Influencers

99 problems and influence is one. 

Can I talk to you for a minute? I mean, can we really just sit down and have a conversation about something? As a Communications Director, I get a ton of requests and asks to "promote" an event using everything that we have. Basically, everyone is always requesting to utilize all of our channels to broadcast their "thing". My response, at least internally, is always the same: Why? 

I'm the guy who wants to know how the other guys are doing it. I want to know how the other guys are getting the words out about an event or product or ministry or whatever. So I study. I study my butt off. I research a ton of marketing companies, watch and rewatch commercials on television, subscribe to brands on Instagram and Vine and Snapchat, follow big and little churches on Twitter. Yea, like I said, I study my butt off. The one thing that sticks out the most to me during my studies is how brands are leveraging Influencers.  

Ok, so let's define an influencer really quick before I move on (I promise that I will make my point soon). An Influencer, as far as it pertains to branding and marketing, is someone who has a following and can use their experience with you, your event, or your product, to help drive more people (their people) to it. These are the people who without any gimmicks or push will promote on your behalf simply because they like you and what you have to offer. 

More and more brands are driving their efforts toward these influencers. If you want people to visit your blog, attend your event, etc., then your efforts need to change.  

We MUST begin to build a better product.  

Why is it so hard to get the word out about what you're doing even though you've done it before? Why are people not attending your event? Why does it feel like you're shouting about your "thing" and yet people aren't hearing it? It's because we aren't taking the time to build a great product.  

Since I work in ministry and have a lot of ministry followers probably reading this, I'll throw in this thought: If your event is not excellent and doesn't pull at the heart-strings of a person, that person has no reason to return and definitely no reason to share with their followers. If all you do is share details about your next event and you start with "Don't miss...", you've already lost the influencer. We should stop telling people "not to miss" and begin to tell them why they should attend or why they should use what we're putting out there.  

When your product is good, people will want to share it with their friends.

I've recently begun obsesseing over the company called Harry's. My journey with the brand, who specializes in all things dealing with shaving, started when I got a sample razor in my Birchbox a few months ago. I had been using an electric trimmer for my facial hair since puberty and was intrigued by this new razor. It was sleek and clean and had a rad logo on it. It also came with a coupon for 5 extra blades, which was obviously a plot to get me to their website. It worked. Sitting with my friend Roman, both of us intrigued by what we were viewing on the website, I ordered the blades. One thing led to another. I started subscribing to their blog, following their tweets and Instagram posts and really digging the lifestyle. Just last week, I dove head first and ordered their new shaving cream and after shave. And last night posted a full story on the product on my Instagram feed. Boom. They succeeded. Harry's won. They got to my over 900 Instagram followers without asking me to market for them. Their product did it. They made a good product, featured good lifestyle stories around it, and delivered on the promise that their products were good. 

 

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What if we took time to really plan an event start to finish and even the follow up? What if we wowed our influencers so well that, instead of trying to utilize every communications channel we had, we just let the people do the work for us? 

I believe if you build it well, they will come. Let's stop forcing people to consume boring dates and times and let's begin bringing value by producing great content, great products, and great events and letting the success of those things virally and organically promote for us. Let's go after the influencers.