How to Use Salesforce.com in Your Influencer Marketing Program
Just last week I caught up with a few members of the marketing department of one of our portfolio companies to discuss best practices of influencer marketing. This team has been executing against an influencer program for some time now with the goal of developing thought leadership and building brand awareness. They have been making good progress setting up meetings with analysts and starting to reach out to industry bloggers. After getting an update on where they stand today, I began to share some best practices based on my experience. I was surprised to hear that one simple concept resonated so well!
Tracking and management!
As soon as I mentioned the importance of keeping a good database of influencers and measuring against goals, I could tell that the team was interested. To date, this company has been managing all influencer related activities in an excel sheet. I recommended transferring all data and activity management to a platform that many expansion stage tech companies use to manage their sales teams – salesforce.com. Just as a sales team tracks against quotas and manages contacts and leads, marketers can use Salesforce to track against goals and manage contacts and activities.
Here are a few best practices:
Set up accounts and contacts for each influencer you are targeting. For example, TechCrunch would be an account and Erick Schonfeld would be a contact. Include relevant information such as phone, email, contact preferences, beat or area of interest, and links to all social media profiles.
Develop a contact rhythm for each type of influencer and create activities and events so that you can effectively track all of your communication. For example, you may want to reach out to analysts on a quarterly or yearly basis and stay top of mind with bloggers on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Create opportunities as you identify them. Most likely your opportunities will be mentions, feature articles, guest articles, etc. By tracking this way, you’ll be able to estimate what it takes to achieve your goals over time.
Lastly, remember to keep the database clean! Many reporters and bloggers jump around from publication to publication and it is important to stay on top of this. Also you will be comfortable knowing that you have a solid list of influencers you can market to when the time is right!
Are you or your marketing teams using Salesforce in creative ways? I’d love to hear about it!