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So what is influencer marketing anyway? I’m not sure I really like the term, but it does describe one of the most successful strategies that marketers have at their disposal. Don’t be confused by the fancy words. We’ve all been utilizing influencer marketing our entire lives — we just didn’t give it a name. Remember the first time you asked your mother for something that you really wanted, and she said no. Then you promptly went to your father to convince him why you had to have that precious doll, trinket or gadget. And voila: Dad convinced Mom that it was a good idea and you got your prize. That is influencer marketing at its most basic.
The first person to really codify this was Dale Carnegie when he published How to Win Friends and Influence People more than 75 years ago. The book’s fundamental message — that success comes from understanding people and influence — soon became one of the best-selling self-help books of all time and a mantra for businesses and marketers the world over.
Big brands have been courting influencers since the silent film era, always looking to sway the buying decisions of their target audience. The advent of social media has changed the playing field and brought online influencers into the picture. Now anyone can take part in this game to grow their business. Once you understand that an influencer is anyone who is able to shape the opinions and behaviors of your target audience, you can start building your tribe of advocates.
While you don’t have to call it “influencer marketing,” you need to know who makes up your target audience, how they buy and who can influence them during that process. Those are your people, treat them like gold and they will be the best advocates for your brand.
We asked some of the most successful marketing influencers we know for their best insight.
Let us know what you think of these influencer marketing ideas! Do they inspire you? Are you utilizing some or all of them? I’d love to hear about your personal experiences. You can send me an email or find me on Twitter at @sethstuff.
Special thanks to my friend and collaborator, Barry Feldman, who really should be on this list as well.