17 Questions Answered by 21 Thought Leaders

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We asked 21 authors, speakers and business leaders for their thoughts on Influencer Marketing. The following slides are brief excerpts of their responses. Get your free journal and Cision’s 3-Step Guide to Influencer Relations at www.socialbusinessengine.com/cision

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“90% of consumers trust recommendations from their network. Combine that with the fact that we only trust advertising 20% of the time, and you have a pretty compelling case to invest in influencer marketing.” Nick Robinson, Digital and Social Practice at SAP North America

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“PR is the ultimate in inbound marketing. While leveraging PR, you are leveraging your audiences, the various influencers in your category, your market, your vertical.” Jeanne Hopkins, Senior Vice President & CMO at Continuum Managed IT Services

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“In order to maximize share of voice and brand awareness in social networks, big brands need to leverage what I call the Power of Other: employees, partners, fans, and influencers.” Neal Schaffer, Founder of Maximize Your Social

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“The ideal brand influencer exists in the space between customers and 'credentialed' analysts.” Joe Chernov, VP of Content for HubSpot

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“In today's social world, the individual consumer has a voice, and they are using it to impact brands each and every day.” Kim Garst, CEO and Co-Founder of Boom! Social Media Marketing

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“Every niche has influencers who have cultivated huge audiences. The goal of the marketer is to borrow that audience and credibility in a sensitive and considerate way.” Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder of Orbit Media

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“Always be valuing the brand of the influencer as highly as you value your own. Win them over by equipping them to succeed. If you're skilled, the endorsements will come naturally and be much more authentic.” Bob Knorpp, Host of The BeanCast Marketing Podcast

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“When an employee becomes influential, a whole new vista of career opportunities opens up to them. Leaders who are afraid they'll lose star employees should be afraid ... they'll lose those stars to rival employers who celebrate them.” Ted Coine, CMO of meddle.it and co-author of "A World Gone Social"

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“What's more important these days: a mention in the New York Times or the featured blog at the Content Marketing Institute? Depending on your goals, they can be equally as important.” Jason Miller, Head of Global Content and Social at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

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“Ask not what an influencer can do for you, ask what you can do for an influencer.” Laura Fitton, Head of Influencer Relations at HubSpot

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“The keys to penetrating the "sphere" of an influencer are understanding, authenticity, and consistency.” Jeffrey K. Rohrs, Vice President of Marketing Insights for Salesforce

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“The Internet has put the power of the media into the hands of normal everyday people that have the potential to become influential in their fields.” Chad Pollitt, VP of Audience and Co-founder of Relevance

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“The future of influencer marketing shifts the focus back to the influencer and away from channels ... marketers provide the message, and influencers will provide the audience.” David Berkowitz, Chief Marketing Officer of MRY

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“Influence is based on context, so you want to identify people who produce and share content that can impact your business or your buyer's decision-making process and develop relationships with them.” Valeria Maltoni, Founder & CEO of Conversation Agent LLC

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“With influencers you may lose control of your message. But what you lose in control, you gain in trust.” Tim Hughes, Social Selling Pioneer & Innovator

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“'How can I help them' is all you need to think of when you approach the influencers in your industry.” Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial

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“Instead of treating influencer marketing as solely transactional and campaign driven, brands should view those relationships as ongoing partners and collaborators whose influence and thought leadership can be leveraged across the organization.” Laura Ciocia, Hybrid Digital Communications Strategist

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“Brands should embrace the communities they serve. This should include relevant influencers. These are the individuals others look to for guidance, and connecting with them opens powerful lines of communication for learning and brand promotion.” Glen Gilmore, Attorney and Forbes "Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer"

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“The people with the most influence will be the ones that are more in touch with real people. They know what your customers want and will be the first to complain or the first to champion you if you treat them right.” Warren Whitlock, Author of "Profitable Social Media: Business Results Without Playing Games"

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“The ideal influencer is somebody who truly wants to help his audience and make good connections. You want authenticity, not a hired gun.” John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co.

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“Cultivate relationships with all of your customers and fans now, and you will be able to reap the benefits of influencer marketing for years to come.” Dave Kerpen, Founder and CEO of Likeable Local

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