Who has marketing influence, and why should you care?

In the world of marketing, the top 20 influencers likely have more than 20% of the power to persuade.

The 80/20 Rule, first proffered by Vilfredo Pareto way back when, basically says that the top 80% of anything good (and otherwise) will be influenced by the best (or worst) 20%. 

80/20 applies to financial advisors, RIAs, investment managers, and the managers and the managed in general.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing focuses on using key leaders to drive your message. “Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire/pay influencers to get out the word for you,” says TapInfluence. Some might say influencer marketing is a testimonial dressed up as not a testimonial.

According to BuzzSumo, “Influencer marketing and outreach is a powerful way to increase brand awareness, drive traffic and gain customers.”

How powerful? A McKinsey report reported that that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. And of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth had a 37% higher retention rate.”

The infographic below, from Placester and Feldman Creative, provides repeatable quotes from not 20 but 22 of the most listened to oracles of influence, E.F. Hutton excluded, since he’s no longer advertising, and possibly dead.

Some Influential Examples

From Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute: “Have an influencer strategy. Start with why you are engaging with influencers.”

From Doug Kessler, a bit of a Brit and a content marketing junkie with Velocity Partners, “If you want an influencer to be a shiny cog in your content distribution machine, be one of the hardest working cogs in theirs.”

From Jay Baer, a marketing polymath: “We to often look at ‘audience’ and call it ‘influence.’ What the best companies do is focus on advocates first (customers and employees) and then add influence on top of that.”

From Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs: “Maintain a giving mindset. In this age of social media and content, everyone is potentially a  “who” in a who’s who scenario.”

From Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing in Minneapolis (Go Huskies!): “Grow your influencer network long before you need them. Find common interests and develop rapport.”

How to Build Influence with Influencers

Like all good things, influencing the influential is a long-term effort. Perhaps you could start with sharing and re-tweeting their Twitter content, mentioning them when you share their content, and asking to interview them for your website

Ah, but why should an influencer come out and play with you? What could possibly motivate them to work with you? Three ideas: Blog about them and link to their site; recommend their services on your website; and, share their content to your mailing list.

Who are the Investment Influencers?

The influencers in investment management and investment advice are typically the people you and your prospects pay attention to. Influencers may be the RIAs with the most assets, keynote speakers, investment editors, mutual fund CEOs, alternative asset manager CIOs, and so on.

And here’s a white paper on how to make your website an influential part of your lead generation efforts: