2017: The Year of Influence Marketing ... For Sales
Greetings PI readers and Citizens of the Printerverse! It’s a new year and like everyone else, I’m sure you are busy making plans and formulating strategies to win the hearts and minds of new customers. Before you embark on the journey ... we need to discuss one word ... INFLUENCER.
In 2017, be prepared for “INFLUENCE” to find its way from Madison Ave to the door of your biz. While other forms such as influences and influencing apply, none will be as important as "influencer."
By definition an influencer is a person or thing that influences. The most powerful way to influence beliefs is through direct experience, whether it’s yours or the experience of your business through others. Before “influencer” becomes a marketing buzzword people air quote, you have a solid window to present your influence case. Here are a few ways to make it happen:
Forget the equipment; show off your subject matter authority. Bring awards and recognitions out of the secondary drop down menu and post them with pride on every page of your website. List every pub that has ever mentioned you, every industry and local event you have sponsored, every charity you support, and so on. Recognition and a strong presence go a long way to showing you have influence and good-standing in your local community, and the industry.
With steady bombardment and access to our lives through all the marketing channels available, public trust in messages from businesses and brands is at an all time low. (reference: www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2016/01/lies-and-the-declining-trust-in-brands.html#.WIaR6LGZNE4). Let your customers do your talking for you. Testimonials matter — and please, not just the fluff. Whenever I recommended or provided a testimonial for a printer, I did so on the basis of how they handled a crisis. That is influential information print customers find useful in their decision-making.
Besides what they say, who is saying it can provide you with a wealth of influence on others. The trick here is to tap customers and partners who will influence the people you want to attract. You can get creative, use an insurance customer to help you get attention from a healthcare customer. They have similar projects in my experience. With that example group your customers into workable segments, and work on getting testimonials about the experience of working with you, not just what you do. Tap into the qualities that will influence prospects to learn more about you, and how you can help them.
Last one, though I could go on forever ... share your numbers. Why do we know how many people have eaten at McDonalds?? Because billions of people can’t be wrong, they must know something; I want to know it, too. That is the strategy behind the sign. How many customers have you served? How many million of pages have you printed? How many awards have you helped your customers win? Those people must know something, I want to know it too ... and viola’ I am now influenced to learn more about you. That is a win in 2017.
There are many ways to manifest your influence messaging, but trust that your site is ground zero. Review it. Brainstorm ideas that would influence you — to sign up for the webinar, to download the white paper, to take a sales call, to request more information, to place an order, to refer a friend. It all starts from the belief that you know something. Prove it.
Let your influence flag fly high and PRINT LONG AND PROSPER in 2017!
P.S. — The print industry influencers share knowledge, experience and fun every Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST at #PrintChat on Twitter. Watch and learn! Follow @PrintMediaCentr and @PrintChat, visit www.printchat.printmediacentr.com for all chat info.
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts From The Printerverse, cultivator of Print Production Professionals the No. 1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl No. 1 at Girls Who Print, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors and sits on the board of the The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, and is an advisor for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.
Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer and now works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers and members, and achieve success with their social media, content marketing, event marketing and sales endeavors.