Marketing to Your Influencers vs. “Influencer Marketing”

Influencer Taking Selfie
Influencer marketing is a long game that involves outreach to “important” people, most of whom will ignore you.

You could always try Gary Vee’s approach to Instagram influencer marketing…

HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS [Gary Vaynerchuk]

 
…or maybe not. Especially if you’re in B2B marketing or sales.

This post, therefore, is not about influencer marketing. It’s about marketing to your existing influencers—mainly via content.

It’s unlikely that any of your existing influencers are scantily-clad celebrities. However, you already have a lot of fully and well-dressed, non-celebrity influencers. Your important people include:

  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Social Media “Acquaintances”
  • Former Co-workers
  • Friends & Family

We often think about content marketing as marketing to people we don’t know. What about creating valuable content for people you do know? Can this produce results for your business or for your sales efforts?

Marketing to Your Influencer Customers

In what ways can a customer be an influencer? Well for one, they can refer you or your company to someone they know.

Your content for this group of influencers should not be all about “upsell/cross-sell.”

It should be about staying top of mind with your customers by supplying them with valuable information.

We are a business customer of The Hartford. The Hartford doesn’t pummel us with upsell/cross-sell promotions. They consistently create and share solid advice around many facets of running a small business. As a customer, we in turn share a lot of their content.

Marketing to Your Influencer Vendors

If your company resells vendors’ products, who at those vendors can influence your success? Do vendor salespeople bring you into deals?

If so, how can you help these influencers with your content?

You can create content that helps them with their sales efforts—content they can share with a prospect that helps them penetrate a new account or move a deal over the goal line.

Achieve either of these and you’ve got their attention.

We got some mileage out of this approach by working in close collaboration with one of our marketing customers.

Marketing to Your Social Media Connections

Your social media connections are a very broad audience. This group includes people you don’t know. But it also includes your former co-workers, your vendors, and your friends & family.

Curating and posting other people’s quality content along with your own content will keep many of your connections more engaged.

On LinkedIn, you can periodically remind or update this group of influencers about what you’re up to.

And if you must message someone on LinkedIn whom you don’t personally know, please make it a two way street. If you ask for something, offer something in return—as Jim Dickie did here:

Sales Mastery Survey

Marketing to Your Friends & Family Influencers

This isn’t a reference network marketing—no, you’re not selling them The Dream.

But you can keep your friends & family current about what you’re up to in the business world.

Other Types of Known Influencers

Depending on what industry you’re in, you may have other groups of influencers. For example, structural engineers are often influencers for people in the construction products business.

Physicians are influencers in the medical device world.

Maybe it’s time to rethink influencer marketing. Especially since you are already surrounded by a community of influencers.

These are the important people.