The Thing About Influencers

If you’ve read a marketing blog in the past 5 years or so, you, too, may have been gripped with fear that you aren’t targeting millennials enough. Using influencers to gain exposure for your product has become a very effective strategy, and yet it has, in a way, come to be defined narrowly as a way to reach millennials. In reality, it can be just as effective for older demographics too, and companies looking for the best digital marketing in Orange County may want to take note of the potential.

Why influencers?

The true advantage of marketing with influencers comes from their network. As their name suggests, these people hold influence over a big audience, and have cultivated a relationship of trust with that audience. You can talk for hours about how special your product is—of course you love it: it’s your product (and bottom line). But with influencers (even if they are paid), there is the overall appearance that they are “normal people” — a neutral third party that is taking the time to talk about your product because they like it.

The millennial fallacy

It’s likely that the first person you picture when someone mentions the word “Influencer” is a millennial who has somehow secured a monetized YouTube channel by using his or her parents’ money to do foolish, unrehearsed things in foreign countries. Before you sell your soul to one of these people, though, pause, take a breath, and think about your typical buyer. Is it really a millennial?

There has been an overabundance of hype emphasizing the need to chase down the intractable, hyper-plugged in millennial, or else risk becoming obsolete in the long-term. While there is generally truth to this, the fact is that Gen-X-ers and baby boomers are still very much with us and spending. Numbers from last year say that Americans 55 and older still account for 41.6% of spending, which is a huge cohort to neglect in pursuit of those elusive millennials.

It’s the persona

This isn’t to say that you should go ahead and put the brakes on all your millennial spending. Rather, it’s important to craft your message to the people who will be listening. For influencer marketing, this is especially important. Thankfully, YouTube and Instagram are chock full of influencers of every imaginable demographic. Despite the stereotypes, boomers have a sizeable online presence, and they’re watching videos and sharing things at high rates.

Depending on the line of work you’re in, influencers can be an extremely useful presence for your business. Vampire Tools, a high-end hand tool company we’ve done work for, has been able to get significant exposure by reaching out to the online community of influencers in the mechanics and repair spheres. These influencers are predominantly Boomers and Gen-X, and they are influential because their audience is also largely from those generations.

The best digital marketing in Orange County, or wherever you are, starts with knowing your customer. It particular, if you are reaching out through influencers, it is essential that the influencer appeal to the persona(s) your business is targeting. Luckily, there are influencers of all types to help you do this, not just millennials.

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