Commexis Cast – August 10, 2018: Client Advocacy and Influencer Marketing!

All this week we’ve travel down the stages of The Buyer’s Journey to showcase how influencers play a vital role each step of the way. On Tuesday for our blog post on the consideration, I wrote about how heavily trust and authenticity weigh in a user’s mind when choosing which product or service to buy. But consideration isn’t the only stage when these factors play a role in the buyer’s journey. 

In the advocacy stage, satisfied customers share their thoughts and feelings. A couple examples of this are a social media post boasting about how happy they are, a positive Google or website review, or sharing/retweeting/commenting on your brand’s social media. On today’s Commexis Cast we cap off the the final day of Influencer Marketing week with a reminder of just how vital influencers can be in the advocacy stage of the buyer’s journey.

Every business want to keep doing, well…business. And one way to do that is continuously offering customer’s a satisfying service, experience, or product. As I said before, in the advocacy stage, this is where it all pays off. The advocacy you’ll hopefully receive from your past customers will boost your business in the consideration stage significantly.

However, accidents can happen. As I wrote in my blog post on Tuesday, trust and authenticity are keys to successful influencer marketing and if something happens to erode that trust, you’ll definitely begin to feel it. eMarketer released a report that showed just how significant a toll loss of consumer trust can be. In essence, those who were medium or low ranked for trust (aka, non-diehard fans) were significantly more likely to decrease spending when informed of a data breach. While not every company is going to be handling large amounts of consumer data, the essence of the story is still true: hurt consumer trust, and your customer’s will stop spending.

Nothing beats a solid public relations response when incidents do occur, whether they’re bad reviews or something more serious, but influencers can even help in this stage. Influencer are, by definition, paid advocates of your brand. While that doesn’t necessarily fit the true purpose of the advocacy stage, it’s clear that influencers can help get customers to purchase, and therefore hopefully advocate, or to have their viewers advocate for a product they’re not familiar with. As a videographer, many of the influencers I follow will discuss different programs and tools they use while out on the field, and if a coworker, friend, or fellow videographer needs a suggestion, I can often say I’ve heard of this product through XYZ influencer. While that doesn’t fit the strict definition of advocacy (as satisfied customers are the ideal), it’s advocacy nonetheless.

When it comes to bad PR, though, even influencers can help manage the blow. Nothing beats direct communication from your brand, but as we discussed in the awareness stage on Monday, and my blog post on Tuesday, influencers help bolster trust in a brand. If your product has an unexpected defect, you could replace the influencers product and have them make an announcement (alongside an official announcement) that other replacements will be coming soon. A message like this will help show that you’re listening to your audience, that you care about the customers you may have cultivated from that influencer’s audience, and that you want to make sure the influencer is able to be honest with their audience.

Influencer marketing can be scary for many businesses and brands who have yet to get their feet wet, but as we’ve discussed all this week, influencers can be fantastic, powerful ways to expand your customer or client base, as well as boost your ROI. If you’re interested in getting started with influencer marketing, feel free to reach out to us.

Today’s cast: Len Ward (Commexis CEO & Managing Partner), Phillip Brooks (Commexis Lead Strategist), and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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