Influencer Marketing Part II: Influencer Marketing Technology

In Part I of our Influencer Marketing discussion, we outlined how to connect to your consumers through their existing relationships on social media or blogs. Harnessing the natural-feel of social media chatter is effective once you’ve found the right influencers connected to the right audience. In this Part II of our Influencer Marketing discussion, we’re going to look at how technology helps your find those best-fitting influencers.

How does E-Commerce Technology Support Influencer Marketing Campaigns?

There are a lot of options for technology that facilitates influencer marketing, and the right software will depend on your company’s needs. These are the keys that most of us will look for:

1.  Find influencers – Are you looking for a broad reach or a niche audience? How do you find out who is connected to your key demographic? The right software will sort through potential influencers and allow you to search for the person who is best situated to spread your message.

2.  Connect with potential partners – Once you’ve identified those people who can spread your message the way you want, use influencer marketing software to reach out. Keep your discussions organized for easier future tracking by using a single platform to identify and connect with influencers.

3.  Engage and manage influencers – Influencer marketing software can keep your ongoing use of influencers organized. It can track which influencers have been engaged and when, and even allow you to pay influencers through the platform.

4.  Track your progress and success – Use your software to measure the success of your campaigns. Keep track of likes and engagements, clicks and sales. Compare campaigns to decide what works best and what didn’t work at all.

Picking the Right Software

Since the needs of each company will vary, your business should identify your goals and then find the functionality that matches. Here are some considerations:

⋅  How large is the pool of influencers connected to the platform and how often are new influencers introduced into the pool?

⋅  Are influencers from a wide range of social media and blogs included so that you can run omni-channel campaigns?

⋅  How well can you sort through the influencer pool to find the right audience? Does the software keep track of the demographics you are most interested in?

⋅  What measures are most important for tracking the success of a campaign? Does the software gather the data you need?

Helping you find the best platform is part of what we do here at Thanx Media. We hope these posts have given you an idea of what you need. For more help finding and implementing the right software, get in touch.

Part 2 | Overcoming B2B E-Commerce Channel Conflict

Welcome to Part II of our four-part series on Optimizing the B2B Experience to Meet B2C Expectations. In this series we are looking closely at three key issues identified in the Forrester report “B2B E-commerce: A Trillion Dollars For the Taking”. Today we’ll talk about the potential for conflict between direct sales and e-commerce for B2B organizations.

The Perceived Conflict

If your company has experienced success through a traditional “feet on the street” approach for B2B sales, it’s no surprise that you may view the heart of your operations as your sales team—not an online selling platform. The question is: should a company really be one or the other? Will investing resources in developing an e-commerce presence really undermine the work of your sales team?

The answer is No. But transitioning into the world of B2B e-commerce does mean a changing role for your sales force. Many B2B transactions are complex and require in-person client education, even when online sales are available. Direct sales combined with e-commerce gives your company the ability to maximize revenues by deploying your sales team when in-person help really adds value, but allowing customers to easily complete straightforward and repeat purchasing tasks.

How Technology Can Bridge the Gap Between Channels

  • Let your sales force focus on new business and complex sales— Using an e-commerce platform with online customer service tools make it easier for sales people to focus on finding new business, growing existing accounts and handling complex sales instead of being tied up with routine customer requests.
    • Move routine tasks online by implementing self-service models – Offer your customers online self-service tools such as placing repeat orders, immediate access to sales history and account activity, bill payment, order tracking and other customer service related tasks. 
    • Expand your customer service capabilities to expand into new markets – Self-service tools can also make it affordable for B2B organizations to address the needs of small-scale customers, which can allow your company to cover more markets.
  • Arm reps with mobile-assist technologies to increase efficiency — Outfitting your sales force with mobile assist technologies such as tablets and smart phones makes it easier for them to access relevant sales collateral on the fly as well as increasing their efficiency and ability to service a large book of business.