6th October 2008

WOMMA Publishes Influencer Handbook…

Influencers are more than a passing interest to me…generally speaking I don’t take projects that aren’t about reaching out and connecting with influencers as part of a community strategy.  Some time back, WOMMA approached myself, of Keller Fay and of Comblu about being co-chairs of the Influencer Committee within WOMMA.  We met and gathered a broader group of experts - primarily practitioners - with the idea of documenting some practices and recommendations regarding influencer marketing and influencer engagement.  While we didn’t agree on everything (what fun would that be), I’m pleased with the outcome of the work, the Influencer Handbook.  Have a look and let us know what you think.  It includes the following sections:

• Definition of an influencer and influencer marketing
• Types of influencers
• Methods to engage and thank influencers
• Guidelines for influencer self-regulation
• Bibliography of influencer communication research and practices

Working effectively with influencers was the section most near and dear to me.  I’m sure we missed some important points and examples that can further contribute to increasing practitioner success with influencers.  If you’re new to this topic, or not, I simply hope you’ll consider a few key principles:

  • An Influencer program is different than a loyalty program and requires more comprehensive planning and long term commitment to succeed
  • Influencers rarely do what they do to help your brand, they do it to help other users - your benefits are by-products of your commitment and engagement
  • Consider the idea of "fair exchange of value" or an influencer "balance sheet" - ensuring the benefits to your influencers are in balance with the benefits that accrue to you as a brand - if not, the likelihood of failure is quite high.
  • Knowledge, specialized access and relationships are of substantially higher value to all parties than swag/give-aways. 

And if you really want to know about influencers…connect.  Throw away the data, analytics, tools and economy of scale for a few months and go sit down face to face with as many as you can.  There’s "tactile knowledge" required to really understand a brand’s influencers.  When I was a practitioner, it was this seemingly over-investment in face to face that really changed my perspective.


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This entry was posted on Monday, October 6th, 2008 at 10:47 am and is filed under Influencers, MVP, Word of Mouth, web 2.0. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 7 responses to “WOMMA Publishes Influencer Handbook…”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On October 6th, 2008, WOMMA invites comment on Influencer Marketing Handbook | Sway said:

    […] Found a cameo post by one of the authors, Sean O’Driscoll. Tags: Books, Influencer marketing, Influencer50, […]

  2. 2 On October 7th, 2008, Kevin Beares said:

    Hey Sean,

    Nice post. Fitting that you post something like this while I am running one of my major influencer engagements this year. We brought in as many of our
    MVPs that wanted to come and put them through a 40 hour training session on SBS last week and now we are doing it all over again with the EBS product this week. For whoever couldn’t make it we are giving them access to all of the training via Live Meeting, recordings and giving them all of the training material so that they can go through at a later date.

  3. 3 On October 7th, 2008, Kevin Beares said:

    No better way to give back to your most influential customers than to give then deep technical training. We also benefit by having a more technically prepared
    set of influencers who also support our community in the newsgroups.



  4. 4 On October 7th, 2008, Sean said:

    the MSFT Small Biz Server team is one of the best examples out there of really engaging with their influencers. Long one of my favorite examples!


  5. 5 On October 8th, 2008, Kevin Beares said:

    Thanks Sean. We have now made this model that we use for enagaging with influencers across the entire Windows Server Solutions Group (WSSG) product line. This includes

  6. 6 On October 8th, 2008, Kevin Beares said:

    Windows Home Server, Small Business Server, Essential Business Server and now High Performance Computing. It is an amazingly successful way to engage and build a
    relationship with our influencers.

  7. 7 On October 9th, 2008, BuzzGain » BuzzGain Recommends: Influence Whitepaper from WOMMA said:

    […] WOMMA publishes influencer handbook - with help from our friend Sean O Driscoll […]

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