So what is it?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of recent practices and studies, businesses use people with substantial influence on other people. Most likely the audience of this influencer will be people within the demographic that the business in question is targeting, hich focus is placed on the brand ambassador/influencer rather than the target market as a whole.
Due to the rise of social media and the increase of users from all demographics marketing is changing and evolving every day, peer recommendations are far more trusted by customers and if you’re able to use social media to gain trusted leads that are going to pass your expertise down to their social media followers whether in your ideal target audience or not the exposure and possible contacts is a good reward.
Why this type of marketing?
You maybe surprised to know that marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising mainly because trusting a person is much more appealing than taking a company’s word for it. Given the importance of peer recommendations and their amplification through social media, influencer marketing has become a widely discussed topic that could prove very effective for marketers.
Sometimes people don’t like to hear advertising from the company directly themselves and would rather listen or purchase goods and services from somebody they already trust and someone they have already been influenced by, businesses have tapped into this and are going to be more and more as time goes on.
Is influencer marketing new?
Influencer marketing isn’t a new word whatsoever in the past companies have used celebrities to endorse products or popular blog writers, this is give or take a few details what influencer marketing is about; making customers think a person uses or believes a product is good and that they advise to use this particular product or service is the goal businesses try to achieve.
Influencer marketing is mostly put into action through social media and of course the more followers an influencer has the more people an advertisement is going to reach out too, but it’s not all about the numbers it’s about credibility and expertise in a subject. The relationship between an influencer and his or her followers is vital so you need to make sure his or hers followers trust in them, now you can use these substantial influencers to advertise and market a product or service.
The evolution of marketing
Different social media channels have arose new generations of influencers mostly of the teen and low twenties age category, these people gain a huge amount of followers on YouTube for example via tutorial videos of niche subjects that then become more and more popular either through recommendations or social media. An example of this is Zoe Sugg who creates make up tutorials on YouTube her videos receive millions of views from females some of which are willing to spend money to get her look so ideally a cosmetics company would ask her to use their products during her videos therefore her audience will go out and buy it to replicate Zoe’s looks/techniques. Not only will businesses try to advertise products this way they may create a whole new range of products based around the popular influencer this is due to the fact the influencer’s audience is so big they can attempt to cater just for them and exactly that has been done as Zoe’s own brand known as “Zoella” is now on the shelves, this is an ideal example of influencer marketing at it’s best.
A rise in social media has caused a rise in the amount of influencers whether it’s make-up or people acting stupid the way we market to our audience is changing and influences are getting more and more important especially with the younger generation.
Trust is top of a customers list
In a world where advertising and marketing surrounds us every day it’s hard to trust marketers because we are exposed to advertising all the time and people lose faith and become harder to sell too; so with the use of an influencer the target audience is pinpointed and they have more trust in the product in question that way. The reasoning behind my previous point is as a result of the rise in influencer marketing and the use of brand ambassadors, and also due to the incredible rise of social media that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon, well never-ending seems more likely!
How to put influencer marketing into action regardless of your sector
Small businesses might use inexpensive online strategies to connect with influencers. A new restaurant can encourage customers to write reviews online which if read could tip people over the edge on a decision whether to visit the restaurant or not. A landscaping company could set up a helpful gardening blog giving free advice or useful tips on the industry of gardening which the readers will be very interested in and enjoy because anything for free is encouraging for customers. Making an influence is just as powerful at the local level as it is on the national level, usually in recent years for something to become very popular on social media is known as going viral which could make a huge impact on a company on a national scale possibly even international. But making an influence local to your business could prove to be key and boost your sales, the use of an influence really can drive traffic to your website or whatever website you choose; it’s about meeting the demographic and assuring you are meeting their interests and keeping them keen.
Implementing an influencer marketing strategy
The first step to creating a strategy is thinking of achievable goals, you want to set these goals around achieving more awareness of your brand and product, you want to create a buzz around what your company is doing. What you hope to accomplish must be on the table before you contact or look for an influencer.
After you decide what you want from an influencer you have to find the ideal candidate this is through research of different demographics and what characters are popular among the target audience you want to aim towards, the next step is to start analyzing where their influencers gather, who their audience is, and what kind of message they are spreading, carefully studying the influencer’s preference makes them easier to reach out to later.
When it comes to the point of contacting an influencer it should be done via social media and in a polite informal manner so they are comfortable and feel they are respected; if they are happy to be an ambassador for the company they will broadcast a much more positive opinion of your company or the company in question.
You then need to revisit goals on a regular basis to decide if the plan is having a good effect or not going to plan at all, you must remember that different influencers will like to be reached out too in different ways, just remember if an influencer is doing well you want to continue to benefit from their support, so keep them happy to represent the company so to speak.
Effective strategies of Influencer marketing
Create good relationships with influencers: creating a good relationship is a must before asking an influencer to advertise for you, make them happy to do so and the positives will keep on flowing! Even if it’s just a simple message it could make all the difference.
Find and identify more relevant influencers: before you start building on a relationship with an influencer you want to know they are relevant and right to become an ambassador for your company. Digital tools like SocMetrics are used to identify influential profiles of a particular category and depending on the demographic they reach out to.
Cater to your influencers preferences: When supplying a marketing influencer with content and advertising material be sure to give them the most convenient format for them regardless if it’s print, audio or video. Influencers are more likely to share content with their followers if it is easy for them to integrate into their blogs, Facebook pages, and other social sites or portals they may use.
Don’t write off smaller social sites: There is a vast choice of social sites to find an influencer so don’t just go for the big names like Facebook etc, it’s about what demographic you want to reach out too and what message you want to get across. One to watch is Instagram as they have around 300 million users and that number isn’t going to be getting smaller; ‘Insta’ is typically for an audience around 14-29 but with such a vast audience maybe, just maybe you could find the influencer you crave.