Internet has revolutionized the advertising world. Not so many years ago (although it feels like it was an entire different era), we didn't have internet. What did we do back then when we needed to solve a problem? three things:
- Ask a friend
- Call the shop/office that we thought could solve our problem
- Go to the shop/office and speak directly to the salesperson there
So, the only ones who could influence our buying decision were our friends and salespeople. Our friends would offer an undoubtedly well-intentioned point of view yet, it was subjective. Salespeople were of course, only looking to sell something at all cost.
Internet: New ways to advertise
Internet arrived and as the information that we find on the web keeps growing, the options that we find as sources of information grow as well. Nowadays, if we have a problem, the first thing we do is go and make some research about it on the internet:
- We no longer call the company right away
- If we ask our friends, we usually do it on social networks, so we get more recommendations than we did in the past, when we only asked a few friends
How does this change affect marketing campaigns?
We now need to update ourselves as companies and be present on the web. If we know that potential clients will now first look for information online, we have to be there, sharing relevant information, giving answers, offering solutions regarding the concerns that they were searching for online.
Now, there are many ways to be present, there are many tools that can be used. This time, we'll focus on what is known as influential marketing.
Since our potential buyers already have lots of information just a click away from them,
How can you make these clients find you amidst this sea of information?
There are several ways to approach your customers online. One of them is to work directly with what is known as an influencer, that is, a person who can influence the buying decision of others.
Companies must find these people and identify the audience that follows them, so they can later decide if they are a fit for the product or service that they want to sell and if so, hire them. They can be TV/Music/sports personalities, opinion leaders, reporters or even other consumers.
What do all these people have in common so they can be considered influencers?
- Reach- It's the number of people who sees their content on social networks. Why on social networks? Because an influencer has access to thousands of people who are already interested in their publications, that is, in marketing words, who have already segmented themselves according to their own interests. This is a great advantage facing traditional marketing -radio, press or TV- in which the message was released equally to all the public. In social networks, users have already chosen who to follow according to their own interests and it is them who we want to reach (if their interests match our product, of course). By doing so, we make sure that we are investing our resources in a market that effectively seeks, wants and needs what we have.
- Relevance- Their content responds to the real interests of their followers (and of course, of your company, if you hire them). There will be influencers who offer content that isn't relevant for a group of people but that happens to be very valuable for another. Consider, for example, women's fashion influencers: Their content will be relevant for women only, not for men. If your company sells ties, this influencer won't be the right one for you. You must keep looking, even if this influencer knows indeed a lot about fashion.
- Resonance or repercussion- That is, how much of this influencer's content is actually updated, shared and interacted with. Anyone can create and share content on the internet, but if you want to evaluate whether it's an influencer that is actually causing impact (at least as much as to invest on him/her), this person needs to not only to publish content but, in addition to publishing it, it must:
- be shared by hundreds or thousands of users
- stay present on the network for a long time
- let users interact with it.
This will help you to distinguish a fake influencer from a true one.
Beware of fake influencers, those who alter statistics to appear to be successful. Many profiles of alleged influencers have been closed because of these bad practices, regardless of whether several companies had already invested in them or not.
Is Hiring Influencers Enough to Have a Successful Marketing and Sales Campaign?
We say that it's indeed a good step towards this goal, it's an interesting new digital marketing tool but that, if you want this effort to effectively turn it into a sale, it might not be enough. Why?
If the efforts and resources that you invest in digital marketing are limited to hiring an influencer, you will be indeed reaching your target clients massively, which is indeed an important step taken -unlike traditional marketing where you reach everyone- but, it is still mass advertising.
You are releasing content and messages that effectively reach the right audience (a great and undeniable step!) BUT you would still need to:
- Articulate it with a whole marketing and sales strategy; work on it so that this effort effectively translates into the profits and sales objectives that your company has set in a previous sales plan.
- Start a real attraction marketing campaign, one in which not only the content of the company is offered to customers who are actually looking for you (as an influencer would do) but that also uses other tools so that these customers don't remain just as "visitors". You need to walk them through a whole buyer's journey, until the sale is closed.
If you want to learn more about Inbound Marketing or Attraction Marketing, you can: