Remember that girl in seventh grade who always had the hottest, latest cropped jacket or denim skirt, and made sure everyone else wanted it, too? Put her on social media, amplify her reach planet-wide, and you’ve got one of the most sought-after entities in the contemporary marketing world: a global influencer.
While this may be a slight oversimplification, the overall concept remains the same: a global influencer is someone with the sway to make other people all over the world buy certain products and services. Let’s take a closer look at the growing area of Influencer outreach, along with how to take your Influencer marketing strategies to the global level.
The 411 on Influencer Marketing
While word of mouth has always mattered, it’s more important than ever in the world of social media. Why? Because people neither like nor trust traditional advertising anymore. Which begs the question: what — or more accurately, who — do they trust? The answer is simple. Other people.
And while friends and family may seem like the obvious candidates for eliciting trust, a different breed of online gurus has emerged in the form of influencers. Including everyone from moms to Millennials, these 21st century power players — who earn their influencer status through a combination of expertise, popularity, and reputation — don’t explicitly sell, but instead “share.” In doing so, they foster an irresistible sense of authenticity among their network of followers.
Just how much do influencers matter? According to Tomoson, a software-as-a-service company aimed at blogger and influencer outreach, influencer marketing is the fastest growing online customer-acquisition channel outpacing all other contenders, including both organic and paid search, email marketing, and bottom finisher affiliate marketing.
Going Global With Influencer Marketing
While your seventh grade classmate’s frame of reference may only have reached as far as the local shopping mall, today’s global economy calls for a different approach. After all, we now have access to products and services from around the world. And while global influencers can still have value at the local level, they also have the ability to reach a broader audience of like-interested people from very different backgrounds. Applying global influencer strategies, however, involves extra logical, technical and logistical factors.
One of the biggest obstacles to implementing global influence strategies involves finding your global influencers. First and foremost are the intertwined issue of language and culture — particularly when translation enters the mix. Fluency is one thing, but the ability to acknowledge the nuances and intricacies of language supersedes basic auto-translation services. Meanwhile, Google searches and AdWords are both useful when it comes to identifying reputable, relevant thought leaders within your target foreign market. Sites like Klout can also help you hone in on potential influencers with appropriate authority.
The next step? Determining a prospective global influencer’s willingness to share and engage with their followers. In other words, expertise is only part of the equation: amplification is another critical component. Conversely, lack of engaged followers will shut down your efforts before they even get started.