It isn’t enough to deploy social influence marketing (SIM) in isolation of every other marketing effort. If you do, you’re sure to fail. Your customers will notice that you have a disjointed, conflicted story depending on where and how you’re interacting with them. Therefore, it’s important to understand how you can integrate your social influence marketing within your other more traditional marketing direct mail, public relations, display advertising, and promotions.
That will change with social influence marketing. Of all the areas of marketing, direct mail is one that will be most affected in the long run. Before you start worrying that your mail carrier will stuff your mailbox (or your e-mail inbox through e-mail marketing) even more than usual, consider this: Direct mail is most successful when the mail is targeted and personalized.
That means it’s reaching the people who really care about the offers (or are most likely to take advantage of them), and it’s personalized toward the recipients’ needs in a voice and style that’s appealing to them. Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
Statistically, I know that consumers are now more likely to depend on each other for advice and information than they are on the corporations that are marketing to them. With consumers who are even more connected to each other through social media than before, it has gotten easier for them to reach out to one another for that advice. That means that when they see a piece of direct mail, they’re less likely to depend on it. They’d rather go online and ask a friend for advice or search for a product online than look at that flyer in the mail.
When it comes to buying display advertising (also referred to as media planning and buying) on Web sites where your customers spend time, social influence marketing plays an important role. Display advertising is about identifying Web sites your target customers visit, buying ad space on those Web sites, and then measuring how much those ads are viewed and clicked upon.
It’s as much an art as it’s a science because knowing which sites your customers visit, where they’re most likely to engage with an advertisement (where on the site as well), whether the site charges the appropriate amount for the advertisement, and how much that advertising affects purchasing is not always easy. Trust me. I work with media buyers all the time, and their jobs are harder than you think.
Market to the social influencers who surround the customer, as well as the customer.
One of the ways in which you market to those influencers is using display advertising. So rather than just placing advertisements on Web sites that your customers visit, you place some advertisements (doesn’t have to be a large percentage of your budget) on Web sites that their social influencers frequent, too. Is this as measurable as those advertisements targeting your customers directly? Maybe not, because these influencers are less likely to click the ads and make a purchase. But nevertheless, they remember the brand and they influence your customers.