Influence Marketing: Who Are Your Influencees?
With all the talk about connecting and engaging with influencers, it may seem that the focus is all on them. When you get to the heart of the matter, however, you have to remember that converting influencers to your brand is not your ultimate goal. You want to get to the people they have influence over – so let’s call them “influencees.” Building relationships with influencers is important because they already have the ear of your influencees, and these are the people you want to notice your brand, engage, share, and buy.
Of course, you can, and should, reach out directly to your audience, but remember that other businesses are reaching out to them as well. Often, they have so much incoming information from various businesses that they get overwhelmed (or bored) and simply tune much of it out. Fortunately, influence marketing allows you to ensure that your audience hears about you and takes notice of your business despite all the surrounding noise, through the influencers you work with.
But just who are your influencees?
Influencees Are Your Target Audience
It’s critical to have a clear view of whom you are targeting and make sure you are not too general in identifying them. Your first thought may be consumers, or professionals, or anyone interested in your products or services. But targeting too broad an audience can be cripplingly expensive, especially for small, up-and-coming businesses. Instead, you will typically get more bang for your buck by focusing on a niche within your broad audience. For example, instead of simply identifying your audience as professionals, further identify your audience as working female professionals with preschool-aged children. Other examples include homeowners between the ages of 35 and 55 with a certain level of income or small businesses that provide services to a particular demographic.
In drilling down to a tightly focused audience, it is possible to go too far and end up with too small of an audience. You don’t want that, but the good news is you can focus on more than one niche. However, you will need to vary your approach to fit each of your niches.
By drilling down to a tightly focused niche or niches, you can ensure that your marketing budget and your time are spent on the influencees most likely to want/need and buy your products or services.
Effectively identifying your target audience requires a good deal of analysis, and among the factors you may consider are:
- Age, gender, marital status, family status
- Education level, occupation, income level
- Location, ethnicity
- Personality, values
- Behaviors, lifestyle
- Interests, hobbies, goals, dreams
Here are just a few questions to ask yourself when identifying your target audience – your influencees. There are others, but these questions make a nice start:
- Are there enough potential customers in this niche to make my efforts worthwhile?
- What drives my niche to purchase?
- Does my niche have a true need for my product or service? How will my niche benefit from purchasing from me?
- Can my niche afford my products/services?
Once you’ve identified your influencees, you can then go on to more effectively identify and connect with the online influencers with whom you want to develop relationships. They are the people who have the ear and trust of your influencees and can help you get your brand or product on their radar.
Of course, after that comes the hard work of creating your influence marketing program. We’ve written the book on that – we’d love for you to check it out! And also tell us about your target market – how are you using that information to guide your influence marketing efforts?
Image credit: Stilgherrian