If this headline sounds familiar, it's because Dale Carnegie wrote the bestselling book about social influence, “How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1937. Even though digital influence wasn't around back then, the basics of human connection remain the same: How you choose to connect with people (online or offline) influences your business.
When you win influencers and friend people you bring your A+ game to the (poker) table. This allows you to:
- Gain new insights into your industry
- Have fun
- Win new business along the way
It's like getting dealt the joker in every play.
But not everyone is so lucky.
It takes charisma and wit to get the joke(r). And the stats prove it:
- Crowdtap, a company that helps businesses run influence marketing initiatives, polled 1,000 people to share how they were influenced to make a purchase in the past three months. Their research found that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from peers over all other forms of advertising.
- According to Branderati, marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than 2X the sales of paid advertising.
- Offers shared by trusted advocates convert at 4-10x higher rate than offers sent by brands.
- According to studies made at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, 85% of one's financial success is due to skill in human engineering – to personality and the ability to lead people
And “leading people is Dale Carnegie's 1937 term for “influencer marketing” (he just didn't know it at the time).
It's all about engaging people within your niche, building solid relationships, and shaping buying behaviors in an authentic way. When you use your authenticity, you set a strong foundation for your content marketing strategy, and you empower your consumer to tell your brand story. This allows you to always play the winning hand to set your business up for future success.
Here are some ideas for how to win influencers and friend people (the authentic way):
1. Create User-Generated Content
One of the best ways to hit the trifecta at Vegas is to create User Generated Content (UGC). Or as I like to call it: Undeniable Glorious Connections.
Here's why: Millennials are spending over five hours a day consuming UGC. It's this content that influences what they buy.
When you make UGC the center of your content marketing strategy, you create content that acts as memorable experiences for your brand. The bonus is that UGC is 40% more trustworthy than traditional media sources.
But don't just keep up – keep honest. Dale Carnegie would file this concept under basic “relationship management” because it's this type of trust that keeps your customers coming back. He describes it as “the legal tender that all souls enjoy.” Mmmm….legal tender.
2. Come to the (poker) table with a (soulful) strategy
The best influencers and content marketers (and dare I say it, growth hackers) have a pre-established audience who are already receptive to their ideas and recommendations. So you'll want to align with those who have similar values to your brand. Don't collaborate with someone because he or she is “insta-famous.” Instead, strive for a meaningful collaboration so that you find the right influencers to mutually benefit from the relationship. Always position yourself in the seat of your customers to create the most meaningful strategy.
But don't just “add more stuff” to your strategy. Create minimalist content so that you can live a life that's an authentic expression of your Truth. It's from this space that we can create content with context from your unique perspective (preferably one with a view of the strip!)
The above photo was my view the last time I was in Vegas, taken from the 61st floor of The Cosmopolitan during CES (I think I'm still recovering from this trip!)
With a good view, you can build the best user experience so that you can..
3. Focus on the entire user experience
Despite the scene of Vegas, content marketing is not just a wham, bam, thank you ma'am approach. It's more meaningful than a one-night stand, so you'll want to think about what happens after the act of publication.
Yeah, that (the fun stuff!)
Keep in mind that 90% of Millennials are brand agnostic. So here some questions to consider.
How will your content help your customers:
Answering these questions shows that you have a genuine interest in your customers – which helps not only their success but yours too – regardless of what hand you play.