It's official. Google Trends says "Influence Marketing" is a thing.

Some people call me an influence expert. It’s an honor, though in my 40 plus years of studying the work of expert researchers and teaching thousand about the topic of influence and persuasion, I am humbled by how little we know about how our subconscious minds work and continue to be fascinated at the volume of new research coming out now.

I speak and teach influence and know more about the academic studies. Using the principle of influence, I have built reputations, popularized memes, and created leads and sales for hundreds of businesses in many industries.

And I’ve learned that YOU are an influence expert.

Rise of the Influence Expert

Today the buzz phrase is Influencer Marketing. Google Trends reports that searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” have skyrocketed in the past year. The practices, knowledge base and even the technologies used for marketing through influencers has not changed. What’s changed is the brands that last year discovered digital marketing have seen such huge increases in the results possible by focusing on influencers that they’s allotted budgets and marketing departments are buying.

Google show searches for “influence marketing” over the past decade with a sudden increase in 2015

You can expect more Influencer Marketing Experts to add the phrase after SEO, content marketing, and blog design resumes as a result.  They are experts. In fact, anyone can create a list of influencers, create meme cards and push them out. It’s one small piece of how understanding influence and will help satisfy the demand from marketers.

What we now know is that most people have more influence than they know. It’s the goal of almost every human interaction. Understanding the psychology of influence and how your customers want an experience with your brand will bring you exponentially more results.

Influence vs Influencer

The buzz phrase used today is “influencer marketing” more than “influence marketing” of “social media influencer” and other terms. In short, influence is the force that makes influencers influential.

What marketers are looking for today is the people who have more influence… the influencers. Often we have to explain who these folks are… many marketers will just default to looking for influences the way we’ve looked at celebrities. That’s brute force approach doesn’t work as well when you work with influencers. They may have great power to recommend you, way beyond attaching their likeness to your brand.

While it’s true that a celebrity with millions of followers and on TV every night will get noticed more often, but often aren’t as believable. That’s in decline as more and more messages appear and we all look for more authentic conversations:

Brute Force Influence Marketing

Marketing and advertising came of age in the mid 20th Century. Brands were built on the power of centralized, massive one-way communication. Like mass production and mass distribution, mass communications won by being bigger and wider, interrupting consumers with ads in media and signs posted everywhere.

Today, it's better to work with an influencer who champions your brand and creates buzz in his own network of trust. For instance, I'm trusted on topics like blockchain, solar energy, future technology and influence. My business is converting popular topical content into leads. The topics here are just some of the many we talk about with an audience that ends up following my advice on business and marketing.. not just the keywords.

Influence Marketing of the Future

The future of marketing is marketing that doesn’t interrupt. Technology in two-way (often call interactive) media allow us to listen to what people want, and then see that they get it. We have connections to billions of people. When we listen for group and individuals, we see some that are more vocal and leading the rest. Dialogue with people is good, though results come from focusing on those most likely to repeat what they learn about your brand.

How to Implement Influence in Your Marketing

Once you decide to move from brute force to influence marketing, you’ll see many improvements.

  1. Cost Savings as you won’t need the media budget to reach the majority who aren’t interested in your message.
  2. Better ROI because people believe friends and group leaders 10 times as often as ads or celebrity endorsements.
  3. Better Content When you know what experience your customers want, you can sponsor content created by those they trust most.

Using an influence expert to help you construct a communications program with influencers can help your find and build the relationships that make this happen. Crafting a message with an understanding of your audience and the data available today, mixed with the psychology of influence can produce exponential results.

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