First let’s clarify, an influencer for your brand is simply someone who talks about your brand and through their word of mouth speak, they generate action as opposed to simple awareness. For many brands, especially B2C, this influence happens offline.
Don’t get me wrong, an article, tweet, Facebook post, pin or video talking about how your brand is great. We’ve all seen the results. But for many brands, a more balanced strategy is in order. One that fosters conversations both on and offline.
Let’s not forget the value in a recommendation straight from someone’s mouth. Not from their fingertips to keyboard to the digital web but maybe straight from their over cocktails or in the grocery store full of eye contact and the sincerity of a human voice—well marketing doesn’t get more effective than that.
Studies also show that even with the advances of social media and the constantly increasing amount of people using social media, that a lot more brand conversations happen offline as opposed to online. That means strategies are required and tactics to empower positive conversations surrounding our brands offline are in order.
But, easier said than done, right?
Here is a by no means fully comprehensive and all-encompassing list of strategies that you can start implementing in to you strategy to ramp up those offline conversations.
1. Find speakers in your brand’s space that recommend products or services.
The easiest way to do this is check out the speakers in conferences that you’ve come across. You should have a list off hand and if not it’s an easy task for Google.
Reach out to these active speakers and introduce yourself and your brand. See if they would like a sample of your product or to take your brand out for a test drive.
It’s a great idea really, they’ve already proven themselves as speakers in your brand’s niche and they’ve proven themselves as active speakers. Great combo…
2. Give influencers you already work with actual gift cards and other tangible, physical offers to distribute when they feel the need. Consider working out some sort of incentive program with them.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of in person events.
Lead by example and talk about yourself at events. Send someone from your company who makes a good impression. For the rest of the event you want people to be like “hey did you go to xyz brand’s booth? They are awesome…”
4. Give away lots of SWAG. Good SWAG. This means a t-shirt that would grab attention or make someone laugh—not a magnet with your brand’s logo.
Once someone from Bhakti Chai gave me a free t-shirt and I wear it all the time because it’s a cool design. And people ask me about it and I always say they are my favorite chai. Of course anyone who likes chai is now going to try out that brand!
5. I always feel the need to include the obvious. Just in case. Make your consumer’s experience with your brand and employees so awesome that they can’t help but share it.
6. A bold campaign is another one that will get people talking both online and offline. Picture it: “omg did you see that funny (commercial, display in the park, blog post, tweet, etc) that (insert your brand’s name here) put out yesterday!?”
7. People love to be “in the know” and share information or recommend an awesome product that their friends or family or coworkers haven’t heard about yet. Equip them with the information to do so.
Don’t send your customers a white paper outlining your company’s history, products and services but send them digestible pieces of interesting information. Fun facts. Exclusive information about your brand.
8. Be human. People love to discuss brands who have something human about them. Whether you admit to your mistakes, are super transparent about what goes on in your company, share experiences or company goals—keep your clients and customers in the loop. When people feel like part of an inner circle, they are way more likely to talk about their inside info and recommendations!