Influencer marketing is alive and well, weathering this pandemic storm while few marketing tactics are left standing. But it’s not the same ol’ influencers resonating with consumers. The landscape has changed – potentially forever. Let’s see how that looks!
If there’s one specific subset of influencers that connects meaningfully with consumers, it’s out of work, small business owners. This article will share why this group jibes so perfectly with Next Insurance’s target market, along with:
- The importance of a social media listening strategy and knowing when to pivot your marketing efforts.
- How influencers and micro-influencers can be beneficial to your business strategy.
- How to identify said influencers using NetBase Quid.
And there are interesting stats to keep in mind as you consider your own influencer strategy, including:
- 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year
- 61% of marketers say finding the right influencers is difficult (HINT – it doesn’t have to be! If you’re armed with the right tools, it can be easy.)
Reading The Room & Reallocating Budget
A good business strategy often means having a plan, but also having a backup plan. It’s important to know when you need to tap the breaks and pivot. And Next Insurance recently did just that in the wake of COVID-19.
The leading digital business insurance company had big plans to 2020. They were going to rebrand and roll out a large campaign announcing the rebrand, but when the global pandemic struck the world, they knew this wasn’t the right time. And what a smart move that was!
Instead, they invested that money into a new campaign, Built By Business, in which they hired and featured small business owners in a variety of industries. Small business owners were paid to create work and inspire others while giving back to their communities. Here is just a sample of the entrepreneurs Next Insurance hired:
- Brianne Solomon, Black Diamond Tattoo | Venice, CA
- Mark A. Linen, Owner, Brotha Bakes | Houston, TX
- Christine Lee, Cirque Du Clee | San Francisco, CA
The work that these entrepreneurs did became the backbone of the campaign which led to the company’s very first commercial.
This move was incredibly smart. Next Insurance tapped into not only their target market, but some of their current customers too, to create smart and moving messaging during such a time of need. After all, brand perception is more important now than ever.
How did they do it? The digital intelligence was clear for those listening . . .
Digital Intelligence Keeps Brands Ahead of Trends
When using artificial intelligence tools like Quid to look at how certain topics are being discussed in the media and on social media, it’s important to look for trends and spikes to ensure you are using the right messaging at the right time to avoid coming off as tone deaf or missing a huge business opportunity.
Looking at the timeline and network map below, brands can see what the volume around clusters of topics are and where there are spikes and dips related to larger categories, and then dig in deeper to see exactly what the conversation is about and what the sentiment is.
Right around the end of March, articles like this one started appearing, reporting that some small businesses insurance policies wouldn’t cover COVID-19 losses. This left small business owners scrambling, and in many cases, making the tough decision to close up shop.
In fact, a survey of small business owners tied to the effects COVID-19 had on their business, saw 66% of participants reporting significant revenue loss, with 54% had less than four weeks of cash flow on hand in May.
And take note of the size of the conversational clusters (below). This is where the most conversation is happening about a certain topic. In this case (you guessed it) – small business insurance:
This was an excellent opportunity for Next Insurance to step in with their brilliant small business campaign, giving hope and positivity during such a time of need. They addressed pain points, while humanizing their brand and offering a solution of sorts – work, hope and free marketing. Win-win.
And looking at it from a consumer perspective, it’s clear that the response to this campaign was overwhelmingly positive.
So, how can your business use this example in your own business strategy for making a masterful marketing move? Let’s take a look.
Making a Masterful Influencer Marketing Move
It’s critical to the success of your business to have a strategic social listening plan in place. You need to be on top of not only what people are saying about your brand, but your industry as a whole, and even current events.
By actively monitoring these conversations in real time you are giving yourself leverage on relating to consumers on a personal level, and their needs, wants and fears. Consumers want to be seen and heard by the brands they shop from or work with, and not just considered another number. Making a personal connection is key.
But that’s not all.
Consumer and market intelligence helps you understand not only what your audience is talking about, but who. The “who” who could become part of your next influencer (or micro-influencer) marketing campaign.
In the case of Next Insurance, they went after micro-influencers to be part of this campaign. Folks who they felt their current and potential customer base could relate to. In fact, in this very instance, it was smart to use micro-influencers vs. bigger celebrities as that can come off as more authentic (small business owners).
How exactly can NetBase Quid help your business identify relatable influencers? Let’s take a look.
Vetting Influencers and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in NetBase Quid
When businesses are using NetBase Quid, there are multiple ways to approach influencer identification and monitoring. When in NetBase, users can set up a dashboard to identify influencers, which will then be exploreed into a few different ways, including follower count, mentions, engaged posts and hashtags.
There isn’t one right or wrong one to look at it all really, as it will all depend on the goal of the campaign you’re intending to run.
In Quid, the search functions slightly different. Using Quid Apps, you are able to identify Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) on a certain topic.
When exploring the topic of “small business insurance,” Quid identifies KOL People:
And piecing together the two sides of NetBase Quid is simple, too. By looking at these charts in traction view, you can see how many media mentions (mention count) there are compared to social media mentions (social engagement).
When looking for a person or company to work with, it’s smart to start vetting the activity of those in the top right quadrant of the chart. These people/places have both high media mentions and lots of social shares, so they’re likely to get a brand the most bang for its buck from both standpoints. Or, just focusing on social shares can be valuable too, as media mentions may not necessarily match up with how consumers feel.
Influencer identification is a powerful tool for any brand to add to its arsenal. But it’s not as easy as it seems! Once you start to dig in, the real work starts. And fortunately, in NetBase Quid, brands can also monitor influencer engagement and relevance, taking insight well beyond vanity metrics (likes and followers counts) that can be faked.
If you’re unsure of where to start, or want to learn more about creating a micro-influencer campaign for your brand, shout out for a demo. We’re happy to help you recreate Next Insurance’s influencer marketing success!