Influencer marketing – who’s on stage?

I was just reading an article in Marketing Week about authenticity and influencer marketing.  Of course it’s exciting if a famous singer, with a large following, endorses your product or service publicly.  Word of mouth is a powerful tool. 

But I’m always astounded by how many companies don’t see their own employees as part of their influencer marketing campaign.  You never know who else they’re connected to and getting them authentically talking about your value proposition should be part of your marketing plan. 

That doesn’t mean giving all staff a single hymn-sheet to recite.  To continue the musical analogy, it’s more about investing time in making sure that they all really understand what your song is about. Why you wrote it, who it’s aimed at and how it helps the audience.  If they understand more of the whole performance you’re trying to create, your team can then decide how they sing it, when, and to whom.  Whilst always being in tune.

Of course, this takes investment; time is money.  But with millions being spent on influencer marketing, I wonder what value investing a small fraction of that on ‘unbilled’ employee time would add.  If you have 100 employees and they’re all active on social media, commenting on relevant media articles or championing your customers’ successes – how many people would that reach?  What if your newest employee can explain exactly what you do and who you help to their family?  Their uncle may just be connected to a potential customer.

Building a compelling value proposition brings clarity and alignment for your employees. It writes your song.  But that’s just the start.  Only when they can all sing it, independently and confidently to the right audience, will your brand perform. 

You might just find that a celebrity isn’t who you need on stage.  Start with you and your team.  Singing a clear, well-rehearsed song.