Why Change Management Innovators Should Work with Influencers

Joetta L. Wagner | | Change Management

influencer tactics can help with change management initiativesThe term change management describes approaches that aid everyone from individuals to entire companies to make organizational changes. A perpetual challenge of change management is selling these changes to your workforce. You must market these changes to your employees, and that’s where influencer marketing can help.

Influencers are people whose authority, knowledge and relationship with their audience have the power to affect opinions of goods or services. Some companies have used this marketing technique to vastly improve their client base. Influencers promote products and services to their followers and show exactly how to use them in their everyday lives. The key here is they reach audiences that might be resistant to traditional advertising.

You can use the principles that influencers use in your change management initiatives. But instead of trying to promote products and services or show how to use them, your influencers can show employees exactly what is changing, how it will affect their day-to-day work lives, and why these changes are needed.

A Need for Change Management

You’ve reached the point with your company where change needs to happen. It isn’t something that comes out of the blue. In an article for The Process Excellence Network (PEX), Dr. Robert Swaim outlines nine basic reasons organizations need to change.

mergers and more necessitate change management– A crisis

– The company’s performance is fractured

– Not keeping up with new technology, which hampers profit and growth

– Missed marketplace opportunities, which lower an organization’s competitiveness

– A failure to respond to internal and/or external pressures, which can include customer or government policy changes

– Mergers or acquisitions

– Change that happens because there’s a new senior executive, such as a CEO or CFO (change for the sake of change)

– The “lemmings” approach – everyone else is doing it, so we should do it, too

– “Planned abandonment,” which is a company divesting itself of goods or services that don’t make money so they can try new things

It’s all pretty straightforward. But some companies are still trying to get a handle on working with influencers and their tactics.

Learn and Grow

Influencer marketing is a juggernaut that steams relentlessly ahead. Why is it so effective? From the brand’s perspective, understanding how and why products and services appeal to their target audience is step one. This means listening to clients. And it’s not only listening to their first impressions of products. It’s how they’re using them, what issues they’re having and how they feel about the brand.

Once the brand has an idea of how their target audience sees their products, it can put together a list of key influencers in their market. B2B companies probably don’t use many influencers, since influencers almost exclusively exist in the consumer market. But B2B often uses some of the same principles by urging clients to spread word of their services and products. Influencer marketing is essentially viral, professional word-of-mouth marketing. Individuals or groups give potential clients examples of how a brand’s products can positively affect their lives and solve key problems.

Using Influencer Marketing Principles in Change Management

The influencers you see on Instagram and Facebook make their money selling advertising space or they’re sponsored by the company whose products they’re reviewing. Popular influencers are followed by hundreds, thousands or even millions of social media users. So companies compete for top influencers to get their products in front of people and help develop that warm, fuzzy feeling branding professionals try to build in target audiences.

record and share employee videosYou want to show employees the changes you’re making will help them in some way—professionally, personally, or both. One way to do that is to ask one of your employees to record a short video showing how these changes improve some aspect of their job.

For example, say one of your changes is replacing your existing task-management software with another. The new software has several features that speed up work processes for all employees. Record an employee who isn’t a tech expert using the new software to complete a task quickly that before took much longer. Other employees will view this video and see how the change positively affects them, and they’ll be getting the information from an employee like them. That’s another key aspect of influencer marketing you can use in internal communications. Influencers appear more credible because the audience views the influencer as one of them. If your influencer can use the new software effectively, so can your other employees.

Influencer marketing is an aspect of social and content marketing that has been incredibly effective in customer-facing branding. All you have to do as a corporate leader is use a few employees and some influencer tactics to market your change management initiatives to the rest of your workforce.

If video content is what you need, contact Flimp Communications to see how we can help you with your change management processes.

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