Influencers should be your target for any social marketing efforts.
It’s become a world where the microcosm is the norm. Marketing is no exception. In the past, we did not have the tools or ability to look at small groups of prospects or purchasers, but things have changed. The Internet has leveled the playing field. It’s no longer about how much money you can throw out there, but how many people you can reach with sincerity. Influencers are the key to successful marketing in today’s world. They provide a sincere ambassador for your products or services. Who are they? How do you reach them? Read on.
In a recent 2013 survey by Technorati Media of what monies are being spent for marketing, there are some insights into what and where money is being spent as well as to where there are opportunities for where it should go. In this survey, it is apparent that companies are spending the largest portion (nearly 75 percent) of their digital budget on display ads, search ads and videos. Spending on social marketing, including influencer outreach, makes up only 10 percent of the amount spent on digital marketing.
It can be seen that of that social budget, more than half goes to Facebook. YouTube and Twitter each get 13 percent, while just under six percent is spent on influencers and just over five and a half percent is spent in advertising on blogs. It’s the six percent we should focus on. Influencers deserve more attention.
What are influencers, you may ask? Wikipedia defines influencers specifically as those having influence over specific to discrete market segments, and are used as conduits to the entire target segment. While there are lists of generic influencers, they have limited use in marketing to specific segments. Market research techniques can be used to identify influencers, using pre-defined criteria to determine the extent and type of influence. For example, Keller and Berry propose five attributes of influencers:
- Activists: influencers get involved with their communities, political movements, charities and so on.
- Connected: influencers have large social networks
- Impact: influencers are looked up to and are trusted by others
- Active minds: influencers have multiple and diverse interests
- Trendsetters: influencers tend to be early adopters or leavers in markets
Most of the literature on influencers focuses on consumer markets. There is less insight into business-to-business influencers. A key distinction between consumer and business markets is that most of the focus in consumer markets is on consumer influencers themselves. This is because word of mouth communication is prevalent in consumer environments. With marketing to businesses, influencers are people that affect a sale, but are typically removed from the actual purchase decision. Consultants, analysts, journalists, academics, regulators, and standards bodies are examples of business influencers.
Influencers are where the marketing dollars should be focused. If one influencer can be swayed into purchasing or utilizing your services, this could go a long way, depending on the sphere of influence, toward getting future clients. Try to assess the influence and look at what is of interest to these individuals. There are a number of measures companies use to determine the strength of an influencer. They include, but are not limited, to the following:
- ComScore/Nielsen Ratings
- Twitter Followers
- Facebook Friends
- Facebook Likes
- Blog Unique Users
- Blog Page Views
There are a number of other indicators, but these are the primary measures for determining the reach of an influencer. There are plenty of tools to help calculate the extent of influence attributable to the individual. These tools include but are not limited to the following:
- Commun.it – Twitter Community Management
- GaggleAMP – Leverage Your Internal Influencers
- Cyfe – Monitor Everything
- BlogDash – Over 100,000 Bloggers Listed
- Traackr – Enterprise-level Influencer Engagement
- mPact – A Different Take on Influence
The idea is to reach your influencers, engage them, and measure the engagement effectiveness. If you are not doing all of these, you are not reaching your potential. If you need assistance in any way marketing to influencers, contact PTC Computer Solutions, experts in marketing online and marketing to influencers since 1996.
If you are looking to get noticed on the Internet but don’t know where to begin, let PTC Computer Solutions help you get started or help improve your current website and website marketing plan. We can plan a full budget for your company and complete any web marketing efforts you wish to achieve to deliver a consistent and effective message to your prospects. Contact David W. B. Parker (when you think of “W. B.” think of WeB) at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ptccomputersolutions.com for more information.
By David W. B. Parker
PTC Computer Solutions