This Misunderstood Marketing Concept is Costing You Dearly

Let’s face it, marketing is expensive and it seems like much of the time we have no idea if our “investment” is even paying off. Fortunately, with new technologies emerging every day, it’s becoming more possible to track back an ROI. To have a positive ROI, you must identify your target, preferably before spending a dime. Influencer Marketing can be very effective, but most companies’ definition of “influence” is costly and leaves money on the table. Let’s take it one step further.

“Reach” Alone is Not Enough

For those unfamiliar with the term “reach,” it refers to the total number of people or households exposed to your marketing effort. This metric has been a staple for assessing the success and potential virality of a marketing campaign. Often, companies want to target blogs, magazines, or other websites that have thousands of readers. The more readers or followers a medium has, the higher your cost to access its megaphone.

More and more, individual writers and/or social icons command this megaphone. The mainstream assumption is that readers have a relationship with the influencer and trust her opinion. More importantly, they are willing to take an action based on something she writes, which has tangible value to the marketer.

While this assumption is valid, it can be costly if you stop at the influencer’s plug. Sure, if you’re lucky, Kim Kardashian’s $10,000 tweet about your brand may pay for itself. Hey, it may even make you a bit of money (though, this says it’s not worth it). Either way, you’re leaving money on the table by hoping a single star player’s reach will do it for you alone. There’s a better way to drive high conversion rates and attain lifetime customers for less. Here’s how…

Strong Ties Are What Count

Instead of focusing on who has the most reach, think about who has the strongest ties with individuals in your target market. The people who these individuals trust their business and personal lives with have the largest impact on their decisions. Quality over quantity.

If you can make a positive impression on those who your target trusts, and they pass this experience on, you will fast forward the marketing process all the way to a purchase decision. The only step left is to lower their barrier to buy and voilà, you have a new customer. Thanks to social media and other forms of sharing, this positive experience can reverberate through networks and have a dramatic impact on your business… if you’re optimizing for it that is.

Step-by-Step: How to Target Customers with Strong Ties

  1. Hone in on exactly who you want to target
    Be very specific about who your ideal customer is. Your messaging needs to be very specific, so when anyone hears your message, your prospect thinks, “that’s me to a tee!” Or their friend thinks, “that’s definitely right up [insert friend’s name]’s alley!” For example (to use within your org for describing your target audience):
Moms who do yoga that shop at Whole Foods and live in northern California.

2. Birds of a feather flock together
By being super specific, your initial pool of customers will be smaller than casting a wide generic net. Though, remember that birds of a feather flock together. Once you hone in and develop a relationship with one optimal customer, they are very likely to spread it to their peer group who are just like them. They will spread the word for you and your customer pool grows exponentially with high quality opportunities… for less.

3. Present them with a shareable product or experience
This is how you incentivize your target customers to spread word about your product or service. More importantly, it brings down the barrier to actually take action and purchase. Give these consumers a way to experience your product or service via a free sample, coupon, social currency, or even a super friendly phone call that leaves a positive impression. Don’t stop here! Give them the tools to market for you; provide them 5 more samples, coupons, pieces of advice, etc. that can delight their friends. Just like in relationships, consumers are more likely to warm up to something if introduced by a mutual friend.

4. Give them a megaphone
This is the most important part. You must capture what your consumers and their friends are saying. This is critical to understanding what they like, don’t like, and where opportunity lies. You can then iterate on your product/service’s marketing to optimize results. Then, you must give consumers an EASY forum to share with the world wide web and their larger personal networks. Here’s a few ways:

  1. Swaggable: Swaggable identifies your consumers and handles sample/coupon fulfillment for you. Since consumers are part of our site, we can close the loop and prompt them to write a review (75% review rate) and share it on social media (55% sharing rate). Clicktotweet: You can send follow up communications to consumers asking them to tweet using the website
  2. clicktotweet.com. You can embed links that autofill tweets from the consumer’s account. Two clicks and they’re done.

5. Remember the 80/20 rule
20% of these targeted consumers will be driving 80% of your results. Be sure to reward them and retarget them to buy.

The Best of Both Worlds

Let’s put it all together and get the best of both worlds. Use influencer marketing, but have the influencer spread word about your sharable promotion. Instead of having Kim Kardashian tweet, “Check out MyCompany!” have her say,

“OMG, [MyCompany]’s product is amazing! If you try it, they’ll give you 5 more to share with friends — who wants them?!bit.ly/MyCompany

That way their reach will influence those who follow them, and those people will influence their family, friends and/or coworkers. It’s the difference between a ripple and a tidal wave. Be sure to have a way to capture their responses, and give them an easy megaphone to share even more.

Summary

  1. Influencer Marketing can be very effective, but most companies’ definition of “influence” is costly.
  2. The more readers or followers a medium has, the higher your cost to access its megaphone.
  3. Instead of focusing on who has the most reach, think about who has the strongest ties with individuals in your target market.
  4. Be very specific about who your ideal customer is.
  5. By being super specific, your initial pool of customers will be smaller than casting a wide generic net.
  6. Just like in relationships, consumers are more likely to warm up to something if introduced by a mutual friend.
  7. You must give consumers an EASY forum to share with the world wide web.
  8. Use influencer marketing, but have the influencer spread word about your sharable promotion.

Conclusion

In today’s social age, word-of-mouth is not solely off-line. This is a magical thing because you can design a marketing campaign to spread with much less financial expenditure. Most importantly, if you set it up right, you’ll be able to track your results and see your ROI. By utilizing influencer marketing as a catalyst to promote your shareable campaign, you’ll be able to become your target consumer’s new friend who they’ll open their wallet to.

What other ways have you used influencer marketing or sharable campaigns to increase brand exposure and sales?

Originally Published on Swaggable Insights Blog