What is Influencer Marketing and Why is it so Important?
Social media isn’t just for kids anymore – Influencer Marketing is becoming the go-to tool for marketers.
Right now, social platforms are no longer relevant only for connecting people. They are everywhere, and everything is on them. That means that no business can ignore social media anymore. If you have a business, you can’t afford not being on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, at the very least.
Although, we have to say that having accounts on these platforms isn’t the beginning and the end of your social media marketing efforts. You need to create a strategy. One that will handle the social media community that gathers on your account. Also, you will need a social media marketing strategy that will handle regular advertising. Thanks to all of this, Digital Marketing is now a field that differs a lot from “physical” or “real-world” marketing, and it has its own laws, codes, and hidden traps.
One of the most popular segments of Digital Marketing is Influencer Marketing. That term refers to influential individuals such as actors, writers, athletes, scientists, and business leaders who endorse brands, products, or services for free or for a fee (usually the latter).
If you have a LinkedIn account, you must have seen how much people respect and follow influencers in their fields of interest. Each post from these people can have a massive impact because their followers believe what they post. You will often notice them endorsing or criticising a brand, product, or service.
That’s where the term Influencer comes from. These people are able to sway the opinions of their followers, your potential consumers, either way with a simple review or a comment.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
The best way to understand how this works is through an example. For instance, you take a movie star like Margot Robbie to be your Brand Ambassador or to simply endorse your business.
Consumers like nothing better than seeing famous people tie their names to the names of the brands they’re using themselves. Why? Because it adds credibility, adds more weight to the marketing campaign. We all know celebrities usually have extravagant lifestyles. We know they drive the best cars, wear the best clothes, and use the best shampoos. Whichever product or service they say that they’re using, the general public will be more inclined to trust.
Influencer Marketing in digital is very similar. The Digital Age has created a whole new line-up of relevant figures. Their blog posts, vlogs, tweets, and social media likes can influence the behaviour of your entire target audience.
Consider the fact that every post by these influencers is shared thousands if not millions of times via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. You must realise that this type of brand advertising will leave your brand on top of your desired demographics’ mind.
Furthermore, the fact that many viral marketing campaigns were started by influencers speaks volumes about just how much an influencer can help your business.
That’s why many companies send their products to influencers in their industry even before they release them. They want influencers to give reviews of said products on social media and create a buzz online.
We’ve already mentioned that viral campaigns are a big deal in todays digital driven marketing environment. Whether you’re just starting out or you already have an established company, you want your brand to be the first one consumers think about when your niche gets mentioned. Nothing does that better than a viral campaign, and that’s why every marketer is trying to create one.
That means that a popular influencer can make sure that your potential consumers become positively overwhelmed by your advertising. Why? Well because an influencer’s posts would be shared millions of times. That would, in turn, result in your target audience considering buying what you’re selling.
Even better, if the influencer post in question is really good, it can be picked up by media outlets. That will only amplify your message and give you free additional coverage.
That’s another reason why influencers are so popular and in demand. On the one side, we have consumers who need someone to help them decide which brand to trust. On the other side, we have brands who need someone to “pull in” the crowd.
Influencer Marketing is a great thing when used wisely. However, it does have some weak spots. If you want to use an influencer to boost your marketing efforts, make sure to have substance to back up your campaign. Don’t send products or offer services that might not meet strict standards. That might result in a negative influencer campaign. And that will sink your new offer before it even gets to see the light of day.
How Does a Person Become an Influencer?
For one, to become an influencer, a person needs to be an expert in the niche they want to talk about. Second, that person also needs to have a decent amount of traction online. On social media or in media outlets. Everything else is less relevant.
Influencers know their niches and their audiences like the backs of their hands. They base their opinions on facts, and they think their views through. If you want to work with an influencer, find someone who is a genuine expert in your field, who has a large, loyal following, and who is completely non-controversial.
In the End
Influencer Marketing isn’t a simple approach, and for it to be successful, there are other steps that you must take. You have to pay a lot of attention to consumer feedback, since reputable influencers won’t risk their integrity to market a bad brand, service, or product.
Another important thing to bear in mind – if social builds you up, then social can tear you down. Tread vert lightly, and take extreme care to maintain your reputation.
However, if you do decide to use Influencer Marketing for your brand, you’ll be riding a popular trend before the market becomes oversaturated, which is always a good idea.