Social media influencers aren’t just millennials

In part one of our Influencer Marketing series, we talked about the investment behind Influencer Marketing. In part two we explore how to evaluate and identify the audiences that follow social media influencers before getting started.

Influencer marketing is something most brands try at one time or another, and some campaigns are executed seamlessly with high ROI. However, quite often, initiatives with the best of intentions end with lackluster results and marketers find themselves asking:

“why didn’t we see any traffic from our partnering influencer?” “none of the influencer’s followers spent any money on our site!” “our social media follower count didn’t change whatsoever.”

When a campaign fails, the reason is usually pretty simple: you didn’t hit the right audience. What’s more, marketers often assume that influencers and the people they reach through social media are predominantly millennials. This is simply not true. Social media influencers come in all shapes and sizes.

Knowing that one failed marketing initiative can discourage a business from giving it a second attempt, you must go into an influencer marketing campaign with a true understanding of your audience.

Social Media Influencers appeal to more than just Millennials
The perception that people in their 20’s are the only ones scrolling through social media is alive and well. But, the stereotype has to be avoided at all costs — especially when it comes to digital marketing initiatives.

According to the Pew Research Center:

Some 68% of U.S. adults are now Facebook users
40% of 30-49 year-olds indicate that they use Instagram
56% of people over the age of 50 use YouTube
Social media influencers are not the exclusive domain of younger generations.

It casts a wide net, but it’s about how you use the net that matters. For example, using Snapchat to get your message out may not be the best method to reach people over the age of 50 (as only 7% of those polled by Pew claimed to use the platform).

The key is to know your customer and the social media they use
If you are on board with using social media influencers, take a crucial pause. Think of an important group — your customers. Before you get rolling, ask yourself:

Who is your customer?
How old are they?
What are their hobbies?
Do they prefer to shop online or in the store?
What are their favorite brands?
Do they prefer Facebook or YouTube?
Answering those questions should give you a good start to a foundation on what kind of influencers to reach out to, the types of influencers your audience will trust, and what platform(s) make the most sense for your brand or product.