Under the Influence
By TAMSIN OXFORD
What is an influencer? These people have rich networks of followers and readers and fans, they are recognised as someone who can provide reliable advice, direction, knowledge and views. They are drivers of change, leaders of trends and makers of public opinion, and they are immensely valuable to brands. The influencer is central to the value potential of earned media and its ability to convert customers into brand advocates, and intention to purchase into a physical sale.
The benefits of harnessing earned media and the power of the influencer are significant. Their messaging cuts through the majority of the noise and speaks directly to the customer that the brand wants to attract. Targeting the influencer and catching their buy-in has enormous potential. They place the brand into the right markets and market the message to the right people – people who are already listening, are engaged and who trust in the influencer’s views. It’s an exceptionally effective methodology for capturing the loyalty and awareness of your target market, but it isn’t as easy as Google when it comes to finding the right influencers and gaining their buy-in.
Identifying the influencers that have the greatest reach among the people you’re targeting can be a major challenge.
Identifying the influencers that have the greatest reach among the people you’re targeting can be a major challenge. The market moves swiftly, media changing all the time, with some individuals and experts having a higher reach than traditional news sources. Mercurial and tricky as the influencers may be, there are methodologies available that allow for the business to target the right people at the right time – the journalists, the personalities, the bloggers and the industry experts. Each a leader in their own space and each one having their own role to play in supporting the brand.
So how can the organisation tap into the influencer stream and identify those that are relevant? Apollo Research has a solution called Apollo Target that uses the power of big data analytics to locate and, well, target the profiles that are leading the way in your market. The data delivers a large sample of the target audience and insight into who influences them. It can also be tightly focused according to specifications such as audience, market and job title.
This solution taps into the spaces where your influencers play and provides the right levels of information to allow brands to tightly focus their communications and their messaging. Campaigns can be more focused and costs can be cut as spend is more efficiently allocated.
Will it be easy getting earned media at the sources with the highest reach among your target audience? Probably not. A run-of-the-mill press release probably isn’t going to do the job and some creativity will be required. As a KLOUT white paper highlights, you’ll probably need both earned and paid media to reach the audiences you want, create brand trust, and drive sales.
Influencer marketing helps communicate with potential buyers in their language and tell a brand story that engenders trust and builds customer loyalty. Target is a superb way of learning about who or what influences your audience.