How to Leverage Psychology for Influencer Marketing

Multi-Ethnic Group of Hands Holding Speech Bubbles

Author: Lillian Podlog

It doesn’t matter if Bradley Cooper hasn’t used a stapler in his life; if he endorses your stapler on social media, you’ll likely see a spike in your website traffic and sales. Case in point: after Lincoln enlisted Matthew McConaughey’s star power to advertise their MKX crossover SUV, sales for the brand increased 25% a month after the first ads debuted, according to Bloomberg Technology. This tactic is known as influencer marketing. Of course, it might not be that easy or cheap (or relevant) to get Matthew McConaughey on board with your brand. On the other hand, it will probably be easier to get an existing customer (perhaps one that’s not a celebrity) to put in a good word for your brand, but their endorsement is less likely to have a big impact on your bottom line.

Influencer marketing uses key individuals in a network to drive brand awareness and affinity. This can include everything from Beyonce’s reference of Red Lobster in her song “Formation” (which spiked a 33% increase in sales and helped the brand to trend on Twitter for the first time in history) to Ann Handley sharing your blog post on social media. Influencer marketing is a powerful tactic, but figuring out which influencers to target, and how, can be difficult. You have to factor in the time and effort you spend trying to get an influencer’s attention, the influencer’s relevance to your target market, and your ultimate payoff.

Earlier this year, a team of researchers at University of Southern California (USC) discovered a social media phenomenon called the majority illusion, which happens when well-placed members of a social network create the illusion that items on social media are more popular than they actually are. Understanding the majority illusion can help marketers better understand which large influencers and niche influencers to target.

What Exactly Is the Majority Illusion and How Does It Work?

Imagine a community. Everyone in this community loves hosting and attending dinner parties, some more than others. There are also several people in this community who are big advocates of using hybrid vehicles. In the figure below, every hybrid advocate is represented by a red circle. Each person in the circle hosts a dinner party, and their guests are represented by the lines that radiate out from each circle.

Circle Network

Hybrid advocates represent only about one-fifth of this community, but they have an oversized influence. Why? They attend more dinner parties than anyone else. If you attend a five-person dinner party where three people there are hybrid advocates, then you might assume that everyone is a fan of this new technology. But if your friend goes to a dinner party and only one out of ten people is an advocate, she might think the opposite.

Social media is essentially a series of dinner parties. Every person’s social media feed is a dinner party that they host. By having a large network, influencers are appearing in more feeds than anyone else (attending more dinner parties than the average user). Just like in our dinner party example, if a handful of influencers in the same vertical or niche talk about a particular company or issue, they can create the illusion that it is more popular than it actually is–in other words, a majority illusion.

Targeting Influencers

Within the social media realm, there are both large and niche influencers who can make an impact for your brand. Who you should reach out to ultimately depends on your goals, which may be to:

Increase awareness: If your goal is to build awareness about your brand or product/service, it makes sense to go after large influencers. Large influencers bring star power to the table with very large followings who will perceive their endorsement of you positively. And as we saw with the Lincoln and Matthew McConaughey, for larger influencers, your brands do not have to be an exact match in order to be successful. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep both your company’s brand and the influencer’s brand in mind as you identify relevant influencers. It’s crucial that you reach out to influencers whose personal brand does not contradict your own. For instance, a luxury clothing company should not reach out to a fashionista who blogs about and advocates buying second-hand.

Drive sales: If your product already has some buzz or perhaps you’re trying to target a few distinct markets, you can consider reaching out to niche influencers. Niche influencers operate within semi-isolated sections of a larger vertical (e.g. running enthusiasts within the larger athletics vertical). The researchers at USC found that the majority illusion occurs most frequently in environments where influencers have sizable followings, but where their followers have a low number of followers themselves. This is because followers with a low number of connections have less noise in their feed and are more likely to notice the influencer’s posts.

Whatever your objectives are: there are tools out there like BuzzSumo and Followerwonk that can help you find and identify the best individuals to target for different topics, keywords, and industries.

