October 31, 2018

Own, Don't Rent Your Fans

By Norty Cohen

An excerpt of this article first appeared in CEOWorld Magazine in October 2018. 

Why All Consumers Are Influencers 

I would rather buy life insurance than talk to an influencer company salesperson.

 A life insurance salesperson has to create the need with an emotional appeal like “You’re going to die sooner or later, you need this.” Fair enough. But an influencer company salesperson has nothing our clients will ever need. Here’s why:

Fundamentally, we believe that all consumers are influencers. It’s our job to create and nurture a community of fans around the brands we are building. Purchasing someone else’s endorsement doesn’t build fans for your brand.

Building partnerships with other brands who share lifestyle and interest would serve you a whole lot more than someone’s paid list. There are a lot of ways to build communities and we have documented the entire process in our new book, Join The Brand.

We look at the types of brand communities you can build: pools, hubs and webs. We share best practices and innovative ways winning brands are providing their fans with reasons to join them. 

Ultimately, creating your own list of consumers will serve you over and over again. Would Disney or Amazon ever buy influencers?

They own their lists. And you can, too.

 Here are the five steps to becoming an owner vs renter:

1)      Build Your Audience On Platforms You Own.

Digital platforms will continue to change daily. Building your audience solely on social channels will not completely optimize your brand.

2)    Your Business Plan Has To Include Building A Community.

Since social platforms are pay to play, the KPI of your overall business strategy has to be building a loyal group of followers and creating a brand community.

3)    Build Your Email Database.

Loyalty can only be measured by fans who have exchanged data through email, ecommerce and personal connectivity.

4)    Build Brand Programming Around Consumer Interests.

Be consistent. Stand for something. Be the go-to resource for it.

 5)    Don’t Buy Superfans. You Can Earn Them.

Buying influencers is a variation of one-way messaging. It rarely creates enough value to pay you back.

 Excerpt from Join The Brand, by Norty Cohen, Jillian Flores and Meggie Petersen. Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hudson News and select independent booksellers.

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