Influencer Marketing has been one of the top buzzwords in the marketing community in the past few years. It has been mentioned by top experts as a marketing direction marketers should try for their business goals.
However, influencer marketing is not a product of the 21st century.
Centuries ago it was used for both social, political and economical reasons. But with the rise of online social media platforms, its meaning and value has been repurposed.
So what is actually influencer marketing?
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is an area of digital marketing where companies use the voice and audience of influential individuals to tell their brand story.
Influencers are people who produce a niche content for people who trust and follow them. They have their voice in social media and can influence the behaviour of their followers.
It is important to remember that influencers are not just celebrities.
Unlike other forms of marketing, where companies use their owned and paid media to reach their audience, this type of social media marketing suggests collaboration with influencers who can become the storytellers of your brand. Because at the end of the day, a marketer’s goal is to drive demand, build brand distinction and tell a story.
As mentioned earlier, influencer collaboration is not hot off the press. The Queen of England and the Pope were known for using their influential positions to promote medicine back in the middle ages. Merchants and crafters sent various gifts to kings and queens with the goal to promote their product.
What makes today’s influencer marketing different is the use of online platforms as a means of promotion.
Why Influencer Marketing?
Every marketer would agree that traditional Advertising is becoming less effective and common nowadays. New forms of marketing and advertising are taking the lead and one of them is influencer marketing.
So why influencer marketing?
It is based on word-of-mouth tactics
81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts (Forbes). Research shows that people will more likely purchase something if a friend, peer or someone they admire use that product or recommend that.
It has a high ROI
There is no doubt that influencer marketing is an effective tool for customer acquisition. It helps businesses generate more leads and eventually, earn increased revenue. It is proven to deliver 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.
Social media is growing
Social media has seen a rapid growth in the number of active users. People turn to social media for daily communication, product review, entertainment, fun and it is undoubtedly as important in our lives as water.
And social media is where some individuals produce niche content and attract like-minded people. Those influencers build an army of followers and interact with them on a daily basis.
As a fun fact, Kardashians and Jenners have more followers than there are people living in the USA.
When NOT to do influencer marketing?
Even though influencer marketing has been proven to be more effective than some other forms of marketing, it can not be applied to all types of businesses.
Before starting to create a marketing strategy, brand representatives should ask themselves the following questions:
1. What story do you want to tell?
Brands who have a clear story that communicates what, how and why they do business can consider influencer marketing to tell their stories through the voice of others. If they don’t and hope influencers to create a story for them, that’s not going to work.
2. What is your marketing objective?
As a research shows, the top three goals of influencer marketing for businesses include increasing brand awareness (85%), reaching new audiences (71%), and generating sales and conversions (64%). However, it is not recommended to rely on influencers alone.
3. Is social media the best platform to reach your audience?
This is a very important question to ask yourself. It highly depends on what products or services you provide and what can affect your target audience’s purchasing decision. If your company provides financial auditing services, promoting your services through influencers on Instagram would be a waste of time and money.
4. What is our marketing budget?
Cost for collaborating with influencers can be expensive. The average influencer on Instagram charges $100 per 10k followers.
Are you going to work with one or a group of influencers? Do you have a budget for campaign additional promotion?
We tried to answer the one of the key questions you need to get started: what influencer marketing is, why it is important for your business and when not to include it in your strategy.
We hope that now you have a clear understanding of this form of marketing and if you are sure it can be effective for your brand, it is time to get down crafting your marketing strategy.