If you’re wondering what role influence marketing can play in driving sales for a new product, then you’re not alone. Many brands struggle with integrating influence into their overall marketing strategy, let alone integrating it on a program or campaign level.
Influence marketing may not flex the same immediacy as paid media, but with a little planning ahead, you can leverage influence in an integrated marketing campaign to increase awareness and engagement around your next product launch.
Earned Media and Product Launches
You don’t need to blanket potential influencers in an attempt to engage and activate them for your influence marketing program. Instead, you can use influence data to identify the most relevant influencers – not with the largest audience, but those who are most likely to desire information about your product based on their demonstrated areas of interest.
Here are a few specific ways to use influence to amplify earned media for a product launch:
- Provide a relevant, targeted group of media influencers with education around your product to generate press and blog coverage at launch time.
- Share intel on your new product and marketing strategy with your influencer community ahead of launch to build awareness and advocacy.
- Measure share of influence on topics relating to your product campaign to assess where your brand is positioned to lead the conversation.
Owned Media and Product Launches
Your own channels are naturally where you’ll be hosting a lot of content and buzz related your product launch. Determining who can help you amplify those conversations in advance will help you spread the word more quickly and effectively at launch time.
Here are a few ways you can amplify your owned media channels using influence marketing:
- Reach out to influencers with whom you have relationships with news of the product launch, pointing them to content on your blog or in your social channels as content they can share with their audiences.
- Invite influencers to contribute to your owned channels around the time of your product launch: participate in a Twitter chat, write product-relevant content for your blog, host your Facebook page for a day, or create a product video for your video channels.
- Identify one or more influencers to invite to become launch ambassadors, presenting launch content (created by the brand or the ambassadors) on your owned properties.
Influence marketing, in conjunction with earned and owned media, can be a powerful tool for driving buzz and awareness around your next product launch. The key is to begin your planning process well ahead of campaign launch, starting with identifying relevant influencers and building your outreach list.
Image credit: Robert Raines