you can work towards is a great way to ensure your business makes a positive difference in the communities it serves, while ensuring that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. What one thing does your business do to help others?” – Richard Branson

Whether it’s Richard Branson who thinks that protecting our natural resources is a great entrepreneurial opportunity, or Marc Bernioff who is committed to creating equal opportunities for women in the workplace – one thing is clear. You can make a profit, get some good PR, and save the world at the same time. If you Google either of these two moguls you’ll see articles talking about their social work, but both are very distinct. They’ve focused on specific areas and are recognized as personalities that represent the cause. Whilst trying to save the world, they’re recognized as being evangelists for their particular cause. Which is much more news worthy than being known as “that guy that does alot of charity work”.

Rather than jumping at every opportunity, find one cause that you believe in and work towards it. It’ll help you develop expertise in an area, achieve more – and for the Machiavellian, might lead to some recognition & good PR opportunities.

What do you believe in?

Female incluencers with megahorn

Forging authentic influencer relationships that drive measurable results

Influencer marketing is a medium built on trust and authenticity. The deeper an influencers relationship with their audience, the more weight their voice carries. Like all mediums consumers have already started to become inert to paid advertising delivered through influencers. So how do you get your message out with influencers?

These 7 steps provide practical advice for selecting influencers, as well as creating and maintaining win-win relationships that drives measurable (yes, measurable) results.

  1. Shortlisting your influencers
    Selecting the right influencers to work with is critical to successful influencer marketing, it’s worth putting the extra time and effort at the tart to make sure you’ve found the right person. These four elements will help you make the right choice:
  2. The right audience 
    You know your customers, and your customers are already busy listening to, and interacting with influencers. Start by choosing influencers that have the same audience that you’re interested in. That ensures that any message they communicate has the maximum possible impact.
  3. Size of audience 
    Whilst it’s important that you get the largest reach possible, working with influencers that have millions of followers is considerably more difficult than working with those that have several hundred thousand. Don’t get too small though, the smallest of magazines will have a readership of 10,000 which is probably the smallest audience size you’ll want to accept.  Any smaller and the effort likely won’t justify the returns. Conversely it’s been shown that influencers that have considerably more than 100,000 followers have much lower engagement rates – and therefore lower impact.
  4. Engaged & conversational 
    Engagement isn’t just about their posts attracting likes and shares. For an influencer to be effective they need to be constantly interacting with their audience. Check to ensure that they’re not just broadcasting, and they’re having actual conversations. You may also want to check how quickly they respond to messages (if at all), as speed of response can have a considerable impact on the value of a message.
  5. Involved
    Influencers that are already engaged with your brand are the most likely to become brand evangelists – with careful nurturing. These should be at the top of your priority list, and should be treated with special care. They’re already talking about your brand, and you need to deepen that relationship. Without at least an occasional pat-on-the-back, you risk your organic (the best type) influencers getting disillusioned or moving on to a competitive brand.
  6. Solicitation, Payment & Rewards
    Not all your influencers will appear organically, nor will they all approach you, you’ll need to go out and find some on your own steam.  Where ever they come from, it’s important to set some ground rules for your engagement with influencers. Will you pay them for their efforts? Will you provide product samples? How many will you fund/sponsor? How will you differentiate? There’s no hard and fast rule about how much to pay influencers, when I asked Christopher Dugal, Head of Social for Zalora, he recommends avoiding paying influencers and sticking to product sponsorship.
  7. Measurement
    Like all good marketing campaigns, your influencer campaign can be measured. To quote Jay Baer “True influence drives action, not just awareness”, so instead of tracking the classic measurements such as volume of tweets, posts, sentiment and likes, try tracking referral links tracking mechanisms. By providing each influencer with an individual referral tracking URL, you can quantify how much traffic and how many conversions each of your influencers are generating. Even if they’re not commissioned or paid, there are lots of incentives you can provide them for using the links – from additional kudos & recognition in your formal campaigns, through to early access to your new products.

Run through these steps when you’re building you influencer campaign. It’s a good idea to go through them every couple of months just to make sure you’re still on track – and sticking to the principles you originally laid out.