Editors note: This article originally appeared on tech.co to help answer a question we get from marketers often on how to pitch Influencer Marketing and get buy-in from the top.
You have read all the recent Influencer Marketing case studies and are a little jealous of the return other brands are achieving. You would prefer to be the ‘cool kid’ rather than the ‘new kid’ on the block and have a great idea for an Influencer Marketing campaign. There is one thing stopping you from achieving rock star status with your branded content – approval from your boss.
You recognise Influencer Marketing is a necessary addition to your marketing budget, but how do you get buy-in from the top? It is simpler than you think. Just explain the concept of Influencer Marketing to your boss, as you would to an 8-year-old child.
1. Tell a story
As humans, we are wired to be captivated by stories and easily recall information if it is relayed to us with rich meaning and visual cues. Stories engage the emotional side of our brains and drive us to take action. If you open your pitch with a story, you will be able to grab attention, make facts stick and data more retainable and understandable.
You know your boss best and what story would be relevant to them. Perhaps share a personal story of why you booked the company lunch at a restaurant that a friend recommended on Facebook. You could relate your story back to relevant stats such as: the average consumer mentions specific brands over 90 times a week in conversation with friends or family or that 68% of people feel that Facebook is the most trusted platform for product and service recommendations.
Tip: Don’t make your story long, but make it memorable.
2. Be the favourite teacher
We all had a favourite teacher at school that was an expert at explaining complex topics. Influencer Marketing is new and can appear to be overwhelming if explained poorly or if not understood correctly. It is important to provide background information, definitions, statistics etc. but don’t overcomplicate things to appear smart or knowledgeable on the topic.
Instead, keep things simple and avoid using too many technical terms that although might be relevant, make your boss feel that you need to be a rocket scientist to run a successful Influencer Marketing campaign. Don’t make them feel you are under qualified to do the job. Instead, make them feel confident that you have done enough research to take advantage of this new opportunity and are convinced of the value Influencer Marketing can add to your business and marketing plans.
Tip: When explaining complex topics, show how something works rather than resorting to just talking about a topic.
3. Gives examples of superheroes
My own childhood superheroes were the Ninja Turtles and I was absolutely convinced that nothing could ever beat their ninja moves. In the world of marketing, there are many brand superheroes that kick butt at Influencer Marketing. The internet is full of case studies and examples that you can use to showcase potential success and return on investment. Search for case studies related to your industry, business objectives or even concepts you find innovative. These case studies will provide credibility to your pitch and also give you a foundation for best practice.
Tip: Show what your competitors are doing with their own Influencer Marketing plans and explain how you will differentiate your business. If they are not using Influencer Marketing yet, this is an added opportunity to highlight.
4. Show how you can achieve a gold star
Now that you have given the background into what Influencer Marketing is and have shown the results that other brands are achieving, you need to explain why you think it is relevant for your business and how you plan on achieving your own Influencer Marketing gold star status. This is the point you need to reveal how it will add value to your business.
The most effective way to do this is to show that you have already put thought into your own Influencer Marketing plan. As an Influencer Marketing platform, we have experience in planning campaigns and have developed a 6-step model to make building a successful plan easier. In short, a solid Influencer Marketing plan will specify the target market, propose a campaign that meets the business objectives, identify relevant influencers, explain how workflow and logistics will be managed, as well as how you will track the results.
Tip: Having a plan instils more confidence that the additional investment has potential to add value. Ensure that you showcase what you foresee as being the potential return on investment for the new budget allocation. Use your Influencer Marketing plan to propose not only how you will achieve your first gold star, but also how it is sustainable to be awarded ongoing gold stars.
5. Be ready to answer “Are we there yet?”
Once you have buy-in and approval to go ahead, first give yourself a pat on the back and then be prepared to answer many eager progress questions. Trying something new and innovative is not just exciting for you, but all the stakeholders involved. You will be anxious to prove your campaign victorious and your boss will want regular updates on the status and results.
Tip: There are Influencer Marketing platforms and tools which make tracking your campaign results easy. This is important to not only showcase success, but also to justify ongoing Influencer Marketing budget. Investment in tools like, Webfluential, help you answer the question, “Are we there yet”, with confidence and provide all of the relevant data of the journey.
The tips I have shared are intended to help you put your best foot forward when explaining Influencer Marketing to your boss. Just remember that you know the audience you need to pitch to best – so tweak and personalise your content to what is most relevant to them.