What is Influencer Marketing?
If you haven’t already heard the words Influencer Marketing in the social media world, you’re about to. Influencer Marketing is the next biggest trend in marketing and will soon be one of the most powerful ways to advertise your product and market your brand.
But what does it mean, how does it work, where did it come from and what’s the big deal with this new marketing technique? Giraffe has gone above and beyond to provide you on the ins and outs of Influencer Marketing.
What Does Influencer Marketing Mean?
Influencer Marketing takes aspects of both old and new ways to market a product or brand. It takes the traditional route of celebrity endorsement and updates it to the new modern era of content-driven marketing campaigns. However, these campaigns usually result in collaborations between brands and potential brand ambassadors. Therefore, social media strategies in Influencer Marketing are aimed at individuals who influence your own target audience.
The unique update that Influencer Marketing has brought to marketing is that a brand ambassador or influencer can be anyone, not necessarily a celebrity. An influencer’s credentials simply must be that they have a large following on social media platforms. For example, if you were a B2B and were looking to gain the respects of large companies, you would look for a well-respected company executive on LinkedIn to talk about your business. On the other hand, if you wanted to promote your clothing line, you’d look for a fashion blogger or model on Instagram that could film videos of themselves trying the products on and take photos in your clothes. Every industry has influential people, and it’ll be likely that these individuals will be on social media with a huge number of followers that you want to target.
Where Did Influencer Marketing Originate?
Interestingly, Influencer Marketing has been around for a few years but has only recently become increasingly popular. However, there are aspects of Influencer Marketing that date back to the early 20th century, with brands using personas for an emotional effect to influence people to buy their product or use their service.
One of the most notorious figures in Influencer Marketing history is Coca Cola’s Santa Claus, who can be compared to influencers today because of the humanising and personal effect the character had on potential buyers. As with all marketing, eventually the most popular trend died down, and marketers needed a new way to sell brands – enter…celebrity endorsement. Brands would get celebrities to talk about their products in testimonials or get them to feature in television advertisements. When social media evolved, celebrities became ambassadors online as well, meaning they’d post pictures with products to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
However, now in our current world where we eat, drink and breathe social media, has Influencer Marketing become an entity of its own.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Influencer Marketing can be on any social media platform, including Youtube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – as long as there’s an influential individual in your industry on a social media site, it will work. A business must set goals and objectives, which they can then convey to an influencer so they can work on a strategy too.
Influencer Marketing can help your brand build awareness, get installs or downloads if you’re advertising an app, build a community, influence sales of a product or service and reach a new geographic for your target audience – it just depends on what objective you want to achieve from the marketing technique.
You have to find the right influencer for you – someone who attracts the audience you want to attract and will promote your brand to the right people. As you have to reach out to influencers and ask them politely to use your product on their social media platform, you need to let the promoter run with it. Be careful not to be so strict on the rules and regulations of how to use your product, that you end up making the influencer look like a robot, or worse, avoid you altogether. Influencer Marketing is all about being human as you are appealing to another human to endorse your brand to other human beings.
A Look Into the World of Influencer Marketing
According to MediaKix, Tiffany and Co. saw an 8%+ engagement rate when they partnered with an influencer who was a popular photographer on Instagram. Jack Morris (@doyoutravel) has 2.7 million followers and rose to fame by posting dreamy photos of his travels. He is renowned for his life as a travel blogger and influencer and only works with brands that he thinks are in line with what he does – travel.
Tiffany and Co. wanted to step away from their reputation as an expensive brand and focus on the awareness of their affordable products. Their plan was to target Millennials through Jack Morris’s Instagram and reinvent themselves as a brand that wasn’t just for luxurious gifts, but for a wider range of people. Morris posted pictures of himself wearing Tiffany and co. rings while holding his camera and generated interest of the jewellery by incorporating it into aspects of his daily life. For example, in one post to Instagram, he is simply pictured wearing the rings while picking up a chocolate. Morris’s Instagram oozes a luxurious lifestyle in five-star hotels and expensive resorts, so Tiffany and co. fits right in.
Who are Influencers?
Influencers aren’t just people you can pay to get what you want. Good influencers have built their own brand, collated a huge following and are responsible for a lot of people’s trust, as well their own reputation. They have a lot of respect for their followers as they have helped to contribute to their career. Therefore, Influencer Marketing, alike to Social Media and Content Marketing, is a steady process that grows over time. It’s not an overnight success, it’s a slow race that will help you win.
Influencers are popular people who want to be knowledgeable in their industry, so they can be at the top of their game to influence properly. The relationship between brand and influencer is built on this concept, with both sides benefiting from the collaboration.
What’s the Big Deal with Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is the next big thing, but why? What makes it so different to just another Social Media or Content Marketing technique? Well, for one thing, it’s different. It utilises the best aspects of traditional and modern ways to market to break the new age of social media. However, it won’t replace Social Media or Content Marketing as Influencer Marketing can only work in unison with the two.
It also tends to be a lot cheaper and efficient than the other ways of marketing, as marketers won’t have to put large sums of money behind advertisements to gain reach or engagement. Influencer Marketing now exists in a time when people are questioning the aspects of social media and advertising. Each day more consumers are questioning the credibility of marketing messages and have become cynical towards the assumptions and huge claims advertisements sometimes make. As Marketing-Schools.org explains, people are more likely to buy a product or listen to an ad, if it’s been recommended by a trusted friend or relative.
Therefore, people are more likely to trust an influencer, who they see the daily life of on social media and who’s shared with them their secrets and stories, than a new brand who’s surfaced on their Facebook feed claiming to change their life. As AdWeek states, people have begun looking at each other and their favourite social media personalities for purchasing decisions, rather than the companies themselves.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing is most successful when it’s honest and transparent. For instance, influencers should advertise and talk about a product because they want to, not because they’ve been paid. In the words of Grin, people want to listen to an authentic voice above all the noise, and who’s voice is better than an influencer’s?
For more information on the benefits of Influencer Marketing or if you want to discuss and take advantage of the new and popular way to market, please get in contact with us today.