Influencer Marketing, sometimes called “Influence Marketing,” concentrates marketing efforts toward particular people instead of a target market as a whole. These people are considered “influencers” – people who can shape the decisions of potential buyers but who may not have buying authority themselves. Here is a great service that targets this specific market.
The influencers may be potential buyers, or they may be involved with potential buyers as sellers, manufacturers or other business partners. They also may be trusted colleagues, industry pundits, media representatives or even instructors.
Regardless of who a target market’s influencers are, there are four universal techniques you can employ as a marketer to get the most out of your Infuencer Marketing efforts.
- Know Your Influencers
First, you must know who the customers in your target market are. Take time to do comprehensive market research and competitive analysis before you launch a marketing campaign – you may be surprised to learn the influencers in your market are not who you expected.
Also, social listening – using social media to find out who talks about your products and how their discussions impact your company’s performance – can help you identify the influencers for your target market. Check how your company, keywords related to your products and even your competitors fare in social media, and identify who is making an impact. Those are your influencers.
Sometimes, you may find layers of customers for your target market. When you do, prioritize their value for the campaign you’re starting. That way, you can focus your efforts according to the most important people who can impact your results the most (positively and negatively).
- Market to Influencers
Once you’ve identified the influencers in your target market, direct your marketing toward them to increase their awareness of your company. You can employ traditional marketing, social media marketing, word of mouth marketing and other techniques to reach these people. Define your campaign based on the unique needs of your group. Whatever tactics you choose, however, make sure your strategy focuses on establishing a positive presence for your company within the influencers’ world.
- Use Influencers to Market for You
When customers have started to engage with your company and products, you can begin to leverage them as evangelists to your target market. At this point, make sure your strategy includes ways to actively encourage influencers to talk to the decision makers you aim to reach. Remember, influencers see through scams and contests – they are engaged, connected, admired and trusted. Treat them that way.
- Partner with Influencers
Once your relationship with your influencers matures, you can convert them to partners in your marketing processes. This involves developing mutual trust between your company and your group of customers so that they believe in your company’s products and are willing to convey that trust to those in their sphere of influence. Ultimately, this relationship is the goal of this marketing technique, so that each time your company releases a new product it builds on the established trust between influencers and your company.
Influencer Marketing may be more people driven than product driven, but it is invaluable as a tool to connect with hard-to-reach decision makers. Implement campaigns that target customers to complement your product marketing and other communications, and watch your brand grow.