For many brands and marketers, the person delivering their messages has become just as important as the content of the message itself. Influencers are vital for many brands, translating their message in a credible way that is more relevant than if it was shared from the brand directly.
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With the advent of social networks and proliferating digital channels, it’s easier than ever to connect customers to influencers during the decision-making process.
Intel has seen particular success in taking this approach. The brand’s new social and digital influencer strategy has saved about $3.3 million and created 150 new influencer relationships worldwide for Intel, and those numbers are still growing.
We spoke with Nicole Smith (right), Intel’s Global Brand & Innovation Communications Manager, about her Influencer Marketing strategy and her partnership with Traackr.
Nicole, why has influencer marketing become important in the B2B technology sector?
We are all consumers of content. Where that content lives and the ways in which we consume it may vary whether we are making a personal or business decision. The one common thread, however, is that people in our sphere of influence play the largest role in solidifying our purchasing decisions.
Influencer marketing, therefore, is important in all sectors to change and/or enhance brand perceptions, add credibility to your products and services, reach new audiences, and tell your story in new, engaging ways.
What tools are you using to track your influencer marketing campaigns?
As influencer marketing grew over the past several years, we found it imperative to utilize a centralized tool where all efforts across the company could be tracked. In order to ensure that we were not duplicating outreach and connecting the dots with influencers as they engage with Intel, we use Traackr to ensure each influencer has one Intel point of contact and they are receiving the full Intel story.
The search capabilities have also saved us money. We no longer need to pay agencies to search for new influencers, which can be incredibly costly. Instead, we are empowered internally to find new voices, extend the Intel story to others we are already engaging with, and track their growth over time.
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How important is influencer marketing to Intel’s overall marketing strategy?
Influencer marketing is extremely important to Intel’s overall marketing and communications strategy. Whether we are inviting digital influencers to our top press events, involving them in an Esports campaign or having them speak with key executives, we ensure influencer efforts are strategically woven into each campaign that we run.
We also maintain consistent relationships with influencers we work with. Successful influencer marketing is not just asking for content, but it’s a true give and take relationship based on trust and an open sharing of ideas.
How do you measure its success?
Measuring success is both an art and a science, but regardless, it needs to be tied back to the business objective. Is your goal to enhance brand perception and introduce your company to a new audience in a unique way? Or is it to drive immediate sales for something available for purchase? In some cases, it might be a little bit of both.
We measure success in a variety of ways, but the primary indicator is engagement. I am less concerned with how many views something received vs. how many people engaged with the content. Did people share, comment, or click through to a website link we provided? If so, is the number on par with the influencer’s original content? These are the analytics I look at when seeing if an influencer engagement was successful as well as if the influencer themselves enjoyed the experience in working with us.
What role does technology play in successful influential marketing?
Technology, specifically social media, has opened up a plethora of new opportunities for influencer engagement. Now, brands are able to insert themselves directly into a trending conversation with influencers while it happens in real time. By engaging in an authentic way that adds value or a point of view, you organically extend the reach of your brand and make new connections.
Technology has also allowed for easier identification of who is the most relevant to engage with, given a platform to have that engagement, and allow for that conversation to be measured. All of this is driving traffic to your brand and opening up the possibility for new customers.
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