Fame Blindness — Why Influencer Marketing Depends on Data
Influencer marketing isn’t about glitz and glam. It isn’t even about who has the biggest name recognition or the most followers — at least not entirely. Influencer marketing is about data.
Knowing — really knowing — your target audience is what helps you make the right marketing decisions. Your customer is the hero of your story. It doesn’t matter if you are working with the biggest influencer in the world — you must put your customer first and foremost.
For brands, influencer marketing too often feels like a gamble. You choose a popular influencer your target audience seems to like and hope he or she presents your brand in the best light, but that’s risky business. We continuously hear about the importance of data, but have yet to get to see a majority of brands letting data drive their decisions. Perhaps a micro-influencer proves more influential than a big-name star. Or perhaps you drive better results by targeting “everyday influencers,” who are regular people in your prospects’ networks who can help spread your marketing message.
These three tips will help you use data to create customer-centric influencer marketing strategies to drive better results for your brand.
Collect the Right Data
Effective influencer marketing hinges on customer insights and market research. You must identify the who, what, where, why and how.
- Who: Who is your customer? This includes demographic information, as well as findings on their behaviors and preferences. Whom do they interact with? Whom do they trust? What do they want and expect from a brand like yours?
- What: What are your customers in-market to buy? What have they purchased in the past? What other products or services might they be interested in?
- Where: Where are they shopping, online and/or in-store? What apps are they on, what sites are they visiting and with whose social media pages are they engaging?
- Why: Why do they buy? What do they value? What influences their decision-making process in the path to purchase?
- How: How do they make purchases — on mobile, in-store or both? How do they conduct the research that affects these decisions?
This data should be collected online and in-store to create as detailed an understanding of your customer as possible.
Place Just as Much Value on the Negative Predictors as the Positive Ones
Data will dictate who you partner with, what type of content you create and, of course, your targeting strategy.
There are several things that can lead you to believe a customer is in-market. Let’s say someone is working to plan a family vacation. He is conducting relevant research, asking his Facebook friends for input, downloading travel apps and monitoring flight prices to Florida? For advertisers, these are positive predictors that he is in-market for plane tickets and accommodations. It makes sense for airlines and resorts to target him.
However, when creating a targeting strategy, it is as important to consider negative predictors — factors that tell us that an individual has a low probability of converting. For example, if we know that this same consumer just bought five tickets to Disney World, he is probably no longer in-market for flights, at least not in the short-term. Marketers should overlay their targeting with negative predictors, like recent purchases, to advertise more effectively.
Optimize — Then Optimize Some More
Even creatures of habit change their behavior sometimes. As advertising becomes increasingly more automated, it is tempting to “set it and forget it,” and to assume that once you have completed your research, marketing technology can “take it from here.”
But people change. You have to conduct research on an ongoing basis, try out different campaigns and strategies, and work to stay one step ahead of your customer. Focus on what your customers want, not what you want to sell, and pinpoint what they will need tomorrow, not just what they are buying today.
These data-driven best practices will help you run more effective influencer marketing campaigns and avoid being blinded by big names and massive followings. After all, it is your customer who matters most.
Related story: 5 Tips to Optimize Your Influencer Marketing Strategy