INFLUENCE, INFLUENCER, INFLUENCED OR INFLUENCING?
…THE ‘I’ WORD…
Traditional definition ~ verb;
Cambridge Dictionary…‘to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks’
Current day addendum (Me, November 2019)……‘social media; nano, micro or macro’
The on-trend marketing must-have. The modern-day extension to product placement. No longer simply the Rovers Return or the Queen Vic. Now Z-listed ‘Googlebox’ celebrities endorse their toothpaste. That is not to say that Corrie and EastEnders are not significant for many brands.
So, the ‘I’ word, who or what is it?
- An Influencer: via Social Media mentions or endorses brands, destinations and their personal lifestyles. Who? Anyone, not necessarily a celebrity.
- The Influenced; those who respond to the Influencer.
Why it works? It can target the millions down to the ‘nano’ thousands. A ‘celebrity’, no matter how low on the ladder, is a respected figure in today’s non-descript society. They are, therefore, viable marketing animals. Can be closely associated with products, whilst not incurring mind watering budgets. The algorithms offered by these marketing vehicles, supposedly, allow far greater targeting than ever before. E-impulse buying into an e-shopping basket; perhaps whilst having a virtual coffee in a virtual café in the e-supermarket? Certainly, this can both true and attractive for medium to small companies in this techno driven world.
The large multi-nationals can use influencers. Possibly more cost effective than other mediums, but in terms of exposure little if any different to back in the day; celebrities endorsing brands on TV and in the glossies. Possibly past their sell by. Do they work? Yes, they do. Influencing can be unique in its ability to tightly target and, as is so fashionable, reduce wastage, giving more return for your buck; if researched correctly.
With technology we can be far more subtle in influencing a purchase, reversing into people’s lifestyles to encourage a purchase. Matching personality profiles, interests and how they gather information. Lifestyle websites and social media, together with social groupings open a window of marketing opportunities. Profiling age, sex, culture, social interests, geography; the breakdown is endless. The data delivered to the advertiser’s fingertips. Groups at bowls clubs, book clubs, villages and towns, National Childbirth Trust classes all have, potentially, a unique standing and demographic ready to be seized upon; no scattergun here.
So how can this benefit the local small business?
Enter the smaller businesses with a budget to spend, but little or no room for wastage. The local pub or restaurant does not want their wares in front of someone hundreds of miles away and very unlikely to be passing at any time soon. Neither does the bathroom fitter want to be travelling all day to fit a bidet. Lifestyle websites, bloggers or Instagrammers that tightly target their messages to a predetermined audience offer businesses potential customers who want to receive relevant information that doesn’t spoil their overall experience. Thus, to the advertiser, cost effective, with little wastage.
But how many local, small businesses are aware of, or even take advantage of influencers? Do they know how to use them, or how effective they could be?
Let’s use a recent experience. A Facebook Page, aimed at a specific group by age and locality, with, at the time, only 256 followers, posted about a local pub. The post reached almost 2000 people – 2000 people who were the perfect ideal customer for the pub!
As a proponent of influencer marketing have you made sure your potential users understand influencer marketing?
As a small business do you understand influencer marketing? Can you use influencer marketing?