The digital age is changing the world as we know it.” We hear this all the time. Thanks to the introduction of social media channels, blogs, and live streaming video capabilities; the versatile ideas, perspectives, opinions, and voices of millions of everyday people are more relevant than ever before.
As the digital world changes, marketing teams implement new tactics, with the goal of positively influencing a brand’s consumers. The once coveted, ‘traditional marketing tactics’ that dominated the marketing world are becoming less common. Print advertisements. Broadcast advertisements. Billboards. --- Simply put, these tactics talk at consumers. Influencer marketing, a newer marketing tactic reaping the benefits of the digital age, start and engage in ongoing conversations with consumers.
Who are these influencers?
An influencer is a person who uses their personal platform to educate people on brands in a neutral light. Influencers can be considered neutral because they are not direct employees of brands. This perceived objective view is often beneficial when trying to sell a product; brands are able to borrow the reach of influencers, communicating with potential consumers in an organic way. Often, consumers are more willing to believe a personal testament regarding a product, before they fully believe the opinion of a brand employee.
How exactly does this all work?
Influencers are often sent products to sample, with the intention they will shed light on a brand, sharing honest, positive experiences with their following on their personal social media platform(s).
Influencers are often paid for sharing their opinions and experiences. Companies pay influencers with a predetermined amount of products, other times they agree on a predetermined monetary payment.
Sometimes influencers have the ability to share a promotional code with their following. This code gives followers the opportunity to purchase a product at a discount. In return influencers often get a commission of purchases made with their discount code.
Currently countless brands, from cosmetics to refreshments, utilize influencers as a key component of their marketing strategy. When done successfully, a brand will benefit from using an influencer as part of their next marketing campaign.
What should one keep in mind when picking an influencer?
Are you choosing an influencer who has specific knowledge of your products industry?
If you’re looking for an influencer to promote a high-end cosmetics brand, you wouldn’t contact a struggling YouTube rookie, who has poor cosmetics skills and tips. Rather, you would want to contact a YouTube cosmetics guru who does phenomenal work; someone whose advice regarding cosmetics, and application tips are often sought after.
Who is your influencer’s primary audience? Is their audience the same audience you’re trying to target?
You wouldn’t reach out to a young Instagram famous teenager to speak on behalf of your retirement company. It’s a safe bet that most of the people following said Instagram famous teenager, are not planning on retiring anytime soon.
Does your potential influencer have a large enough following?
Finding a person who’s personable and has knowledge of the industry is your goal. However, their following should correlate with your brand, and with how many people you want to influence. You wouldn’t choose a YouTube vlogger who only has 1,000 followers, and doesn’t have frequent engagement with viewers to speak on behalf of your brand. While they might produce great connect, you’re looking to influence a large population.
As the world of marketing rapidly changes, countless, every day, ordinary experiences can be turned into marketable moments. When done correctly, the use of the appropriate influencer can uniquely position your brand in an engaging way, generating more of user experiential advertisements, rather than ‘typical’ advertising.