The place of influence communication in 2019

23 October 2018

The place of influential communication in 2019

The influence that a company can have on its external environment is now a major issue for all business leaders and senior executives. In the context of a human relationship, one can speak of influence in exactly the same way as in the context of a company: the influential company is the one that manages to act directly or indirectly on the behaviour of all its stakeholders (customers, suppliers, subcontractors, the media…). Be careful not to perceive influence as something exclusively negative, as the ability of a third party to act in a harmful way on the behaviour of another. Influence can go far beyond that and sometimes improves the actions of people, or stakeholders in a company, who are under the influence of an individual or a company.

Clearly, the arrival of new technologies, the Internet and social networks has allowed a new relay for all companies in terms of communication and marketing but also in terms of influence. However, it has never been more difficult for companies in all sectors to control this influence. Communication relays have never been so numerous and so have the targets.

Clearly, questions may therefore arise about the evolution of influence in the daily lives of companies: what will it be like for the year 2019, which is fast approaching? What will be the place of influence in the life of companies throughout this new year? What are the evolutions to be feared, anticipated, anticipated, planned and organized? In the sentences and paragraphs that follow, we will therefore do everything in our power to try to answer all the questions that are currently taking place in the minds of managers about the future influence of their company.

A few reminders before you start

Before getting to the heart of the matter and moving on to the questions and concerns that will interest us, let’s take a moment to reflect, for a moment, on what influence really is for a company. It will then be all the easier to understand the issues facing us later in this article. Indeed, in the other chapters of this article, we will discuss all the issues that will soon torture the minds of current decision-makers and leaders, issues related to the influence that companies will have during the year 2019. Thus, by mastering the notion of communication of influence, we will be able to understand the answers to these questions more easily.

The so-called “influential” communication for a company therefore aims to designate all the processes that aim to create, encourage, influence or even legitimize decisions taken by an individual facing this communication. All this to help serve a commercial or ideological purpose in other contexts that we will not address here out of a desire to focus on influencing communication within companies. Be careful not to consider that only large companies are able to set up influential communication. Indeed, it is not uncommon to meet recently created start-ups who demonstrate a certain influence in their field of activity, thanks to technologies, skills and specific know-how that give them a voice.

Be careful not to confuse communication of influence and lobbying, two diametrically opposed concepts. Indeed, where lobbying is mainly targeted at political decision-makers, influential communication focuses on the actions of consumers and their ability to consume the product or service that my company offers. Influential communication can sometimes aim to influence the ideas of political decision-makers in well-identified situations. But in this case, this very specific communication will adopt an indirect approach where traditional lobbying will be much more frontal, much more direct in the way it implements its action plan.

Once all these things have been clarified, it is time to move on to the questions raised in the introduction to this article, i.e. all the questions that are currently emerging in the minds of managers and business leaders: how can I ensure that my company will be influential in the course of 2019?

1) What will change in the coming year with regard to influence communication?

On the Internet, it is really time for scoring, for comment. All companies, whether selling a good or a service, are now subject to the opinions and comments of connected users. Whether in the field of travel, everyday consumer goods, hotels or many other fields of activity, all companies find themselves on platforms that are well known to the general public and that allow them to give their opinion and feelings about past business experiences. Even Google, the information and Internet giant, has recently launched its own online business rating platform. Thus, and until now, it was quite logical to conclude that consumers were really the ones who had influence on these platforms, those who had the “power” to influence the evolution and development of a company. Indeed, negative criticism can really have negative consequences on the company’s activity, even for positive criticism.

The feedback obtained on dedicated platforms must therefore be examined by all companies that pay minimal attention to their image on the Internet. A company that does not take this trouble would immediately submit to the risk of negative comments being made against it without knowing it. Thus, the real challenge for companies in 2019 will be to be as up to date as possible, on existing platforms as well as on the new places of exchange that are currently being created. Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Kik and WhatsApp are all ways of communicating between consumers. These channels will have to be mastered for companies if they want to keep a close eye on the evolution of their image and influence. Obviously, the communication of influence 2.0 requires an absolute mastery of all the new channels that are emerging today, but also the mastery of many tools such as the famous “hashtag” or the “Vine”.

2) What are the keys to developing a strategy of influence worthy of the name?

Another central question that you need to think about before committing to an influence strategy for your company is: what are the keys to master in order to develop influence communication? Rushing is really the entrepreneur’s enemy, whatever the field. But in communication, it must be said that any strategy that is not thought out or anticipated is doomed to failure. So take the time, yourself if you are a company manager or executive manager, with your whole team, to think about the solutions we will propose to you in the following lines, ideal solutions to set up a communication of influence worthy of the name.

– The exchange of equal value

This notion, abstract as it may be, is nevertheless essential and central. For your company to have a real influence on all its current customers and, in the long term, on potential customers, the exchange with this same customer must be of equal value. That is, if your client spends money, he or she must, in return, get value for his or her money, or at least have the impression of that, the impression of an exchange of equal value. This exchange can take the form of a unique experience, an additional voucher, a discount on other goods or services, or in many other forms, in addition to the service or good. The main objective is that the customer, once his purchase has been made, wants to come back and share with others the customer experience he has just experienced. We are simply going back to the basics of word of mouth once again.

– Clear and predefined general communication

Another essential key to master in order to give your company maximum influence is the general communication of your company. A company whose communication media of any kind would never go in the same direction is a company that takes the risk of “losing” its customers. Indeed, a customer who does not recognize himself in the day-to-day communication of a company he is used to is a customer who can completely turn back and opt for a competing company. The influence of a company obviously depends on the image it reflects to all its stakeholders. A clear image, defined in advance, skilfully maintained, is the image of an organised, self-confident company that is certain to have a strong influence.

– Trust

Finally, the best ways for a company to gain influence are, more or less, the same as for an individual. The self-confidence that a company can have in itself is also an essential link in the success of an influential communication strategy. This third key is somewhat similar to the second, but it is important to understand that a company that conveys an impression of security and organization is a company that manages to convey, indirectly, a strong message to all its customer targets and all its stakeholders. All companies must be inspired by this idea and do everything possible to avoid reflecting the image of a fragile company, not very self-confident, not very confident: customers would immediately have the impression of a company they should not trust, and therefore a company that has no influence on its development environment.

Influential communication: at the heart of the 2019 challenges for companies

Clearly, a company’s influence will be a major marker in the market by 2019. A company that will be able to have a definite influence on its customers, on its community through social networks or simply on its development environment is a company that will certainly and convincingly set out on the path to success.

If you are the head of a company, whatever its size, or even if you are a senior manager, understand the extent of this phenomenon relating to the influence of companies. A company that cannot exert influence, at least on its consumers and on the community that has been created around itself, is a company that is doomed to failure, at least in the long term. 2019 will truly mark a turning point, not only in the digitalization of companies but also in the creation of a virtual competitive space. The war will rage on the Internet and on all the dedicated platforms between companies that will want to conquer advertising and communication spaces offered by all these platforms and all these communication relays. Your company must have the necessary means to acquire this experience as quickly as possible, according to a planned strategy relating to your communication of influence, defined in advance by you and all your teams. It should also be noted that the use of an influential communication agency is widely used by many companies. This influential communication agency, a professional in the sector par excellence, will be able to give you all the advice you need to implement a successful strategy.

Your customers are on social media and are using them on a daily basis. It is important that we keep them engaged and connected to your brand so that you’re always their first option.

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