Marketing directly to consumers or engaging in business to business marketing has long been the de facto method for getting your offer or message in front of interested people or the business decision maker. The problem is that even the best direct mail piece can easily be ignored or thrown out if you fail to target the right recipient. You want to get people excited about your company, but may be having trouble lighting a fire under that great word-of-mouth marketing engine. It is time to consider influence marketing.
Who are the Influence Marketing people?
In ordinary word of mouth advertising, you send a piece of direct mail to a consumer or business contact and hope that they pass the information on to their friends or colleagues. In influence marketing, you specifically target your ad piece to people who already have considerable clout within a niche or industry. You might say that marketing influencers are celebrities in a way.
Each industry, niche, service or product line will have a different set of influencers to target with direct mail. These people can be anything from established gurus or coaches that teach about a particular subject, popular business owners or operatives who are active in the community, members of the media including top social media personalities and trend-setting entertainers.
Targeted Marketing – Why Market to the Influencers?
To put it simply, these are the people that consumers are listening to, and this is the influence marketing method. Fewer people make buying decisions based on direct marketing than they do based on recommendations from trusted sources. The same may be said for business to business commerce as well.
There are certain people, groups or firms that have already done the legwork in positioning themselves at the top of an industry influence lists. When you send direct mail to these influencers and succeed in capturing their attention, convincing them of your offer’s worth and inspiring them to share it with others, you are piggybacking on their popularity or media platform.
How to Market to Influencers?
Identifying who the influencers are that are best positioned to champion your brand is the first step. Getting involved with social media can definitely help this process. Once that is done, you need to develop a direct mail style approach that inspires them to share your information. Do your research and learn, search keywords, marketing influences on consumer behavior and how does marketing influence consumers, you will find tons of useful information.
At its most basic, using influencers to engage in business to business marketing can be as simple as buying an ad on a particular blogger or activist’s website. Actually engaging the influencers in such a way as to convince them to spontaneously mention or even endorse what you offer requires more effort.
Introduce your product or service to them. Ask questions or for a review of what you have to offer. Build a relationship with the influencers in your industry, learn from them and responsibly market to them. Mutual benefit can be found if you suggest swapping ads, exchanging reviews or combining direct mail advertisements through postal or email.
In the new marketing reality of consumer and business to business buying decisions being made based on endorsement and review rather than who has the flashiest add, marketing to influencers, the business decision maker in your industry or niche makes sense.