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Affluencers, PR marketing to wealthy influencersIn developing new product promotion campaigns, marketing and PR professionals may wish to focus on a particular subgroup of influencers who have excess money to spend and significant sway within their personal networks.

Companies have long-sought wealthier customers. New research from Ipsos contends that some affluent consumers hold a powerful sway of the spending habits of other consumers.

Ipsos defines the affluent as adults living in households with at least $125,000 in annual household income. That’s the top 16% of American households. Affluencers represent 71 percent of affluent customers, or affluents.

They tend to spend more than others. While ordinary affluents spend 2.6 times more than non-affluents, affluencers spend 3.6 times more.

Experts on Buying and Shopping

Their influence over others’ purchasing and shopping decisions is especially attractive to marketers. People turn to affluencers for advice. Almost all affluencers (97 percent) agree that “people often ask my advice” on purchases and shopping.

“While most marketers have understood that the affluent audience is important due to their buying power and purchase behaviors especially in luxury and high-ticket categories, we’ve found that their influence is felt in nearly every category,” said Michael Baer, SVP and head of Affluent Intelligence Group, Ipsos Connect.

Affluencers are typically early adopters of new technology and the first users of innovative services. They tend to purchase vehicles with the latest technology and are more willing to go on vacations off the beaten track.

In addition, affluencers on average consume more media than general affluents. Affluencers seek advice as well as give it. Affluencers are respected as experts because they are well informed. Most research products online, and many read print publications.

How to Reach Affluencers

Marketers can gain their attention by satisfying that thirst for information. Produce buying guides, Q&A pages, advice columns and other informational content that feeds their desire for knowledge, advises Internet Retailer. Create a valuable “resource library” of content that helps educate and entertain them.

Make sure they can easily share the content online. Getting affluencers to talk about your brand is about driving engagement through relevance; and like any good social media marketing, relevance is key in driving your brand, states Wild Minds Agency.

Consider the age range of affluencers. Values, preferences and behaviors differ between age groups. Millennial affluencers are more likely to respond to messages with social benefits (fitting in, being admired, etc.) while boomer affluencers focus more on personal benefits.

Testing is critical to find the best message and creative. Vary headlines, images, media types, messages, and adapt presentations to different devices. Don’t be afraid to change messages and presentations frequently.

Employ social media analytics to learn what people, and especially affluencers, are saying about your company and its products. A social media analytics tool can report who is mentioning your brand, measure sentiment, and reveal the most valuable influencers mentioning your brand. Marketers can create messages that affluencers and other types of influencers share by learning what types of content they now share.

Bottom Line: Affluencers sway purchasing decisions of other consumers across a broad range of categories. The affluent influencers are trend setters. They’re eager to research and try innovative products and services. Other people turn to them for purchase advice. With those traits, it’s easy to see why PR pros and marketers want to reach them.

William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.