Lee Odden on the Rise and Success of Influencer Marketing

1. Influencer marketing has existed for a long time. Why is it so popular right now?

I think it is a combination of things. One, is that today’s shoppers are full of information and do not usually rely on the brand’s advertising or content. They however trust colleagues and influencers and the brand is realizing that working with influencers opens doors to attract, engage and convert new customers.

Another challenge is that many marketing departments are stressed to stand out and produce enough content to meet demand. Collaborating with influencers helps expand the content creation capabilities of the marketing department, helping companies scale quality content without drastically increasing costs.

The last is that everyone has the right to publish content, attract audiences and become influential. The list of micro-influencers presents a huge opportunity for brands who cannot afford prominent celebrities and want to focus engagement on exposure.

2. Would you say that influence means authority?

Impact means authority. But it takes longer than authority to be an effective influencer. The most successful influencers are a combination of personality, passion, popularity, persuasion and power.

3. When we are about to start a campaign or cooperation, what is the most important thing we have to remember?

Relevance is the key to any affected program. Without a clear alignment between the brand, influencer and audience, the program will not resonate and everyone loses credibility.

4. Do you think there are industries where influential marketing is more efficient than others? Why?

Broadly, influential marketing is more actively used in B2C than B2C, but this gap is closing. My experience is mostly in the B2B space and we have had amazing success in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Because we do not automatically want to compensate or require every B2B-affected person to be compensated, we are able to implement programs very efficiently with enormous impact.

A project for a Fortune 500 B2B technology company involved 32 influencers and garnered over 18 million impressions with a 100% share rate among participants. Some were paid, but all were happy to be part of a project that gave them access to other influencers, brand experts, and incredible performance.

We are happy to pay the affected, this is not always necessary in B2B, as it appears in B2C.

5. An opinionated leader can have a huge impact on the audience but not on our target group. 

A brand should start with a clear picture of the impact topic based on insights about target customers. Influential people can then be researched based on topical relevance, their audience relevance, level of engagement with the audience, and audience size.

Get to know your own brand and know your customers. With that knowledge you can use influential search tools to find the right influencers.

6. When you think of a marketing case study that best impresses you, what comes first to your mind? Why was it so extraordinary and profitable (from all aspects)?

One of my all-time favorite influenced marketing case studies is this B2B content marketing program applied to the Content Marketing Institute.

The overall theme was about storytelling and with CMI’s design assistance, we used Alice in Wonderland as a metaphor and for the creative.

The overall event included a sequence of 4 eBooks, infographics, interviews and blog posts with over 40 influencers contributing insights on many topics around content marketing to help promote the Content Marketing World Conference.

Relying almost entirely on biological propagation, the results were impressive:

218,971 total eBook views
4,023 total ebook pdf download
1,040 total sales occurred
This B2B influential marketing program was successful on several levels:

It created exposure for the speakers at the Content Marketing World Conference by demonstrating their expertise on the subject that spoke about their subject.
This created widespread awareness of the Content Marketing World Conference to contribute to the Content Marketing World Conference and to inspire them to share it across their networks.
This posed enough risk to attract more than 1,000 requests for more information from the project sponsor.
The program helped introduce our agency TopRank Marketing to the most trusted influencers in the content marketing industry, including many brand executives.

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