Once you’ve developed your list, here are some tips for engaging with influencers:

  1. Identify mutual connections. It’s helpful (but not necessary) to get a personal introduction to a large influencer. A mutual connection with a large influencer decreases the friction of your initial contact and increases the likelihood that the influencer will earnestly consider your request.
  2. Be authentic. Keep things real. Do your research and take the time to understand who an influencer is and what they’re passionate about. Connect with them outside of asking them for something. This not only builds a more personal relationship, but it also helps you build a relationship—one that’s beneficial for both sides. Also, be sure to show your appreciation for their efforts with a thank you note and creative gift.
  3. Provide incentives. Don’t expect the influencer to share your content from the goodness of their hearts. Your incentive doesn’t have to be monetary, but it’s important to have one. Let’s say you’re targeting a tech influencer. Something as simple as providing that influencer with exclusive information about your product can be a win-win. While you reap the benefits of their impact, the influencer reinforces their position as a tech expert with exclusive information. So, consider all of your company’s offerings and determine whether any of them be beneficial to your target influencers. Here are some other incentives you could potentially offer:

-Collaboration on content creation

-Promoting the influencer’s content

-Access to data or information

-Free products (and the first rights to review those products)

Whether you’re working with niche influencers, large influencers, or a combination of the two, remember that your strategy is key. Build relationships with the right influencers and time it so that influencers are sharing with their networks around the same time so you can maximize your impact.

What other tips do you have for identifying and building relationships with influencers? Share them in the comments below!


How to Leverage Psychology for Influencer Marketing was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post How to Leverage Psychology for Influencer Marketing appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Marketo Marketing Blog

Close Comments

Comments (12)

  1. CyberCrone^I am sorry to rate this so poorly because it is well crafted and a much lovelier shade of cream than shown in the photo. However&#44 it is so small it is unwearable. Others have made this complaint 鈥?pay attention.~4|Amazon Customer^As indicated&#44 the “Kufi” is a little larger than I expected which made for a less that appealing look when worn. Additionally&#44 poor craftsmanship during manufacturing led to fraying along the edges after worn on only two occasions. Sadly&#44 my initial purchase was for 3 of these imitation Kufis. I have them but simply cannot wear any of them because they simply don’t fit and look awful. Buyer beware! After I while&#44 I began to ask myself what good are these “Kufi’s” or any head gear if it cannot be worn? Needless to say&#44 I will not be purchasing anymore of these items an neither should you. I finally contacted the seller regarding the return and complete refund for these items.~3|David Arroyo^Don’t let negative reviews spoil your purchase! The price is worth it&#44 at least for me since I can’t come across any place near me to purchase a kufi. This is made good quality&#44 fits perfect my head is 22inch/57cm. This is my favorite kufi I wear it everywhere. Will be purchasing more soon. Jazak Allahu Khayran~5|EJL Clinical and Behavioral Health^This product met all of my expectations&#44 and even surpassed them. The item epitomizes the meaning of true quality&#44 and I would definitely do business again!~5|RustyCrusty^Great single piece costume to go invisible in Muslim areasdoes not come with beard~5|AGK^A little warm to wear in the warmer season&#44 but the product is fine.~4|Leo A. McInnis^Excellent service. Would definitely recommend to others.~5|Amazon Customer^Great product~5|D.A.King^Alhamdulillah.~5|Amazon Customer^Great&#44 I love it&#44 little small but in stretches&#44 great quality for price&#44 protect head&#44 but stay cool~4|

  2. Mach V. Manuel^I was excited to find this shirt here&#44 one of the best images of Harley and Joker. I’d found a similar one at Walmart&#44 but it was printed on a dark gray and had these weird white speckles&#44 looked pretty tacky. But this one&#44 seemingly perfect. I was a bit apprehensive after reading the review mentioning the poor print quality they got&#44 an unlicensed version from China. But&#44 I know with Amazon listings&#44 it’s not always the same seller and the actual product can vary slightly.I took the chance on this&#44 and when it arrived I was happy at first because the printed tag showed me it was indeed officially licensed&#44 and the print quality of the image looked good to me. But then&#44 I tried it on and discovered it ran smaller than a standard size small&#44 making it too tight for me. Almost tempted to keep it&#44 just because of how awesome the image is&#44 but it’s just way too tight and short in the sleeves&#44 makes me look douchey. Yeah&#44 not good. Damn shame&#44 because it otherwise probably would have become my new favorite t-shirt.~3|Amanda^My son gets lots of compliments on this shirt. It has lasted a long time. Fits great.~5|Jodi^I recommend getting a size up~3|HannahS18^Good picture and quality~5|TRAVESTY 42^Nice fit as expected~5|william^A bit simple materials.Fits wells and not bad shirt but a bit thin and the print isn’t what i expected. Still a good buy for $12.~4|sentimentaljunki^This is a classic image from the comic world. I’ve wanted it forever&#44 and finally decided to gift it to myself.Even if you aren’t the biggest DC comic fan&#44 Harley Quinn and Joker get a free pass to be enjoyed by the masses.~5|Jeff Evans^The screen printing on this shirt is excellent quality – a nice thick print which I think will help it stand up to the washing machine. The artwork for Harley and Joker is also well done. My only complaint is that they gave Joker red eyes – I would have made them green&#44 but that’s just nit-picking.~5|Ashlie^Bought this for my sister for Christmas. It fit her perfect. I was really happy on the delivery and everything about the shirt.~5|Camasen^Great t-shirt&#44 keep in mind it does shrink a bit. Order up a size if you like your t-shirts longer.~4|

