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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Influencer Marketing 101. Introduction

Dear reader,

Although I normally prefer to skipping the intro and getting to the point, a little explanation is in order.

This body of information and advice is not for SEO/SEM specialists who know it all about how to push a product to the first Google search results page.

I am writing this series of articles for the regular talented person who doesn't know how to make him- or herself noticed. I am reaching out to the regular creative but not quite marketing-savvy mind in Uncle Sam manner. I want YOU to make it! I want YOU to be the hot news!

People talking about you - that Mount Olympus of the social media era - is your goal. After all, we all know the second page of Google results is the perfect place to hide something, like evidence to a crime. Seriously, though, if you are vying for public attention, being on the first page is as difficult as climbing Everest, let alone Olympus. If you are trying to hide something nasty, don't hope even the 100th Google search results page will help. This is the paradox of our life.

So don't do nasty things and be careful with every step. This is my advice to everyone - to influencer marketing students in particular.

Say, you are strictly a man or woman of letters or a starry-eyed Game of Thrones fan, and you know little about marketing, but your talent is to design mega action figures or draw supercool graphic novels. You don't just want the world to find out about it. You want your special product to become a household name.

A Word from the Metatag Hag

For instance, you have a killer TV show idea, you're working on the script, you're enjoying yourself swimming in your little sea of creativity. After all, any writer will tell you that the writing part is the best and easiest part. But don't forget it was the promo that, at some stage or another, has earned from you all the expletives you knew. So be smart, learn from your past mistakes, and dedicate equal amounts of time to both activities - creating and promoting what you create.

Creative minds today may need help in promoting their product or content. One way is through accreditation and endorsement by top influencers.

Influencer marketing and influencer psychology are subjects of growing importance in the field of SMM - Social Media Marketing.

Contrary to the common belief, the hot shots and big Kahunas are not the only influencers - your neighbor is an influencer, too. Your little sister with her blog and her 5,000 Facebook friends - even more so. If you're promoting a musical product, your neighborhood's garage band is the first to befriend - trust me, they know all the sites and are following all the people. Don't forget about Grandma and her book club, too!

The difference is level and impact.

Business owners, top literary agents, Hollywood producers - those are top level influencers. As you can see from the infographic below, they can give you more reach, but the degree of influence will be lower.

Not to mention your own influence on them - to them, "unforgettable" is not what it means to the rest of the world.

Bottom line: if you want to sing with Justin Bieber, you have to start with impressing your Mom.

So don't be afraid to look for ways to be un-for-gettable! Make up a new word, think of a catchy tagline, come up with a hilarious joke...

Metatag Hag: ...but beware gimmicks!

Now, let's take it you have covered the first two levels. Your family, friends, and friends of friends know about your new product.You have a small but devoted fandom who like you and think you are worthy of acclaim. Yet they cannot give you the accreditation that can land you a network of high-profile contacts and eventually a contract.

We all know the old adage about making one step at a time. Rephrasing an old Danube-Carpathian saying, "you cannot start fattening your pig on Christmas Eve". So, if you want your product to be in stores by Christmas, start feeding your social media Babe now.

Actually, you should have started in February, but you're not a big corp and you don't play by their rules. Nor do you have their resources. Luckily, you have all the tools to start promoting your talent at zero expense. Just use your good old toys - blogs, pages, accounts - you only used for a little blah-blah-show before.

Metatag Hag: Influencer marketing is a key strategy in your battle plan. Every day, we are both influencing and being influenced by someone or something.

Next time, we will continue with Step No.1 - Building your Influencer Network.

Sincerely yours,
Anastasia Stratu aka Metatag Hag