Today, when it comes to their marketing strategy, companies have numerous options. Amongst them all, native marketing spending is predicted to reach over $7 billion in 2015 – the power of influencer marketing has never been clearer. Your organization may have an extensive marketing budget, but it’s not sold on whether influencer marketing is worth incorporating. Most companies are juggling multiple marketing channels these days, so adding another consideration to their overburdened plates might require a lot of convincing.
Therefore, getting other’s support for your influencer marketing campaign might seem a bit challenging. Indeed, even though this strategy may have visible results at first, the most important ROI comes on the long-term, after several campaigns.
But convincing your team, especially from the C-suite, will help you set your campaigns on the right track and prove influencer marketing is a powerful and useful strategy.
Your chief financial officer controls whether the marketing and advertising budget gets any funds allocated to it for your influencer marketing strategies, so starting with the person who can make or break your plan makes sense.
Your primary goal with the CFO is to show him or her that your idea has enough ROI to merit room in the budget. You can bring up the fact that companies get $6.58 earned media value out of every $1 spent in paid media with influencer marketing. Another financial benefit from influencer marketing is the 53 percent higher view rates compared to display ads. Make sure the financial benefits and the long-term ROI are clear to your CFO to get his or her buy-in. You can also show him or her some industry data such as the impact of influencer marketing industry for competitors who already experienced it if more evidence is needed.
You have the blessing of the CFO. Now it’s time to talk to the chief marketing officer in order to determine how to work influencer marketing into your company’s existing marketing efforts. With a 53 percent higher purchase intent for sponsored content compared to traditional advertising, your CMO shouldn’t have a problem working influencer marketing into ongoing campaigns and new endeavors. Have a discussion with the CMO about how influencer marketing can complement existing branding efforts and come equipped with suggestions on how to practically incorporate it into the team’s workflow. Share with him or her your vision of influencer marketing and have a basic strategy outlined (who are your relevant influencer? how to work with them? What kind of content should you ask for?…) so you both have a starting point.
You don’t always need to involve the chief technology officer in the executive buy-in process, but you may need specialized tools for finding your key influencer, tracking the effectiveness and ROI of your campaigns. Choose prospective tools and prepare to sell their benefits to the CTO. If possible, talk to the vendor ahead of time for information such as the difficulty of implementation, the pricing, what hardware is necessary, the security measures in place and the vendor support available. Having this information will help you answer any questions the CTO has about the solution, and will save him or her the time and trouble of asking the vendor directly.
The chief content officer is your last stop on your executive buy-in journey. Once you have the budget, marketing strategy, and technical solutions in place, you want the CCO’s input on the content and influencers going into the world. While influencers often handle writing the content, it’s important to retain your company’s values and personality. Explain the benefits of influencer marketing to the CCO and get his or her input on a potential influencer list. Chances are, he or she has plenty of resources on the thought leaders in the industry, and a good idea of who would be most open to a partnership. Also, he or she probably already knows if competitors experienced influencer marketing and how effective it was. By involving the CCO and incorporating any feedback, you get his or her investment in the project before you even launch it.
Keeping the C-Suite in the Loop
Your interaction with the C-suite doesn’t stop after you get their approval for the influencer marketing campaign. As much as possible, keep them directly involved with the campaign by asking for feedback, business visions, and other insight you can incorporate into the campaign. On your side, expose clearly your new ideas and remain alert to their concerns or reviews. Transparency and communication are keys. You also want to keep them up to date on how effective the campaign is, providing reports on ROI and other metrics showing how well it’s doing.
Getting executive buy-in requires a significant amount of research, time and effort. When you have support at the executive level, you’ll have a much easier time successfully obtaining the resources required for your influencer marketing campaign. You might be able to pull off this campaign without the support of the C-level, but it will be substantially more difficult.
The success of your influencer marketing depends on the influencers you will choose but also on the collaboration with your team. So hands on!