Social influencer marketing is crucial to any business strategy. Without a strong network of connections, advertisers will inevitably fall short of reaching and understanding their target audiences. On the other hand, reaching out to social influencers can pay dividends for your brand. Just ask Jon Ferrara.
Jon is the founder and CEO of Nimble, the next generation CRM product for small businesses. Jon was able to build his brand primarily by reaching out to trusted advisors in his target audience’s sphere of influence. Focusing on creating relationships with social influencers as his main marketing strategy, Jon shows us that a little kindness—and interest—can go a long way.
You can listen to Jon’s story on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast below, or read on for highlights of the episode. Jon will discuss 5 social selling Must Do’s and Mega Don’ts with Renegade CEO Drew Neisser on SME’s live July 31st webinar (click here to register).
Looking Beyond Customers
Jon made it big in marketing in 1989, when he co-founded GoldMine CRM, a breakthrough organization that helped companies better reach their audiences. At GoldMine, Jon pioneered the very idea of customer relationship management. Taking everything he learned from that experience, he founded Nimble to help companies everywhere improve their CRM strategies.
In order to truly connect with customers, Jon looks beyond his audience. “To access prospects and customers at scale, don’t think about marketing to them,” he says. “Think about identifying their trusted advisers, their influencers, and build relationships with those influencers and help those people succeed.”
Much of Jon’s marketing success stems from this strategy. When he first started Nimble, he went in with a bold belief: that customers would rather hear about a brand from people they trust than from the brand itself. Jon says, “I think it’s more powerful when other people talk about you than when you talk about you.” After earning the title of “Sales Intelligence Market Leader #1 in Customer Satisfaction” from G2 Crowd for the third straight year in 2016, it’s clear that Nimble knows how to build relationships.
Give a Little Bit
Jon’s story reveals how social media sharing can lay the foundation for forming valuable business ties. In order to reach influencers with Nimble’s message, Jon would share their own material on social media to get the ball rolling.
“And so in taking Nimble to scale, what I did is I started swimming in the social river and I found content that inspired and educated me about how to be better, smarter, faster at social sales or marketing,” Jon explains. “What this did is it attracted the audience of that influencer… but it also attracted that person. And so once that influencer who wrote that content reached out and thanked me, I then reeled them in and started a conversation.” Many of those conversations turned into friendships, which then opened doors to those influencers’ follower spheres.
Service Is the New Selling
As consumers become more aware and weary of targeted ads, marketers will need to change their approach to selling. As Jon’s journey suggests, customers don’t typically enjoy being advertised to, thus the road to more conversions may be found not by selling, but by serving.
“I think service is the new selling,” Jon states. “I think that if you give away enough knowledge that you will set yourself up as the trusted expert, and that [consumers] will hire you to do those things.”