Building your company as a brand is always the aim. But within this, like a Russian doll, fit a number of other strategies. Creating influencers is one of them.
A human face will always be more memorable and recognisable than a logo. Using content marketing to build up the influence of a founder or senior executive allows you to own the sector you work in and achieve additional reach over your competitors.
It is often a case of muscling into the spotlight. Let’s face it, no one is better at pushing others off the stage and getting themselves in the frame than celebrities.
Vin Diesel: Mr Facebook
You may not be a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, but Vin Diesel is among the most-followed celebs on Facebook. At time of writing, well over 100 million people click to see shirtless Vin relaxing by the pool, chilling out or doing stuff on a jet ski.
Curiously, Diesel’s following received a massive 20-million boost following the death of his FAF co-star Paul Walker.
Even better, he manages the account himself. It is simply a case of putting up regular posts (on average one every other day) and reaping the compound benefit. Diesel has a clear view of himself as a brand and plays along with it.
The personal touch must contribute to his popularity. So the challenge for any marketer trying to do the same thing is to use content to portray the person. Equally important, he is giving his fans what they want – access to how he lives his life, as they imagine it.
Shirt or no shirt
Obviously, you don’t demand your influencer to strip off by the pool. However, there does need to be an element of pushiness and a desire to put oneself on show.
His content provides value to his fans. Or, put another way, it is consistent with his image and what his customer base expects. But key to his success is that he keeps finding new ways to convey his message.
Some would-be influencers are happy with the concept of becoming well-known; they just don’t want to be seen trying to achieve it.
Again this is where Diesel and his ilk offer a lead. There was, at some point in time, a moment when Diesel had only a couple of followers and one of those was probably his mum. Fake it till you make it.
The second thing is to find the right platform. Facebook is great for Diesel and consequently the films he makes (a 100-million subscription list must add plenty on to his fee). LinkedIn probably wouldn’t be as good.
There are plenty of other examples. Jamie Oliver with his books/TV. Or Lana del Ray, arguably a fictitious persona, who has extensively used Tumblr to build a following.
You don’t have to go this far to build up an influencer in B2B. But it can serve as inspiration for what can be done. As a wise man once said, only by going too far do you know how far you can go.