Jay: Influencer marketing is more important than ever. And it’s just harder and harder to break through with your content, with your advertising, with your message, with your communication. So increasingly, companies of all sizes are turning to influencers to try to amplify their message.
I get asked to do a lot of influencer promotion. My company, Convince & Convert, does a lot of influencer marketing strategy, but recently I participated in an influencer program with my friend at Fifth Third Bank, and I think it actually turned out really well. We did a whole series of video interviews with member of the Fifth Third management team, talking about questions that small business owners have about banking and things they need to know about how to get more out of their bank. Here’s a sample:
Jay: We’re banking on business with Fifth Third. What are some of the changes that bankers are seeing that really impact the business?
Kala: I think social media has leveled the playing field for small businesses and larger businesses.
Jill: I think one of the big things that business owners need to think about is the convenience their customers are demanding.
Jay: Yeah, that’s a great point.
Donna: How business goes to market, how business interacts with their client base, how we interact with our customers and best communicate—it does make big difference.
Jay: So there’s four things about this Fifth Third program that I think are really noteworthy in best practices for influencer programs.
First, it’s relevant. I am a business person. Lots of people in the small business community read my blog or read my books. I feel like I have something to offer there, but perhaps most importantly, I am a Fifth Third customer and have been for a long time. I actually know the bank and am a customer of the bank, and so I think it is relevant to have me participate in a program like this. Relevancy is one of the best practices for influencer marketing.
The second thing is that it’s useful. This is the part I really liked about this particular program is that we’re conveying information that is truly useful to small business owners. This isn’t just like, “Hey, you should open a checking account,” or “Hey, you should give us your loans.” It’s actually good information that people need to know, and in fact, several of the things we talked about in this program are things that I didn’t know as a small business owner for a long time and as a Fifth Third customer. So, I think it’s better when you have influencers participate in programs that create something useful for potential customers.
The third thing that I really liked, and the third best practice for influencer marketing, is that this was co-created. Certainly, the Fifth Third company had the idea for this program and approached me to participate in it. But when we got there and we actually got to the video shoot, they allowed me to have a fairly good hand in what we’re talking about, how we talked about it, where we went around the table for questions and answers, and so the final product had really a co-creation element to it. Which, as an influencer, I think makes it a lot more interesting and a lot more fun as opposed to what happens in a lot of influencer programs, which is, “Okay, read from this script. You will send the tweet this way. Use this photo.” Co-creation makes it a lot more interesting for the influencer and, I think, actually more likely that they will participate.
And the last piece that I really liked is that it was human. So what bothers me, and I know it works in some industries, but what bothers me now is all the Instagram-style influencer programs. We just have somebody holding up a product that says buy this teeth whitening kit or whatever. In this case, what I really liked about what we did together with Fifth Third is that it was human and it included other people, other than me. So there’s four other executives from Fifth Third around the table, each of whom weighed in on different topics, and it was a real conversation. It was about people, not necessarily about the Fifth Third organization, or the company, or the logo. Much more interesting and, I think, much more persuasive, and useful.
So four things to really think about for your influencer marketing programs. How can they be relevant? How can they be useful? How can they be co-created? And how can they be human? I hope you enjoyed this series. We’ll put a link below to all of them, and obviously this is part of my Fifth Third program. That’s going to be it for today’s Jay Today episode. As always, Jay Today is of course brought to you by my friends at Emma. Get more from your e-mail marketing. Go to MyEmma.com. Thanks so much.