Meet the Kim Kardashians of Plano Texas

Marketing has undergone an enormous power shift in recent years, driven by consumers’ demand for more authenticity from brands.

For decades, the advertising industry was limited to shooting in the dark, having only access to traditional strategies that yielded little or no information about audience reach. Case in point, most print publications will provide analytics based on households delivered to. While, the digital world is different. Every website visit, social like, and picture posted online can be stored and analyzed, yielding data that turns into valuable insights about your target market and your advertising performance.

This is because of the ability of the end user to simply utilize an ad blocker. The reader is also immune to seeing banner ads and skyscraper ads.

What now?

It’s time for advertisers and brands to have a huge paradigm shift in HOW they are delivering their message. What’s most important right now and into the future is a non-invasive approach of pulling instead of pushing their messages out to everyone.

This requires a willingness to step back and let someone else do the talking — they’ll treat your brand differently than you would, and you have to be willing to allow that to play out — advocates are listened to!

On a larger scale . . .

It’s the shift into Influencer Marketing

This is something we see with Kim Kardashian and her sisters. Or Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Phan, Gigi Hadid, Taylor Swift and the list goes on.

In fact . . .

84% of marketers are planning an influencer campaign within the next year.

What is Influencer Marketing? This is an Influencer or Celebrity endorsement that attaches the fame of a celebrity to a brand or product. With this strategy, you are getting people who have access to a specific following and can mobilize this following to see your product so people want to buy it. Influence marketing creates word-of-mouth advertising using people that are trusted in certain circles.

It’s not follower numbers that determine someone’s influence on a given social network, but rather someone that people trust. Influencers are people that have strong feelings about something or an affinity to a certain company and a good relationship with others where people know this person knows their stuff.

Once brands find influencers who are capable of changing behavior, they can use that power to generate word-of-mouth advertising and revenue.

Many influencers have carved out niches based on types of interest — women who love shoes, dog owners, fans of One republic etc. While many influencers can cater for these niches or be very generic, many online users are looking more local for support, advice and information.

If you look in your city, you will find influencers from Lifestyle bloggers to journalists to Mom Bloggers and more. In Plano, Texas, you’ll discover Abbie Alter and Becca Niederkrom who run PlanoMoms.com and WeAreCollinCounty.com, respectively. While most Lifestyle Bloggers focus on the larger city of Dallas, these tribe creators and bloggers have created large, geographically targeted following of Moms and Families located in the suburbs of Dallas. Abbie and Becca have established credibility and a following through websites, blogging, social media, speaking, television appearances and offline events. No, it’s not the size of a Kim Kardashian influence who might be promoting the latest Chanel bag. However, if you are a Plano, McKinney, Frisco or Allen small business looking to quickly and affordably get in touch with your ideal customer, this is the quickest way to do it and the most targeted way of doing it. It’s not easy to talk to a demographic of moms with 2 kids who live in specific zip codes and know where their attention is. Influencer Marketing is hyper-niche and focused. And that’s how a business can find this attention and attract customers.

Abbie and Becca work with a wide range of clients including WholeFoods, Spavia Day Spa, Orange Theory Fitness, Farmers Insurance Agents, Tutoring Centers, Beauty Companies, RideShare services as well as local doctors, pediatricians and dentists — and their services can include Email marketing, Social Media posts, Giveaways, Blog content and more recently Facebook & Twitter Live.

Why would a company use an Influencer?

“A study by McKinsey found that online word-of-mouth advertising generates twice the sales as paid advertising and results in a 37% higher retention rate. This indicates that companies need to be smart with their marketing spend and invest in a way that generates online trust.”

While traditional advertising is broad, expensive and provides little to no tracking.

Influencer marketing comes from a trusted source and allows your brand to start conversations and bring your ideal customer along the spectrum of know, like and trust.

Let’s look at the numbers:

What are brands and local businesses currently doing to market? And how much does it cost?

Print advertising: A local print publication charges approximately $1,200 per publication for a business card size ad. And this is their best price if you agree to paying 12 months in advance.

TV Advertising: $8,000 for a 10 minute spot on a local broadcast.

Local Sponsorships: This can be a wide range but the average price is approximately $500.

Local Networking: This can range from $50 — $1,000 per month. For smaller businesses who have joined Chambers of Commerce or other networking groups, the fees of membership, seminars, weekly admission, giveaways, lunches and coffee dates (not even counting the gas used to get to all of these places) can quickly add up.

Celebrity Influencers: This could be someone such as a Real Housewives local celebrity. $12,000 for 10 tweets for a less popular Housewife (and it only increases from there).

For Becca and Abbie, they encourage local businesses to use their influencing services found here and here to be that advocate, that girl next door guiding their fellow neighbors to what their audiences are already asking for.

65% of new business comes from referrals — New York Times

In the beginning of Influencer Marketing many brands expected influencers to want to do it for free. But just like all advertising, companies and brands should be prepared to pay.

Kim Kardashian receives $10,000 per tweet

Real Housewives stars receive an average of $2,000 per tweet or Instagram post

Over time, these Influencers have built a large following and expecting to use someone’s time and influence to your advantage for free is big mistake.

To build a following through blogging, newsletters, social media and offline events, there are a number of real costs to the tools that go into this. Running WeAreCollinCounty.com and PlanoMoms.com has its ongoing costs including:

Email Marketing software: $150 — $750 per month (this fee grows as the following grows)

Social Media Tools: $75 per month

Forms: $35 per month

Hosting/Renewals: $50 per month

Search & Keyword Tools: $100

Website Management and Software: $200 per month

Business affiliations: $75 per month

And many more miscellaneous tools and expenses: $350/month

This list showcases just some of the costs associated with created an online presence and following and has not even accounted for the time put into building these communities which easily hovers around 50–60 hours per week.

Influencers like Becca and Abbie follow the attention. And we can all agree, that every time a TV commercial comes on, we all reach for our phones. Yet, billions of dollars are being put into video commercials and print publications. It is clearly impractical when 95% of brands are experiencing declining market share. These local influencers have not created a one-way push but rather a 2-way conversation to connect themselves with potential customers and the local businesses with local residents and customers.

The ‘Kim Kardashian’ is popping up in your big city as well as in Plano, Collin County, and the DFW metroplex so it’s in your best interest to find these local influencers to not only gain attention but to use your budget efficiently. Using online influencers has a low cost, targeted approach, that’s agile with a long term impact.

We would love to hear your thoughts! Do you think Influencer Marketing will have an impact on advertising?

Looking forward to hearing your comments!

P.S. If you have a business in the DFW Metroplex, you can connect with Plano Moms or the Collin County Families and move forward on this local, targeted approach.