Inbound vs outbound influence

June 23, 2017 Matt Heinz

As more B2B companies develop a coordinated influencer program, they’ll do well to consider not just target audiences and channels but also direction.

More specifically, how you develop inbound influence as well as outbound influence.

Inbound influence is focused on how you work with existing, third-party influencers to help tell and amplify your story.

Oubound influence means developing your own people to become themselves influencers, to authentically join their peers outside of the company.

The first is focused on tapping into existing audiences and channels, the second is all about building your own.

Inbound influence takes time, but can deliver results more quickly.  The audience already exists, and you’re working to build credibility and interest among the audience’s leader (the influencer) to share your message.

Outbound takes more time – you have to have credibility, build and keep your audience, etc.  – but it becomes an owned and highly-engaged channel that’s a coveted asset with equity for your business for the foreseeable future.

Ideally each of these have their own set of metrics and KPIs focused on reach, impact and response.  And they can be developed separately and in sequential order.  But your influencer program isn’t complete if you have just one or the other.

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