Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing all over the world. People trust other people they admire more than brands and their sales tactics. That’s why influencer marketing is on the rise. It’s based on authenticity and trust.
To gather an audience and recommend products or services to your followers, you first need to understand who you’re trying to target. Depending on the target audience, the channels and the content format is going to be very different in length, tone, depth and style.
In this article, you’re going to learn three different target audiences and the channels you should choose to reach and grow these audiences. You’re going to learn some actionable tips to get started as an authority or influencer in a particular niche.
Influence in B2B: High Ticket B2B Products and Services
To have an impact in the business-to-business sector, you must build authority around your name. You have to create valuable, expert-level content to build this type of trust.
One of the most common ways of doing that is creating articles and guest posts on different blogs in that particular niche. Having your name associated with niche-specific advice is a great first step for getting your name out there. Similarly, guest appearances on podcasts are effective for creating authority around your name.
Another highly effective way to create authority in a niche is by hosting industry-specific webinars. Webinars are basically live online seminars where the host is teaching the audience a new skill or sharing practical knowledge about industry-specific problems and solutions. The webinar host could also talk about the latest and greatest trends in that industry. After creating your webinar event or publishing an article or a podcast, share it in relevant LinkedIn and Facebook communities.
By hosting webinars, the host is seen as a thought leader and an expert in that particular field. The live element of a webinar gives an opportunity to truly engage with the audience and create a connection. Professional webinar platforms have the features to launch polls and answer audience questions live.
You can also launch live offers during your webinar. One indicator of your influence could be the audience’s willingness to actually buy the product or service you’re recommending at the end of your webinar. However, it’s not always effective to push the sale right then and there during the webinar. If you’re just starting with B2B influencer marketing, it’s often more effective to produce content and give value for free, only asking your audience’s email in return.
The long-term value of gathering email leads is often higher than any short-term sales you can make. Having a large, targeted e-mail list of people who trust your advice is a huge asset. You can leverage that email list in the future to further establish your expertise and authority in that niche. Furthermore, it gives you the ability to recommend products and services to that list in the future.
Influence in B2C: Expensive Consumer Items and Services
Two big commonalities between promoting high-ticket business products and expensive consumer items is that it often takes a lot of in-depth research and consideration before making a purchase decision. Therefore, your produced content should match the expected detail level.
One of the best channels for creating this type of in-depth content is YouTube. The video format automatically creates a lot more trust, because of the added layer of video and audio. These additional layers allow you to deepen the trust between you and your audience.
To be more authentic and trustworthy, the best YouTube influencers are not afraid to talk honestly about the disadvantages of a product or service. They even don’t recommend a product if they truly don’t think it’s any good. This type of openness shows your integrity and makes you seem congruent.
The tech influencer and blogging niche is a competitive one, partially because of the high traffic volume and high price point of tech products. That’s why it’s recommended to start in a narrow niche, address a narrow market and establish your absolute authority in that space. You can always branch out later.
For example, if you’re looking to become an influencer in the wearable tech space, start with “smart watches for left-handed people” or “EarPods for punk-rock lovers”. Really commit yourself to establishing your influence among that target audience first.
Some other “hygiene” factors for YouTube product videos reviews are
- high video quality (1080p is a must)
- clear audio quality (invest in a professional microphone)
- edit your video (music and alternating zoom level help you keep viewers engaged)
- show your face (if you’re shy, turn it into a character trait)
- speak clearly (if you have an accent, put emphasis into articulation)
It could be quite a significant upfront investment in terms of money (buying the equipment) and time (learning the required video editing tools and presentation skills). However, considering the expected level of content quality regarding these high-cost consumer items, it’s a must. The upside is that once you get going, the rewards are cumulative.
Influence in B2C: Low-Cost Emotional and Impulse Purchase Decisions
The third target audience is consumers and targeted through Instagram and Facebook. The influencers (or brand ambassadors) recommend products and services to their loyal audience and followers. The social media channels are very exploratory, that’s why low-cost impulse products work best here.
The key assets in influencer marketing is your Instagram followers and the engagement rate of your followers. One of the most effective ways to gather more relevant followers is by using hashtags. That’s how you’re making your content discoverable. Posts tagged with locations are also easily discoverable on Instagram.
However, it’s not enough to have tons of followers – they have to be engaged and loyal followers who actually trust you and listen to your advice.
When a brand is doing influencer outreach, they always check the audience engagement rate. The engagement rate determines how many of the people who saw your post actually liked or commented on it. Smart brands also try to determine the audience demographics and interests to make sure they’re targeting the right audience for their brand.
Some other important influencer metrics are:
- follower growth (or decline)
For Instagram and Facebook influencers, a loyal audience is the biggest asset they have. That’s why it’s important to use analytics and social media management tools to understand your audience demographics, interests and affinities. When you know your audience, you understand the value of your asset, which gives you leverage to negotiate better deals with brands.
When negotiating a deal with a brand, it’s wise to agree on the terms of the influencer campaign, for example:
- Duration of the partnership
- Number of posts expected to deliver
- Hashtags and keywords used
- Type of content (posts, stories, videos)
- Message that the brand is trying to convey
Make sure you know the value of your audience and how your audience would identify with the brand. It always helps to have a vision for the campaign to negotiate the best deal.
Summary and Key Takeaways
To be smart about building your influencer profile regarding a specific subject, you first have to determine who is your target audience and what is the product or service you’re selling. From there, you can choose the right channels to create a following and influence that audience of followers.
For B2B products and services, it’s best to write expert articles, appear on podcasts and host webinars. These products are often more complex and require more explanation and examples. When your goal is to sell expensive consumer products or services, YouTube video reviews and in-depth analysis videos work best. YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and it’s amazing for long-form content.
The last product segment is low-cost consumer items, which are often bought on an emotional impulse or on a whim. Instagram and Facebook have proven to be the best channels for this type of content. However, it’s crucial to understand your audience first before starting a collaboration with a brand. That’s why you should be aware of your audience metrics, even better if you’re tracking it.