  3. Amazon Customer^True to size and I loved the way it looked on me! However&#44 it slowly began to fade after a few washes and after several movements I got a hole in the armpit area :(.~4|CGAL75^Hard material…fits too snug and seems short on bottom~3|Buttons^Love it.~5|R Moses^Fits as expected. Ok shirt. Heavy cotton. Wanted a softer cotton type shirt. Overall 3 stars.~3|Julie Frey^Great quality. I got my son a 2xl and it fit perfectly. The only thing you should be aware of is that the “S” is huge on the shirt. The picture of the shirt is a little deceiving. When I opened it&#44 the “S” takes up most of the front of the shirt.~5|Carlos J Collazo^Not a bad shirt. A little thick and stuff for my liking&#44 and the sleeves are a little short&#44 only goes half way to your bicep and the sleeves flare out. So unless you have big guns(which you should rocking a superman shirt) the sleeves look a little funny even when folded~4|carlos santos^MUY BUENO~3|Joshua Teixeira^Somewhat cheaply made and of scratchy material… not bad though as a Halloween costume and I bought it with a gift card so I can’t complain~4|Terry Stinnett^Like the shirt. nice quality. Website and reviews said to order a size larger than he normally wears. Nope&#44 it is too big.~4|Eric D Auge^Great size. Larger emblem than others. Not the new movie logo&#44 but a nice mesh of old emblem and new emblem size.~5|

  4. D. Parikh^Seems like a nice shirt&#44 but unlike the one pictured on Amazon&#44 it does not have the show logo “silicon valley” under the letter i. I assume that it’s an officially licensed shirt because Hooli CEO Gavin Belson would not stand for theft of intellectual property–at least not from Hooli. On the other hand&#44 if it’s a fake company maybe it’s okay to have a fake shirt.~4|Jess^This is as poor quality shirt. It also smelled funny. It has not survived washing well.~4|jcogs^Love the series and love this shirt! Although no one seems to know what it means haha!!~5|Toni Recio^The logo of the TV show does not appear like the Photo.The fabric of the shirt is of very poor quality&#44 itchy skinBut the worst&#44 the print quality is simply painful.~4|Amazon Customer^Fits as expected~4|Ricin_cigarette^It was big enough&#44 but fairly short. Very&#44 very thin&#44 and see through. Also did not have “Silicon Valley” printed under the “Hooli” name. I would have liked the show’s name on it. Maybe I’ll try the Pied Piper one&#44 but I’m really not sure after this one. Fifth Sun shirts are usually smallish and very thin so I’m not to surprised.~4|James C Moffet IV^I mean&#44 it’s a Hooli shirt… what’s not to like? Fits great! I work with hundreds of other software engineers&#44 and when I walk the halls I get all kinds of accolades. It’s a fun shirt .~5|blyzwick^Nothing like a white elephant gift to draw a few smiles at the office. This was a hit and the person who received it is a big fan of the show.~4|Katy Stanford^Doesn’t have ‘silicon valley” on the shirt&#44 and it was a little on the smaller side. I would get a size up.~4|Chava^Low quality print is already starting to fade after a couple washes. Material is your average t shirt crappy thick cotton.~3|

