What Is Influencer Marketing?
What do Selena Gomez, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Wayne Gretzky all have in common? They are all influencers, and they are all getting paid for it!
Influencer Marketing is a marketing tactic that focuses on using people with expertise, popularity or a good reputation to drive a brand’s message to a large audience.
Instead of marketing directly to a large target audience you instead inspire or hire an influencer to spread your message for you.
Often influencer marketing involves marketing your products or services specifically to those who have sway over the things other people buy, in turn hoping that they will become brand ambassadors.
Any person, company, group, or even place could potentially be an influencer. Celebrities, like those mentioned above, are often targeted to market products due to their visibility and influence.
By using your product you get exposure and the respect that comes from a celebrity endorsement.
Most often influencer marketing is employed with social media marketing and/or content marketing. A good influencer campaign should have a social media component, where the influencer markets your product through their personal social media channels.
Many campaigns also contain content marketing where your company may create content for the influencer.
Bloggers have also become important influencers due to the fact that they are often seen as authentic, moral and may carry loyal followings. When bloggers recommend your product, it may seem more trustworthy to your audience than traditional advertising.
The uniqueness of using influencer marketing is that it is built around the concept of appealing to the influencer instead of the end target audience.
By forming an unforced and organic relationship with the influencer they become able and willing to endorse your product on a personal level.
According to recent studies, nearly 75% of B2B buyers are influenced by information found on social media.
It remains true that traditional marketing and advertising are still relevant, however, the targeting and relationship building potential of influencer marketing is beginning to provide greater ROI and deeper relevant customer relationships.
One downfall of influencer marketing is that it cannot be controlled to the same degree as traditional marketing.
Most influencers are carefully vetted and provide a positive image of a product, however, influencers who fall out of the public spotlight or encounter legal or otherwise damaging issues could impact a product negatively, impacting its chances of success.
Your company should always have a plan to deal with any subsequent fallout should an influencer misrepresent or otherwise negatively affect your products.
By using influencer marketing your company may be able to avoid much of the skepticism that is often directed at traditional marketing messages, however, there is always the chance that it could reflect badly on your product should the campaign not go as planned.
What Is The Difference Between Influencer Marketing And Word Of Mouth Marketing?
Influencer marketing engages key individuals to leverage their influence, whereas word of mouth marketing is the actual path by which this communication takes place.
The majority of influencer marketing will include word of mouth marketing, however, word of mouth marketing is not required to be driven by influencer marketing.
What Is The Difference Between Influencer Marketing And Advocate Marketing?
Influencer marketing focuses on finding influencers, not current customers, to share your brand message.
Advocate marketing focuses on providing incentives, or otherwise encouraging already loyal customers to share the positive experiences they have had with your company.
Through product reviews or customer references your customers are able to share their love of your brand or product, whereas influencer marketing often pays the influencer, advocate marketing focuses less on payment and more on brand loyalty.
What Are Some Of The Key Components Of Influencer Marketing?
You will need to identify key brand influencers, create a marketing campaign specific to the chosen influencer(s), develop a marketing campaign for the influencers to share with your target audience and track sales, awareness and reach metrics.
What Steps Are Needed To Have A Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign?
The following steps are a good starting point when mapping out your Influencer Marketing Campaign:
- You need to define your audience. Know and understand who your audience is, and furthermore who effects their view of your brand, product or service.
- Set goals for your campaign. Often these goals will be less focused on increasing sales, and more focused on creating a buzz around your brand, or general public awareness.
- Research demographics and target markets and identify the support of the right influencers. Influence can be as much about context as it is about popularity or fame.
- Ensure that you are engaging the most relevant influencers, who can positively impact your brand and who can appeal to your audiences’ decision-making process. Research who their audience is, the type of message they are spreading and their preferences. This will ensure it is easy to reach out to them later.
- The first step to engaging an influencer may be to follow, like and share your target influencers’ content. Try to build a relationship with them prior to asking them to advocate your brand. The goal is to build an organic relationship that is not based solely on endorsing or selling.
- The second step to engaging an influencer will be approaching them about proposed marketing opportunities. Propose content that is convenient and appealing.
- Make it easy for your influencers to access the required content. Your content is much more likely to be shared if it can easily be integrated into their various social platforms.
- Lastly, you need to track and measure your results. Track the effectiveness of your campaign, iterate and make any necessary changes.
Influencer marketing can be defined as the process of researching, identifying and engaging the support of ‘influencers’ who are able to create meaningful conversations with your customers about your products, services or brand.
As your customer’s online presence, and their subsequent conversations, continue to evolve, influencers are able to play a larger and larger role in creating relevant customer discussions, cutting through the online clutter, and ultimately building trust in your brand.
Have you used influencers in the past for your brand awareness? Maybe you should. Contact us today to learn more about how influencer marketing could be the right tactic for you.