Traditional advertising is still cozy in the comfort zone of most brands and companies who’ve been around for more than a few years but those taking the plunge into the Influencer Marketing scene are scoring big. Sure, they’re staying current with technology and social media but, more than anything, what they’re really getting right is their target audience.
The new target audience is a tiny, microcosm of the wide reach of ad campaigns of years past. Years ago, your avatar might have looked something like an upper middle-class woman in her 30s while today, you know much more about your demographic. Gone are the days of casting the wide net and hoping to catch a few fish. Now you can narrow down the exact type of fish you want and only go after that group. Now, your avatar might be a 32-year-old woman without children, with a household income of at least $100K who attends yoga three times per week and drinks fruit and vegetable smoothies. With this very specific target, you can now sell very specific products and services that will rarely miss the mark.
Gone are the days of casting the wide net and hoping to catch a few fish.
Since you know this hypothetical avatar only eats red meat, on average, once per month, you likely wouldn’t partner with a burger chain to endorse on your Instagram page. Instead, you could partner with a smoothie bar and yoga studios to sell your audience on what they want.
A few decades ago, JC Penney was one of the country’s top retailers. Several developments led to the company’s reduction in size but one of their biggest hurdles was in the early 2000s when, in addition to several other sudden changes, the CEO decided to get rid of coupons and lower prices. Customers would get the same deals without the hassle of coupons. This would be easier for customers, smoother for employees and everyone would be happy…or so they thought. They neglected to really get to know their target demographic and failed to realize that they liked using the coupons. The psychology of attaining a deal with a coupon far outweighed the time it took to clip a coupon or the logic of the bottom line price to these customers.
You can (and should) also interact with followers to find out what they are saying about your posts and to gather some anecdotal information but this still doesn’t give you any hard data.
The company made an assumption, implemented a big change and got it wrong. Luckily, these days, marketing can happen on a much smaller scale with much less risk of disaster.
How will you know if you’re relating to your audience and staying on brand? Likes are a start but they don’t provide the full picture since they don’t reveal any action or lack thereof on the part of your followers. You can (and should) also interact with followers to find out what they are saying about your posts and to gather some anecdotal information but this still doesn’t give you any hard data. To get numerical data about your posts and make sure you keeping them on target and financial viable, use a service like the Influencer Links from Influencer.co. This will help you track each post’s performance so you can post more of what works and skip the content that doesn’t translate into action.
In addition to tracking the performance of your social media and online presence and narrowing down your specific avatar from your target market, you can also do some homework to determine exactly what problem you want to solve or service you want to provide with a simple niche statement. For example, a personal trainer wants to help our above avatar get and stay in shape. This trainer wouldn’t waste his time on posts aimed at men, women in their 60s, mothers or those that support unhealthy habits. It might sound like he is neglecting a large portion of the population and leaving a lot of potential profit on the table but, in fact, he’s doing just the opposite. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone so staying on target with his audience and staying true to his niche will guarantee his posts are more efficient with more profit potential so his time is better spent and he’ll avoid spreading himself too thin. If you question whether or not to post a photo or thought or whether or not to promote a product, service or business, check it by your avatar and niche statement to get a clear yes or no. After the post, check your stats to confirm you’re on the right track with your goals and demographic.