value insights

InNetwork, Brand Influence – Valutrics

In the book Influence Marketing, some platforms were felt leading the way in the next wave of influence marketing.

These platforms include Traackr, Tellagence and others, for the way they’re moving beyond generic influence and actually delivering business intelligence and results.

Of course, the limitations of a book, as well as how fast this space moves, meant as soon as we’d finished, new platforms came into play that impressed just as much.

One such platform is InNetwork, from Nova Scotia, Canada.

Quality Assurance and Influence

The beauty of the platforms that are moving the influence conversation forward is that they all have something different to offer, and can either complement each other or be used because of these differences for specific campaign needs.

  • Traackr, for instance, has their new INA solution, which allows you to see who influences the influencers (a key factor for success in the methodology we present in the book);
  • Appinions takes into account offline data, which counters the “you’re only influential if you’re online” approach that the likes of Klout take;
  • Tellagence tracks the ebb and flow of influence across communities, and helps identifies the next layer or generation of influencers.

For InNetwork, their differentiating factor is the authority stance they take when identifying influencers.

When you use InNetwork as a marketer and you set up your first campaign, you enter the keywords around the industry you’re in, and the target audience for that industry. That starts to populate InNetwork’s influence roster, as highlighted in the image above.

There are two types of influencers on InNetwork – registered and searched. The registered ones are those that have connected their data to the InNetwork database, and these are highlighted by blue stars.

The searched ones are those that haven’t registered with InNetwork, but have dropped into your search based on keywords used.

This is where the first part of the InNetwork Authority metricses into play.

When an influencer registers, they are manually curated by the quality control team at InNetwork, who verify authority on a topic, that they aren’t a bot or fake account, that the numbers add up, and that the influencer actually knows what they’re talking about. Only then do they gain access to the system.

This offers an immediate benefit for brands used to using social scoring platforms for “influencer outreach” campaigns. No more generic, no more false expertise – instead, real influencers with real audiences.

But the authority doesn’t stop there.

The True Audience of Influence

Once you start to use the various filters while setting up your campaign, the audience number of the influencer changes.

While someone may have a collected “follower” number of 10,000 across Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc, not all 10,000 are going to be interested in the same thing.

For instance, a marketing blogger’s audience may be made up of small business owners, Fortune 50 executives, non-profit volunteers, etc. They need different information for different strategies.

Likewise, a lifestyle blogger may have married moms with teens, single moms with a toddler, retired moms, etc. Again, they’re going to need different messages targeted to their different buying needs.

As you add extra keywords and demographics into the InNetwork algorithm, it starts to show you what the true audience size for these filters looks like, as shown in the image below.

Now, instead of a non-targeted couple of thousand followers, you have access to a very targeted couple of hundred, that are in your target audience demographic and trust the advice of that particular influencer on that topic.

It immediately ramps up the success potential versus throwing a generic message at 5,000 audience members and seeing what sticks.

The more filters you add, the more targeted results you get, until you have a roster of influencers with a warm and engaged audience that’s right for your brand and the message/product/service you’re trying to promote.

The One to One Relationship Factor

Now that you have your chosen influencers, InNetwork adds the final piece of the authority puzzle.

Brand managers, or whoever’s responsible for the relationship with the identified influencers, now have access to a Brief and Statement of Work area, as well as a private messaging function directly with the influencer, as shown in the two images below.

Here. the brand can connect with the influencer directly, and propose their project as well as their requirements, goals, expectations,pensation and more.

In return, the influencer can negotiate that statement of work, to ensure that the message that’s shared with their audience is right for them; doesn’t impact the trust of the influencer; and offers a fair reward for the work that’s being done.

With both sides working together like this, it ensures the brand’s message is going to the right audience, and that the brand is allowing the influencer to share the message in a way that’s relevant to theirmunity.

It’s one of the core reasons any campaign succeeds and, more importantly, moves beyond a short-term campaign and into a longer term loyalty and advocacy relationship.

Once the campaign finishes, the influencer can be “ranked” for relevance of message, results, goals met, and general working relationship. This again helps InNetwork connect the strongest influencers for brand messages, based on their proven metrics and successes in similar campaigns.

The Future Looks Bright

InNetwork only came into public beta launch at the beginning of June, but already you can see they put a lot of legwork in when ites to providing the type of solution agencies want and need.

The fact they carried out a lot of pre-build conversations with brands and agencies as to what solutions would be useful shows in the features highlighted here.

There are some features currently missing that I’d love to see added – the ability to add your own search terms, versus the pre-defined ones, for instance. Additionally, reports are currently generated by a client services team versus being able to define your own metrics and apply that data manually.

However, it’s still early days for InNetwork and these are two features that have been promised in either the next iteration, or an update before the year end.

For brands right now, the platform offers a solid, very easy-to-use solution that takes the pain out of identifying the true reach and relevant audience for an influencer roster, as well as baking in authority data throughout the whole platform.

It takes influence marketing into another excellent and much-needed direction and for that I’m extremely optimistic about the direction InNetwork is taking the influence conversation forward.

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