Missing The Mark With Influencers

Swag BagThe tanking economy and evaporating marketing budgets have been a boon to social media. You’d be hard pressed to find even an old school marketer who hasn’t begun experimenting with the social web.

Despite the wholesale move to join the online word of mouth cacophony, many marketers are still approaching social media from a flawed mindset. Thinking in terms of exposure, and reach they seek out big names like getting featured on Tech CrunchEnd Gadget or being reviewed by high profile bloggers like Pim Techamuanvivit and Susie Lau.

While I’d be ecstatic to have my product receive a glowing mention from a rock star in my specific niche, it’s not something I strive for with a single minded focus, and neither should you. A-list bloggers are showered with gifts, and products from marketers hoping for a review. Odds are you won’t be one of them. The fact is, I’d rather reach 500 low and medium level influencers in my niche than 0 stars.

The reality of plugging into word of mouth in the physical world, and on the web is recognizing it’s not the number of connections that matter, but how enthusiastic a person is toward a product or service. People who have a genuine interest possess the greatest influence, fortunately social media makes it easy to find them.

Photo credit inju

Posted in Marketing
2 comments on “Missing The Mark With Influencers
  1. SAO says:

    JK

    But… wouldn’t you rather have ONE low level blogger than zero blogstars? I mean, it’s obvious that SOME low level recognition is better than NO recognition at all – but what about 50 low-level blog posts vs. 2 high-level blog posts? That’s the really interesting question. I think the answer depends on who you’re really trying to reach, at the end of the day. Folks like you and I, on the more tech-savvy end of the spectrum, are going to be more likely to pick up on one of the 50 low-level sites, but the general public, or folks pressed for time, or publicists (!) are more likely to see the popular sites, right?

    SO

  2. Jesse Kanclerz says:

    Simon,

    You’re right, “the answer depends on who you’re really trying to reach at the end of the day.”

    What I’m really railing against is the prevailing belief that the number of subscribers, twitter followers, and Facebook fans is a measure of a persons worth. What some marketers are missing is that all people are influencers in an age of Amazon reviews, and youtube videos.

    When you’re trying to put your product in the hands of only the cool, popular people that’s not helping spread word of mouth, it’s more akin to sponsorship. Word of mouth is about getting your product in the hands of people who are genuinely excited about it, and who have closer, peronal relationships with their audience. It may not be a quick one-hit-wonder like A-list review, but I think reaching these people has a better shot at ultimately spreading the message.

    In addtion, I’ve also been thinking that influence is a two way street. The A-list bloggers influence the writings/reviews of small bloggers, but I also think A-listers monitor sets of smaller bloggers to keep abreast of trends. If I’m right, then perhaps reaching enough c & b-listers is a way to get an A-list review. Perhaps that’ll be fodder for another blog post.

    Thanks for commenting Simon, you have a knack for getting my brain gears turning.

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