When Sam Fiorella and I sat down to write Influence Marketing, we had a very defined goal as to what we wanted to achieve.
This ranged from the tone of the book itself, to the reaction of readers, to the long-term goals for uptake of the book’s methodology.
With Influence Marketing having just “celebrated” its six month anniversary since its publication date, I thought it might be fun/interesting to take a look back and see how the book’s not only been received, but also how our original goals have fared.
Influence Marketing Commercial Success
While both Sam and I were very much focused on the reaction to the methodology we present in the book, along with how readers could implement it within their own businesses, a book still has to sell to make the publisher’s investment worthwhile.
By the end of the first week of launch, Influence Marketing had shipped its complete first print run. This took us completely by surprise – while we had high hopes for sales, we weren’t expecting such a response.
I think this can be attributed down to our pre-launch strategy.
- We created a Google+ community where we hosted regular Hangouts on the topic of influence marketing with various leaders in the space.
- We created a series of whiteboard videos, that shared our belief in how today’s definition of influence had to change, and put the focus back on the customer.
- We stayed away from the typical “Buy X amount of books in return for…” strategy (although we did offer some incentives post-launch) and instead worked with organizations, Social Media Clubs, and influence marketing platforms on live events where the book’s methodology could be dissected.
- We released a carefully chosen free sample chapter that showed just how deep we were diving into the influence marketing conversation.
- We carried out a survey of more than 1,300 marketing and PR professionals on where influence is today and where it needs to go.
By doing this, we offered information and insights into where the conversation around influence was headed, versus pure promotion. For us, this less direct approach culminated in the first week’s results as well as its healthy ongoing sales.
We’re grateful that the book has continued to be well received, and the other week saw it reach #1 on Amazon Canada! So thank you for your continued interest.
Influence Marketing Critical Success
As grateful as Sam and I were with the commercial response, it’s the critical one that was always going to be the measuring stick for us. Yes, sales were (and are) important – but sales can be inflated, with authors paying companies to help them make the New York Times Bestseller lists, for example.
Critical success – how the book is received not only by the target audience, but also respected peers and publications in the industry – is, for authors, a more accurate reflection of how you met your goals.
Thankfully, we’ve seen some great results in this area too.
- Nielsen BookScan recognized the book as one of its Top 100 Business Books in America.
- Evy Wilkins, VP of Marketing for influence platform Traackr, quotes the book as having “…done nothing short of skyrocket the practice of influencer marketing from a misunderstood and poorly executed social media technique to a fully-fledged business necessity.”
- The book has been picked up to be part of the curriculum at the likes of Georgetown University in Washington, U.S., and Seneca College in Toronto, Canada.
In addition, reviews on the likes of Amazon and blogs have universally alluded to the academic approach the book takes.
- “This book is a serious read and hands down the best of any of the social media books I have read to date. Danny and Sam provide facts, case studies, examples, charts, data and concepts that will likely cause a shift in the way the reader thinks about influence marketing.” Christine DeGraff.
- “This book went further into brand building and sales acquisition than I could have possibly imagined. This will be part of my favourite ‘evergreen’ books because, in the end, this book will be relevant for many, many years to come.” David Boozer.
- “This is a deep read that’s not for the faint of heart. Bring coffee and plan to stay awhile. However, the result will be enlightenment regarding influence marketing that goes beyond a [social] score…” Brian Vickery.
- “This book provides fantastic analysis and details for deploying social influence models that deliver the right results. Some may think the analysis is too academic but I disagree – the world of marketing and social media needs deeper thought [and substance]. The substance included in Influence Marketing will see the book have a shelf life of several years.” Brian Hansford.
While it might seem contrary to what authors should say, both Sam and I love hearing folks saying the book is a hard read, because it should be. Influence marketing – as well as marketing in itself – and understanding your customers takes hard work, research, and in-depth execution and measuring.
The fact this has been picked up by readers of the book is validation for Sam and I’s approach to how we wrote the book, and kudos to our publisher for allowing us to take this route versus making it a simpler read for the mass market.
Influence Marketing and What’s Next
However, this is just the start of the ongoing influence marketing conversation. While the book was the instigator of this conversation, the real “work”, if you like, is only just beginning.
We’ve seen influence platforms begin to adopt our methodology and, with the book being picked up to be used as part of academic curriculums, the next generation of marketers will be taking that methodology forward into new areas of implementation and discussion.
In the meantime, the Influence Marketing book website – and the various communities around it – will continue to be a living resource for the methodology and long-term goals of the book – to move influence marketing beyond just social influence and amplification, and into customer acquisition and real business ROI.
Coming soon, we’ll be presenting a very special webinar/workshop series with partners that are leading the way when it comes to where the influence conversation needs to go. We’ll also be sharing more whiteboard videos, as well as creating a resource that offers which platforms are really driving influence forward, to help you make the right decision for your needs.
Both Sam and I sincerely thank you for all your support so far – it means more than you can imagine, so thank you. Here’s to the next stage.
A version of this post originally appeared on the Influence Marketing blog.