This blog came about from a conversation I had with a friend on the way to our sons’ weekend football. It wasn’t meant to be about influencer relations (I’m not that dull) but that’s where it ended up. The scene goes something like this.
HER: “You work in marketing, right?”
HER “At work, we want to communicate to people nearing retirement who own land.”
ME: “So what are you doing at the moment…?”
HER: “Well I’ve been playing around with Instagram ‘cause I use it a lot and I think it’s the future of social media – I’ve had some great engagement.”
ME: “That’s great… but do retirees actually use Instagram?”
HER: “Hmm – maybe not…”
*** MOMENTARY SILENCE***
ME: However… I suppose their grandchildren do – and elderly people often trust what their grand-kids and family have to say, so maybe you’re onto something there actually!
HER: Oh yes!
In B2B PR and communication we often make our primary focus the people who we hope are going to buy our product or service when actually we may be just as wise (if not wiser) targeting the people who can influence them.
Consider this. Which do you personally like more? Someone you don’t know trying to sell something directly to you, or someone you know and trust recommending something they think you’ll love or benefit from? The latter of these are influencers – people on the periphery of your audience who can act as useful middle-men and women to help you gain credibility with your eventual buyer.
So for every campaign you run that targets your buyer, set up another one to target the people that influence them. In B2B these could include your existing customer ambassadors, highly regarded industry associations, or well-known market analysts. In B2C it could include customers again, or family members and friends, or independent product reviewers.
Here a 5 tips for high achieving influencer campaigns:
- Messaging – you may need to give influencers different information
- Relationships – influencers may want more of the inside story through direct relationships
- Focus – it’s not about mass communication but cherry picking key people who can help
- Research – background knowledge is vital to understanding influencers’ needs
- Longevity – once a good relationship is established it should be maintained long term
Awareness is great, but influence is perhaps even greater.