Cold and flu season is just around the corner and brands have already spent all summer planning their strategies on how to reach consumers across the nation. But, one important thing to remember is just because brands are already preparing for flu season, doesn’t mean consumers are. In fact, according to gutcheckit.com “Consumers by and large aren’t planning ahead for colds and flus by buying medicine before symptoms strike. But rather waiting until symptoms arrive.” That is why it is important to be present in the consumer’s eye whenever the flu might hit. Knowing when and where the flu will strike is a key tool in determining how to market your product. Once brands learn when and where they’ll will find success, then comes HOW they will find it. Influencer marketing is something brands have leveraged to reach niche audiences in things like beauty, travel, and tech. But what if you want to use influencers to target audiences based on location rather than interests?
Some cold and flu brands advertise equally across the country since illnesses don’t discriminate. However, as we know, colds and flus do appear more heavily in different parts of the country at different times. During certain months of the year one area might have widespread flu whereas a single state over might show no activity. If you take a look at the Weekly US Map: Influenza Summary Update on cdc.gov, you will find a map that shows you where in the US is affected most by the flu. And if you move along through the weeks you can see when the flu hits the most. These factors play a huge role in determining where your focus should be during flu season and help you not waste time in areas that don’t have demand for your product. You may already be placing traditional and digital media based on these CDC reports, but how about expanding that to include influencers with hundreds and thousands of audience members already looking to them for advice?
It’s no secret that influencer marketing works. 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising, and instead turn to social media. Influencers are trusted individuals that have built audiences based on their knowledge of specific interests. But, finding the right influencer is only a very small portion of having a successful influencer marketing campaign. Oftentimes brands make the mistake of only looking at and selecting influencers based on content or number of followers instead of focusing on the breakdown of that influencer’s audience. You can find the perfect influencer, but if their audience isn’t in your targeted area, when it comes to cold/flu your budget won’t have been as impactful as it could have been. Targeting certain areas and cities can be hard through social media, which is why a lot of location-specific campaigns don’t think to use influencer marketing since the beauty of social media means your audience is most likely from all over the country, or even the world. Here enters the idea of “hyperlocal influencers” and they are the key to reaching the audience you need.
Hyperlocal influencers are influencers that have large audiences in specific cities, towns, or even neighborhoods. They have created strong ties in the community by staying involved in the lifestyle of that city. Visiting local restaurants, running the neighborhood gym or boutique, or even running a blogging site dedicated to that city are all ways these influencers represent their towns. Because they are so well-known to their specific location they have created a strong following from others in the area who know and trust them. So if the flu is reaching increased levels in their specific area, and they have a hyperlocal audience you can bet their followers will be turning to and listening to them for recommendations on how they can find relief when or if the cold hits their household.
One even more specific type of hyperlocal influencer you can focus on for cold and flu campaigns on are the mommy bloggers. A recent Forbes article stated that moms control 85% of household purchases and have a U.S. spending power of $2.4 trillion. When the flu strikes, she is the one most likely purchasing for the family and her audience (of mostly other moms) trust her opinion.
At Mattr, we can help you find these hyperlocal influencers. In fact, we recently successfully did this with another brand. This popular national retailer wanted to reach an audience in a small, very specific neighborhood in New York City. Using our platform and location based data we were able to find influencers who not only lived in this neighborhood but who also had a strong following in the area as well. This way the brand was able to put all its focus on where it would see the most return, and therefore make their limited budget go further and make a bigger impact.
This fall don’t forget that your audience is key and being able to find them and engage them can be difficult especially when your focus is on small locations and areas. Using CDC and Webmd is a great way to find out where your target is going to be this cold and flu season and when exactly to reach them. And leveraging hyperlocal influencers based on incident levels is a great way to reach that targeted area through trusted individuals.
MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.