Influencer Marketing Part 2: Putting the Theory into Practice

Influencer Marketing Part 2: Putting the Theory into Practice

March 9, 2016

By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

In last week’s article Influencer Marketing Defined, we did just that – defined influencer marketing. Today’s article expands the concept, providing insight on how to build and implement an influencer marketing strategy.

There are four main activities involved in influencer marketing:

  1. Define your target shoppers. This is essential for any type of marketing strategy. Equally important to defining the target consumers for your dietitian programs and services is understanding where they are at in the purchase life cycle. Are they in the research stage, seeking information? Perhaps they’re in the awareness stage and need validation from family and friends. Or they could be ready to purchase. Each stage requires a different tactic as it relates to step number two.
  2. Identifying the influencers. Influencers are specific to a particular shopper segment and are used as a conduit to your larger target audience. The influencers may vary based both on consumer segment and their stage in the purchase life cycle. Other health professionals may be the targeted influencer if you are promoting services for shoppers with diabetes or heart disease. In this situation, a prominent hospital, clinic or health care facility may be a valuable influencer in your target market. Alternatively, you may be trying to reach moms with young children, making Early Childhood Education Program leaders or mommy bloggers your target influencer. Certain cultures have known influencers within their population. For example, various Native American tribes have elders, who influence governance decisions made and day-to-day actions by members.
  3. Marketing to and through Influencers. This is truly a two-part process. You need a marketing approach to reach the influencers themselves but you also need an approach that makes it easy for them to influence your target audience.  Marketing to influencers means you increase their awareness of and ensure they understand the benefits of your products and services. Marketing through them gets them to tell others. Marketing to an influencer is making them aware of the features and benefits of a new healthy line of private label products your retailer is introducing. Marketing through an influencer is sending them product – one to keep and one to share with a friend – or sending them coupons and recipes to share with family and friends. Marketing to a mommy blogger offers her three free sessions with you on losing weight after a pregnancy. Marketing through her gets her to invite all her friends to join along with her (they pay the program fee of course!).  
  4. Measuring Impact. As with all things retail, it’s essential to track which influencer marketing is most effective. Consider who of your influencer most effectively drove the desired action, what messages were most effective, the number of messages and length of time certain influencers needed to drive your target audience to action, and the value the influencer brought in compared to the financial outlay.

As influencers themselves, retail dietitians know what can be effective in influencer marketing. The test is to flip the thought process from being an influencer to impacting influencers for greater success with your programs and services.