It’s tempting to think of influencer programs as master plans for turning objective decision influencers into your company’s bona fide fans. The truth is, that’s not a desirable goal for your influencer programs.
Valuable influencers maintain a high level of objectivity. Some call it integrity. Others describe it as independence or ethics.
Whatever label you prefer, compromising it is a surefire way to dilute the effectiveness of the influencer. Once that happens, there’s no turning back. They play a lesser role in every decision making process because their viewpoint is clearly skewed toward your company.
How do you structure an influencer program to achieve good relations without compromising independent thinking?
A few of the best practices we share with Influencer50 clients:
Do assign senior people to managing relationships with your top influencers. These people should be knowledgeable about your company from a business perspective, in addition to having more tactical knowledge about your products, services, partners and competitors.
Do empower your relationship managers to engage key players across the company with your top influencers.
Do not aim standard marketing — including advertising, PR, collateral, direct marketing, events, or demos — at your top influencers.