Let’s look at decoding the mystery around influencer marketing.
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- Does it work in Geospatial?
- Do I really need it?
We’ll answer all those questions in this post, but let’s start with the last one. Yes, you need it. Or, at least, you should certainly be trying it!
So, what is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing has really taken off in recent years. It’s become a buzzword, but the term ‘influencer’ became popular in the 2010s and was officially added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2019.
In that dictionary, an influencer is defined as:
One who exerts influence: a person who inspires or guides the actions of others;
Often, specifically: a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media.
Harnessing the social power of an industry influencer has become an essential marketing tactic for a lot of businesses because it’s a seriously powerful way to:
- Extend brand awareness
- Reach a new or wider target audience, and
- Build credibility, trust, and authority
And trust me, you want all of these things.
In its early days, influencer marketing was generally used to promote fashion, beauty, and e-commerce brands. Businesses sent products to celebrities and famous faces in exchange for their reviews or endorsements. So yes – this channel was once dominated by celebrities selling tooth whitening products and protein shakes, but it has proven effective and matured in a short time.
Now, influencer marketing is making its way into Geospatial. It makes sense – there are influencers in every industry. How can you identify them? They are the people in your LinkedIn and Instagram feeds who are:
- Thought leaders
- Seen as an authority by their followers
- Making people sit up and listen
It’s up to you to find the people behind those social profiles with knowledge, influence, and followers. These are the voices that your customers listen to; the thought leaders who can offer guidance and expertise to their audience.
Clearly, choosing your influencers shouldn’t be a snap decision.
Like any part of your marketing, the selection of a thought leader requires strategy and research.
At a basic level, you need to partner with influencers who have a similar (or complementary) social media following and audience to help spread the word and showcase your product or service.
Influencer marketing can introduce your organisation to new audiences and help you to find your ideal customers.
It’s important to align influencers with your business. Beyond just sharing the interests and industries, your influencers should also share similar values. Alignment goes beyond working in the same industry – if you’re focused on promoting adoption of new technologies, it hardly makes sense to partner with an influencer who believes the measuring wheel is still the best tool – even if they have 1,000,000 followers on TikTok.
Nor does it make sense to partner with influencers whose followers fall outside your target audience. It might be hilarious to show a Kardashian how a point cloud works, but is your next big customer really going to find you that way?
Which brings us to today’s top tip: Find an influencer who has the ear of a similar or complementary audience. That could be someone like hunting and fishing Instagram star Mark Kenyon (assuming your audience is in one field when they’re not in another), or it could be a GIS expert like Alvaro Anguix Alfaro. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ll find your people.
As an important note, keep in mind that your best influencers could be within your four walls! Inside many companies is an expert with a large and loyal audience on social media. Your marketing director, southwest regional sales manager, or newest surveyor may have a beloved podcast covering surveying technologies or a massive audience for their ridiculous geospatial memes. Ask around the office – that internal influencer might be happy to have the recognition and additional audience.
How does influencer marketing work for Geospatial?
It’s no secret that the Geospatial industry isn’t always the most up to date with marketing trends. In fact, most businesses in our sector are way behind the times. But influencer marketing is one area where we really shouldn’t be dragging our feet.
To start with, identify your influencer. Don’t just look at their follower count: Most serious influencers will have media kits that show their audience demographics and engagement. That will help you ensure your audience goals are met, and that you’ve made the best selection. Do some additional research too, and make sure there are no nasty controversies lingering around your influencer (looking at you, Jake and Logan Paul). Then reach out!
Define your goals, and make sure your influencer partner understands them. Are you trying to increase your own follower count, stimulate engagement, drive leads, or actually close sales? Define your key performance indicators (KPIs) and make sure everyone is on board – including the influence, who should agree to be accountable for their part in achieving those goals.
The next step is to determine the best way to work with your partner to showcase your product or service. Handing an established influencer a script is definitely not the best route! You’ll want to give them some talking points or highlights, but you probably don’t want to stifle their creativity.
These folks know what works for their audience, so let them take the lead. They may want to demo your product on their own, they may want to tag along on a job with you, or they may simply want to craft their own script for a live read. Some influencers may want to try something a bit wacky, like attaching a lidar scanner to a falcon (or something actually wacky!), but if they know their audience will love it, and no products, property, or living creatures will be harmed…why not?
Once your content is live, make sure you share it on all your owned media channels, from your website to your Threads accounts. And ask everyone on your team to share the content on their accounts, too.
Now more than ever, Geospatialers should be leaning into this marketing tactic and harnessing the power of influencer marketing to build trust and discover new audiences. So take the plunge and be the bold early adopter! Start working with influencers before your competitors beat you to it!
Ball’s insider trading: 🔥🔥 ones to watch 🔥🔥
If you’re wondering where you find some amazing Geospatial influencers, you’re in luck. We’ve done the hard work and found our industry’s rising social stars!
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Rami has an impressive 60,500 YouTube followers (and growing)! I predict this likable guy will go on to do BIG things!
Rami’s educational content explains different aspects of surveying, which has gained him an engaged audience that encompasses both the young surveyors of tomorrow as well as today’s working surveyors.
Any company keen to target students and showcase the range of careers in Geospatial – or in their own business – should consider working with Rami as he’s tapped into the younger market in a fun and informative way.
Farrah Etcheverry – Ladyland Surveyor
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With fewer women in the Geospatial and surveying industries, it’s great to see Farrah’s content. This working mom is a passionate and hardworking surveyor who works alongside her father in their family business. Her content shows surveying and mapping as the fun profession it is.
From full high-vis to getting down and dirty with drones, her day-in-the-life content shows just how different every day in survey can be. If you have followed her over the years, you will have seen how much she has developed and grown in her own confidence as a woman in a male-dominated profession. GO, FARRAH!
Robert is a trusted voice within the surveying world. His honest reviews don’t pull any punches: He says what he thinks, and his audience love him for it.
With over 8,000 followers, his audience might be huge, but it’s highly engaged. His content ranges from all things Trimble to in-the-field surveying tips and tricks.
He’s an authoritative voice showing the range of technology and innovation in the industry, and he brings with it a depth of surveying experience.
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Landman (is that a cool name for a surveyor or what?) is a working surveyor in South Africa who makes surveying look incredibly cool via his Instagram account.
Using reels, stories, and grid content, he shows how his Trimble techhnology works in the surveying industry. As if his photos and screen shots weren’t cool enough, let’s face it – he’s also in one of the world’s coolest locations, direct from Cape Town!
His 16,700 followers from around the globe are captivated by his eye-catching content. You will be, too.
Peter Haddock is a journalist, vlogger, podcaster, and a voice for the construction industry with a lot of experience in Geospatial and surveying.
Peter knows how to ask questions and likes to dive deep into how stuff works! You will take an instant liking to his catchy personality which shines through on every video.
These great influencers should give you a solid jumping-off point, but they’re certainly not the only industry super-stars. Ask your customers who they follow, and don’t forget to search your own team for in-house influencers! You may just find an ideal influencer for your business.