Every department in your company starts the year by mapping out crucial goals to hit, and marketing is no exception. Lots of research and discussion goes into setting these benchmarks; after all, you have a set budget to allocate and multiple marketing tactics to use over the next 12 months. Make sure to add influencer marketing to the discussion, as it can reach many different kinds of consumers that can be tough to find with older techniques. Let’s go through a few of these and see how you can get your message out.
Appealing to Niches
We’ll tackle the tricky one first. When you produce a very particular product or service, both big and little brands have issues. The big guys likely have a catalog of wide, diversified products, and are trying to feature their new product among the variety of everyday items they’ve been selling for years. In contrast, the small independent brand is just trying to get its quality niche product noticed in a giant sea of competition. Either way, both situations can benefit from the versatility of influencer marketing. From knitting to kayaking, from high-tech gadgets to handmade cutlery, there’s a way to get your message out. Content creators are story tellers, and, given the proper assets, they can craft an experiential message that gets you noticed. Evaluate your target audience, and find those influencers who cater to them. If you can’t find them, you’re not looking hard enough. Get your product in their hands, let them relate their experience with it, and have them link back to your web page or retail site with a discount code. Your SEO-savvy creators will help your customers find you in a search, their review will reinforce buying confidence, and web traffic and brand awareness will grow exponentially. Suddenly, that custom knitting needle or chef’s knife is not just noticed, but sought after.
All About the Millenials
Millenials (and the subsequent Generations Z and Alpha) are the darlings of the market these days. Buying power, digital savvy, and well-researched purchases makes them both sought after and tricky to connect with. The days of catchy radio spots and magazine print ads are fading away, at least for the younger consumers, so it’s wise to try to grab them where they are most often: the Internet. Check out this graph from a Nielsen survey:
Now, this is an older graph, so you’d probably want to guess that it would skew even farther towards online presences. The real grab here is the overwhelming majority that trust opinions or endorsements from “people I (they) know” and “consumer opinions posted online”. Sure, that can be friends and family, and often is. But great influencers establish and nurture relationships with their audience to such an extent that they end up “knowing” them, and that’s important. Consistent engagement and messaging leads to loyalty and faith that they’ll never mislead their readers, and that extends to the “consumer opinions” section also. Most everyone checks out Amazon ratings and reviews before finally buying something, so consulting an expert or fan online is a natural step.
B2B Coming On Strong
Influencer marketing isn’t just a review service of products by everyday moms and travelers. Selling business services and products to other businesses is, well, big business. Anyone in the sales and purchasing departments better be very certain of the services or products they are vouching for, so they do the same thing we all do: research. Opinions from industry experts used to only consist of water cooler banter, phone calls, or an article in a trade magazine. Now, experts in every field (including yours!) recommend all manner of B2B and SaaS items, and you can get a rundown on exactly what you’re looking for in a variety of articles and videos; they are legitimate influencers, and they not only help your buyers choose wisely, but they can also represent your brand with the same enthusiasm and expertise they give to other brands they endorse.
Standing Out in the Crowd
Face it…sales and conversions are the bottom line, and it’s what every marketing and sales department wants most of all. But, getting to the point where you’re even getting noticed can be a challenge. You can have a slick website, amazing customer support, and a great story to tell. If they don’t get to your website or blog, though, it’s all for naught. This is why many large brands hire celebrities to hawk their wares to their millions of followers…the resulting brand awareness can be game-changing, albeit at a steep price. If you can afford that, great…but you might want to consider finding a mid-level influencer, defined as a content creator with a 10,000 to 100,000 social reach. They are more engaged and in touch with their audience, have easily identifiable and targetable demographics following them, and cost a lot less than Rihanna. Be sure to use a tracking tool to see which influencers are getting the shares and likes, as well as how your web traffic is picking up. Want that information up front? Consider hiring an agency, who can locate and engage these influencers, as well as give you loads of data before and after the campaign to see what (and who) works the best for your brand.
What goals have you achieved with influencer marketing? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!