  5. Eaglesnest^I don’t consider this hat to be a full profile&#44 maybe a half profile&#44 as described because they chopped off some of the top mesh portion and they crammed all the letters together and made the logo smaller on this one. This hat is China made by otto. It’s not great but it is the mesh for summer wear I was looking for. I have an original full profile winter type hat with the same logo made proudly in the U.S.A. by Eagle Crest and they did not cut corners on it’s manufacture as the ones who made this hat appear to have done. It’s ok but as a vet myself I would expect hat makers to have a bit more respect. The fit was about usual.~3|Jon K.^This review is for:Vietnam Veteran Military Patched Mesh Back Cap -…This is a very nice hat. It is all black. The patch is nicely embroidered. The sizing is the usual plastic band with holes and plugs. One size fits most. Good summer hat with the mesh back.** This was purchased as a gift for my step-father for Fathers Day.~5|Angelface^I was very happy with this hat. I have been looking for one with the mesh back for at least a year. Since my husbands other one is getting so worn. Had checked Amazon many times but gave up looking anymore. Just before his birthday I decided to look one more time on Amazon. Boy was I surprised to see the exact hat. The shipping was as promised and it got here on his birthday. He wears this hat every time he goes out. All I can say is Thank you.~5|Savina^Mesh back military hat works well in warm weather. I have ordered 2 or three over the years. Very nice hat~5|NFAToys^The colors are correct for the medals shown. But next to an older Vietnam Veterans hat I purchased 15 years ago at a VFW convention&#44 this hat is noticeably smaller. It’s narrower and shorter than my old hat.~3|BB.Oregon^Very Nice Hat for the money~5|Carol Dozier^For Father’s Day I bought this hat for my husband and he loves it! He wears it with Pride.~5|Amazon Customer^good just right~5|sarge^This was a gift for my husband.He likes it because of the mesh back.It is cool and comfortable in the Florida heat and humidity.The material is of good quality and does not squash easily.We would like to have found a mesh cap with the branch of service also embroidered on the cap.~5|Charles D Thompson^Need to get/have a choice of high profile&#44 medium profile and low profile caps??? High profile caps gives room to place pins of units&#44 places and military affiliation&#44 etc…..~4|Clanson Trahan^Being a retired US Army combat veteran&#44 I loved wearing my beret hat in the service but it was made out of dark wool and too hot to wear in the summertime. This is the perfect&#44 low profile and lightweight cap. I ABSOLUTELY love the design!~5|AvidReviews^The MG Sandwich Fashion Ivy Newsboy Hat Cap is a nice fusion between baseball cap and newsboy hat. The bill is longer than typical newsboy caps which is effective at blocking out sun&#44 and the looser and lighter canopy helps keep things cooler in the heat&#44 and avoids flattening down hair as do baseball caps. Being adjustable&#44 despite being a little more loose fitting than similar-sized baseball caps&#44 it is easily adjusted down without becoming too distorted.The fabric is light and airy enough for keeping cool in South Florida summer&#44 and keeps its shape well enough to wear without being too top-sided.The only distortion of the cap happens when the side adjustments are tightened too much&#44 causing the two sides of the cap to pucker out on each side. I didn’t quite like this&#44 but because I use this hat primarily in the summer as a way to shade from the sun&#44 this didn’t matter much to me.Overall&#44 an inexpensive cap that looks good enough and serves its purpose well.Pros: inexpensive&#44 provides a generous visor in a newsboy-like styleCons: adjustment causes sides of cap to pucker out~4|Richard Spafford^I have 5 of these in 3 different colors (black&#44 white&#44 and a very light gray off-white). They fit great&#44 are not too heavy or warm (for summer use)&#44 and they get an unusual number of positive remarks from people. They’re easy to rinse and put up to dry (knob in the shower)&#44 so they remain in better condition longer.~5|Jerry^Since I had some spots on my head that the dermatologist treated….and she told me I needed to start wearing a hat&#44 I figured that I needed to get something stylish&#44 sophisticated&#44 suave and devil-may-care-ish. Since wearing the cap&#44 no one has told me that I look stupid so I figure I’ve upped my designer game plan.~5|paula kay^The photo of this hat does not show how long the bill is. It is longer than normal. My husband is using it for golf after having a recent procedure for multiple precancerous facial spots so the long bill is actually beneficial for him. If he hadn’t had the precancerous condition he would have sent it back.~4|Joe0928^The only thing more amazing than the hat itself is the price. I’ve bought $50 similar duckbill hats that do not look as good. I plan on wearing it in the tropics on a vacation but I am a bit afraid the light color get dirty. So I ordered another one for back up just in case. The hat looks like it is made extremely well. It isn’t a pure white&#44 but an off white color. I do wish it came in other colors. However&#44 I did order the black one as well so now I have 3 of these hats. HI love this hat and showed it to a friend who tried it on. He immediately ordered one for himself. I highly recommend this hat.~5|Stephan A. Henry^This hat is an amazing value and a very high quality product. The bill is longer than most hats of this type providing more shade. Fit my 22.75 inches or 58 cms head as is with no adjustment but could adjust a fair amount in either direction.~5|S.D.G.^I have a black one&#44 and wanted one to wear in the summer.It fits well and looks a little nicer than the average “baseball” cap.~4|DDarlene^Husband likes it. He normally wears a large which is about a 7 and this fit perfectly right out of the package. There are no snaps on the sides but could be adjusted by pulling or loosening the tabs on each side to make slightly bigger or slightly smaller fit. The stone color is great and my husband liked the \”sandwich bill\” as it keeps the sun glare down and looks cool. He’s been wearing it every day this week and has thanked me about three times for it so guess I got a bingo with this cap. Quality of material is exceptional.~5|K.G.S.^MG New Sandwich Fashion Ivy Newsboy Hat Cap&#44 arrived quickly&#44 fit good and I plan to buy more~4|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *