The Power of Influencer Marketing: Part 1

What Is It?

Influencer Marketing is not a new game in the marketing world and the concept is pretty simple. You enlist an individual or group with influence and credibility and you associate them with your brand. The intent is to have their credibility rub off on your brand so that you gain credibility and, hopefully, a larger following of consumers. Examples of common types of Influencer Marketing might include Brand Ambassadors and Celebrity Endorsement.

With that said, it’s important to note the difference between credibility and fame. A common failing for brands attempting to engage in Influencer Marketing is recognizing this distinction and simply engaging a “celebrity spokesperson”. In order to effectively engage with an “Influencer” for your brand, it’s important to select an association that meets the following criteria.

  • Relevant: They are considered by your consumer base to be authoritative and influential in the specific arena in which your brand is a player.
  • Relative: They are able to communicate and engage with your consumer base in ways that is easy to relate to and considered genuine.
  • Respected: They carry enough influence to generate both feeling and action on the part of your consumer base. Without a compelling call to action the association has too limited a benefit.

What Can It Do?

One of the obvious benefits of marketing through the use of Influencers is growing brand awareness. While this is helpful, this is certainly not unique to Influencer Marketing. The real strength lies in its ability to create a very personal and powerful association between your brand and a specific group of consumers. They are not just aware of your brand. They consider it relevant to who they are and what they believe in. In effect, Influencer Marketing can shift consumer perceptions and buying patterns through a very personal association that is unlike anything possible with mainstream media campaigns.

Additional Benefits

To close, we’ll note that there are additional benefits to Influencer Marketing that make it a very flexible tool that can be used for just about any company or brand regardless of size. Following are a few of the biggest ones.

  • Scalability: With Influencers, it’s not necessary to have a large national or international campaign. It is just as effective, if not more so, on a local or regional level. This allows for incredible focus on key pockets of influence.
  • Affordability: Because it is scalable and investment levels are flexible, a program using Influencers like Brand Ambassadors can be an affordable option for just about anyone. The size of the campaign can be adjusted to virtually any size budget.
  • Visibility: The ability of the competition to see your Influencer Marketing campaign is largely under your control. If you’re a small brand, you can implement a grass-roots campaign that is nearly invisible to your larger competitors until you have momentum that is difficult to stop.

That covers Part 1 of Influencer Marketing. We encourage you to keep an eye out for Parts 2-4 which will cover specific examples of successful Influencer Marketing campaigns and how they have proven successful against larger competitors.

Measuring the Return on Your Direct Mail Investment

In direct mail lore, there’s a rule stating that you can measure the success of your efforts by a minimum response rate of 1-2%.

In other words, if you send out 10,000 pieces, you’ll have a successful mailing if at least 100 recipients respond to your offer. (One percent of 10,000 is 100.)

That’s one view of direct mailing success.

Permit me to offer a different perspective: one from the small business world. Specifically, I’m referring to those small business people who work by and for themselves. Call them “One-Man Bands,” “Working Soloists,” “Free Agents,” or whatever you’d like.

To help you remember these two perspectives, let’s give them a couple of catchy names:

1. The “Playing the Percentages” Perspective. This is the “industry standard 1-2% response rate on your mailings” perspective you’ve heard so much about. This is the yardstick favored by businesses that are sending large quantities of direct mail to sell mass market products.

For example, if I own a pizza parlor, and I’m doing a “use this card for 10% off on your next order” mailing to all residences within a three-mile radius of my business, I might have a mailing list of 10,000 names.

You’d better believe that I’m going to watch the overall response rate like a hawk, and I’m going to be looking at precisely where those hungry customers are coming from. If most of them are coming from a handful of apartment complexes next to a college campus, I’ll know to send my future mailings to those complexes.

2. The “You Only Need A Few” Perspective. This is the one for those One-Man (or One-Woman) Bands who are selling services that take a fair amount of time to provide. Like marketing consulting, public relations services, graphic design, or customized computer software applications.

For these folks, a handful of new or repeat clients from a promotional mailing is quite enough. After all, as the owner of a one-woman graphic design studio told me once, “I don’t want to be a victim of my own [direct mail] success.”

Direct Mail Marketing Tips For Online Business Owners

I think a lot of online business owners can benefit from the use of direct mail. With direct mail, you can definitely increase your conversion rates. It’s been said that using direct mail with backend marketing from your online customer list can boost your conversions by more than 30%. This is huge!Now if the idea of direct mail seems daunting or challenging, you should know that it isn’t – especially if you’re only sending material to your backend customer list. You can send out a 1-page letter promoting your product or service, or you can simply send out a postcard that can accomplish the same thing.With a postcard, you make your prospect “skip” through one of the steps that is needed to view your message… you made them “skip” through opening up the letter! This is a big thing. Most people when they get their mail, they sort out the important letters or personal letters – from all of the bulk mail that they may receive.If your letter looks like bulk mail, nobody will be seeing your offer to come back to your website and possibly buy from you again. It just won’t happen. I like postcards because they’re cheap, stamps for it don’t cost much, and they’re easy to design. In fact, you can make a nice little design on it that gives the postcard a nice comfortable feel.If you don’t know much about direct mail, you will want to study up on it so that you can implement it in your online business. Like I said it’s not hard, and because you’re only going to use it for backend marketing (or maybe frontend marketing if you’re not afraid), you stand to earn a lot of money from it.If you want to do it for frontend marketing and turn offline leads into your email subscribers, you can do this too. For the best results, you will want to go down to your local library and find something called the “SRDS”. The SRDS stands for the “Standard Rate and Data Service”, and it’s a great way to find targeted mailing lists that you can mail to.Just make sure you pick a good list. There are some people who like to spend top dollar for a high quality list, because they know that it will result in crazy sales for them in the long run – and they will make their money back. You’re able to do the same thing if you study up on the subject.Direct mail is a proven technique for making more money in your internet business. I’m confident that the more you do it, the more likely you are to succeed with it in your business, and gain those high quality customers that direct mail is known for producing. You can really make top dollar with it, and if you can master it, you can create cash on demand.There are people making 5-figure incomes per month using direct mail alone, but these are typically the people who have a familiar sense with offline marketing in general. Study up on direct mail, and I’m confident that you can have the online business of your dreams… all because of the sales made from backend direct mail marketing.Good luck with getting more sales for your online business today.