Influencer marketing is the most important issue of any marketing team that plays the 2016 game. And the reason is simple. The clients want a life-like experience with their products. The ball is in their court now, and brands should listen to them. What changed so much all of the sudden?

What changed is the body of knowledge the client is standing on. On the internet, clients can find you or your competition in a matter of seconds. They make choices, smart ones.

They start comparing you and your competition.That’s what puts you on the first Google page or buries your business for good. The clients choose the product that gives them the best version of what they’re looking for.

And if you try to trick clients with fake advocacy or advertisement, it will get back at you.

Find Advocates Among Your Clients

Clients punish brands that try to sell them a false image and are not trustworthy. Some brands are betting all of their budgets on product descriptions written by their own employees. The result looks like an imposture of a product review, filled with exaggerated phrases that make room for the most odious praises of their product. It looks messy, appalling, and hardly anybody believes them anymore.

What seems like a subtle, healthy and effective alternative to the self-promotion is influencer marketing.

People are relying their purchasing decisions on strangers that made themselves known and trusted on social media channels through their expertise in a certain field. And when their review is on the side of your product, the public is inclined to trust more a simple and concise review than the product description or ad.

Many tell us that finding influencers is just a matter of searching the vast territory of social media platforms to find people with many followers and who talk about your field. However, the golden path to these names might be even simpler than that. Your influencers might already be in your grasp.

That means that they can be among your existing clients.


The Power of Surveys

In this blog post I would like to show a different approach to influencer marketing. Instead of first asking the customer or influencer to advocate your brand, we will aim for a simpler goal: getting feedback.

Surveys are a golden mine for any marketer. They tell us what we don’t know about our clients. If used correctly (the ideal number of questions, light and informative expressions, the right tone that resonates with your target public, etc.), any marketer can build a psychological profile of their customers from scratch that concerns the branding of a new product or the new redesign of the website.

By combining the power of the surveys with influencer marketing, you can create the next level of influencers, namely the brand advocates.

The idea is simple. Within the survey, add a series of questions whose answers determine if the participants have influencer material and if they are willing to support your products furthermore. Most of the survey tools on the web have powerful features that gather all the answers in one organized sheet. This way, all there’s left to do is analyzing the data and spotting your potential ambassadors.

There’s another reason why encouraging all customers to contribute with their feedback is crucial for the well-being of the company. There is a psychological side of surveys that few people are aware of and actually use it for their benefit.

The Principle of Consistency

Once people are choosing a side, they will feel the pressure to become consistent with their choice. This is actually a primal principle coined by the father of social influence, Robert Cialdini.

This notion is named the Principle of Consistency, and it refers to one of the most obscure features of the human nature. The principle of consistency is the 2nd out of 6 key principles of influence: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity. Here’s the priniciple:

“If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image”.

Let the Commitment Kick In

Following the principle, once the customers participate in a survey which indirectly supports the product, the consistency will already kick in.

This means that during their next life experience when your product and the ones of your competitions are confronting one another, the customers will stay true to their former decision and more likely will remain loyal to you.

Now, if it happens that among these participants, there would be influencers too (and the chances are strong), then you have just organically created a connection. These influencers are not just interested in your field, but they are also your clients. With the gentle push of the survey, you can easily convert them into brand advocates. They’ve already tested your product, and if their feedback is asked, they will share their quality experience with your brand with the world.

All in all, surveys present a shortcut to influencers, and if used properly, the company will have a lot to gain in this process.

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