By Sheldon Baker
Before jumping into an influencer marketing campaign for your brand on social media, you need to identify and understand your target audience. And it makes sense if you think about it in a more personal light.
Bestselling author Susan RoAne, known for her numerous books about networking, including How to Work a Room, writes about how to overcome the five roadblocks that keep most people from making new contacts. “Mix chutzpah and charm to start and end conversations smoothly, know when to use humor––and when not to, and follow simple rules of etiquette.” While RoAne in her comments was mainly referring to a more physical location, such as a cocktail party or conference venue, this also can apply to today’s 21st Century meeting locations––chatrooms and blogs where influencers hang out.
It’s much too easy for corporate public relations and marketing teams to get disconnected from their audiences. You should take time to determine what audience will work best for your social media campaign and then learn as much as possible about that audience before embarking on influencer marketing.
It’s important to note that when you align with an influencer, not only do they bring their audience, they also bring their audience’s network. Because of the loyalty of their audience, an influencer could drive traffic to your website, increase your social media exposure, and help sell your product or service through their recommendation or story about their experience.
“This avalanche of information and choices is made possible by burgeoning technological progress,” noted Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. in his book, Influence of Persuasion. “Leading the way are developments in our ability to collect, store, retrieve and communicate information,” said Dr. Cialdini.
With the drop in traditional outbound promotion, influencer marketing is becoming one of the most effective ways to attract customers and clients. Twenty-first century consumers can be blind to outdoor advertising, even those new electronic boards, and unresponsive to television and radio commercials and print ads. A great majority of people want to research a brand on their own and learn about it from a family member or friend. Simply put, someone they trust. Consumers trust recommendations from a third-party more often than a brand itself.
It’s important to determine what content already is resonating with your target audience. And you’re going to have to determine exactly how to deliver that content to them. Before creating your campaign strategy, identify where your audience is communicating online. Are they mainly on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? Review sites? Once you’ve identified these hot spots, it will be easier to find different social influencers within these specific communities who consistently share content that best meshes with your audience’s interests.
The following are five key areas you can use to explore and identify your target social media audience. It’s taken from StatePoint Media’s free eBook: “5 Step Guide to Creating a Successful Influencer Marketing Program.”
• Demographics: What is their age and gender? Where do they live? What is their level of Internet savviness?
• Barriers: Why don’t they know about your brand or product? Why wouldn’t they use your service or product? If they do know about it, why aren’t they using it or using it as much as you would like them to be doing?
• Motivators: What factors about your brand or product would encourage them to use it?
• Pain Points: What about your brand or product would frustrate them?
• What’s in it for me? Why should your customers continue to use your product or service?
Answering these five questions will help identify where your audience is convening on social media and what type of content will best connect with their needs and interest – and best help you market your brand in a successful influencer marketing campaign.
Be aware that as you strengthen your social influencer marketing programs, you will gain more valuable insight into your target audience demographics, so you will need to periodically reassess your audience goals and the best content vehicles by which to connect with your targets.
Brand advocates are the loudest influencers your brand will have. Not only does their audience follow them because what they write aligns with your brand but they also talk loudly and actively about how much they like your company, product or service. By tuning in to your social media mentions and blog posts about your brand, you will find influencers and advocates you didn’t realize existed.
Sheldon Baker is chief executive officer for the Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical brand marketing and communications campaigns for companies. His most recent fun marketing project can be found at www.corydoncustoms.com/vehicles. He can also be contacted at SBaker@BakerDillon.com or www.BakerDilln.cpm