WOMMA Releases Influencer Marketing Handbook for Public Comment

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The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) today released for public comment a draft of the WOMMA Influencer Handbook, which seeks to establish best practices in the use of influencer marketing. WOMMA believes influencer marketing is real and here to stay. It is not a myth, or a passing fad, or the latest trend. Rather, it is one component of successful word of mouth marketing programs. WOMMA is calling for public comment from marketers, bloggers, and consumers in order to make this tool as useful and effective as possible. For more information, or to submit a comment, visit womma.org/influencerhandbook.

For this reason, we needed to develop a broad and inclusive definition of influencer marketing, and we hope we've accomplished that.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) today released for public comment a draft of the WOMMA Influencer Handbook, which seeks to establish best practices in the use of influencer marketing. WOMMA believes influencer marketing is real and here to stay. It is not a myth, or a passing fad, or the latest trend. Rather, it is one component of successful word of mouth marketing programs.

The Handbook, which has been a year in the making, is a significant addition to the marketing knowledge base as it helps define and categorizes types of influencers. It provides suggested guidelines for working with influencers and how to follow-up to sustain an influencer marketing program. A comprehensive bibliography of influencer marketing resources is included in the Handbook. WOMMA seeks feedback and suggestions for changes from interested parties including practitioners specifically interested in influencer marketing.

"One of the things that most impressed me in our work on the Influencer Marketing Handbook is how many different kinds of practitioners use influencer marketing -- in public relations, advertising, customer relations, direct marketing, product sampling -- practically every marketing discipline," said Brad Fay, co-chair of WOMMA's Influencer Council responsible for developing the Handbook, "For this reason, we needed to develop a broad and inclusive definition of influencer marketing, and we hope we've accomplished that."

WOMMA has been working with its membership since Fall 2007 to take a stand and define the influencer marketing space. After many discussions with various opinions being presented, WOMMA concluded that influencer marketing required a clear delineation of functions and best practices. This could best be provided through the creation of guidelines and suggested ideas marketers can utilize when creating and sustaining an influencer program.

The Influencer Handbook follows the recommendations of the WOMMA Ethics Code, encouraging marketers to uphold guidelines of honesty of relationship, opinion, and identity. The Code helps companies educate their entire staff on exactly which behaviors are appropriate when developing and sustaining influencer marketing programs.

Steve Hershberger, co-chair of WOMMA's Influencer Council said, "The Influencer Handbook is the definitive source for building a powerful word of mouth channel with your best customers.  The experience and insight that went into creating this handbook allows marketers to be assured that by following it, they are following a set of best practices that take into account, among other things; customer loyalty, word of mouth tactics and ethical standards.  For any marketer incorporating an influencer program into their marketing mix, the first thing they should do is read this handbook."

WOMMA is calling for public comment from marketers, bloggers, and consumers in order to make this tool as useful and effective as possible. For more information, or to submit a comment, visit womma.org/influencerhandbook.

About WOMMA

WOMMA is the official trade association for the word of mouth marketing industry. Our more than 350 corporate members are committed to building a prosperous word of mouth marketing profession based on best practices, measurable ROI, and ethical leadership. Learn more about us at http://www.womma.org.

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