JASON-FALLS-(adjusted)

Interview with Jason Falls

Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people

In a world that is thoroughly soaked by advertising, it is hard for people to trust any of the claims that marketers make. They usually rely on a recommendation from friends & family. A trustworthy recommendation has become more convincing than an advertisement.

Advertisers realize that they can use the power of social media and other Internet tools to indirectly convince their potential customers. They encourage people to talk about and recommend products online to gain a unique advantage over their competition.

Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy. This market influence typically stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. Marketing to an audience of influencers is similar to word of mouth marketing, but it doesn’t rely strictly on explicit recommendations. [marketing-schools]

In our first influencer marketing interview, we talked to Jason Falls, Partner at The Conversation Research Institute (www.conversationresearchinstitute.com), author, speaker and industry analyst.

Here’s what he said!

What are the biggest social media trends for the next couple of years?

Personalization and targeting are the two biggest trends I see right now in social media marketing. Leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to build more custom audiences, closer to 1:1 marketing opportunities and finding the right audiences, not just a lot of people are going to make marketing via social and digital more efficient.

The big hurdle is for brands to get past the mentality that they have to target everyone to be successful. You need an active audience of the right customers, not a huge audience of people who may or may not buy from you.

Why do you believe branding is so important?

Branding is the first impression of commerce. A solid brand communicates trust, confidence, reliability or whatever the intent of the brand is for the audience in everything it does. Consumers in most categories aren’t going to buy after a first impression, but when they start to see that with every touch point, this brand is consistent in how they communicate, what they communicate, the promise they offer and the service I expect … then you have a customer who will buy from you. Inconsistent brands might make the first sale, but have trouble with the second. Strong brands have customers for life.

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What’s your advice for social media marketers? How can they organically grow their Twitter followers/Facebook friends, etc?

By being useful. Social media is not a venue where the consumer comes to shop. It’s where they come to be social — to talk, to see what they’re friends are doing, what they’re reading, what’s going on in people’s lives. If you are in that space and can deliver useful content, engagement, and interactions, you build trust, gain followers, build relationships. And if you do it this way, you build the right followers, not just numbers of accounts you can brag about, but that never convert.

What is your opinion on branding monitoring tools?

Brand monitoring is a big part of what I do at The Conversation Research Institute. We are tool agnostic and use the right tool for the particular client challenge we’re facing.

For the most part, the monitoring/listening tools out there are good at counting and organizing keywords. So you get high-level charts and graphs that can point you in a direction with what people are saying. But none of the tools on the market are very good at disambiguating the data to what really matters — the voice of the consumer. That’s where services like CRI come in. We use a combination of automatic filtering and human analysis to weed out the noise and isolate the signal in your data. We then manually score conversations to improve the quality of the outputs so when you look at your data, you are seeing a more true picture of what people are saying about you. Reports from the monitoring tools are good. Reports from CRI are great. (That sounds way more biased than I intended, but I think you get the point.)

About George Mastorakis

George is a co-founder of Mentionlytics supervising Financial Planning and Analysis and our Cloud Architecture. He is an Associate Professor on Emerging Technologies and Marketing Innovation. His interests include Cloud Computing, Web Applications and Internet of Things.