Lately, you might have heard the term “Influencer Marketing” as the new hot topic in advertising, but it’s actually a concept that’s been around for a long time. What we see today is a more creative take on traditional marketing better suited to today’s global internet world.
But what exactly is Influencer Marketing?
We’ve provided you with a breakdown that helps explain how Influencer Marketing works within online advertising and social media, and how it can benefit your ad campaign.
How Does it Work?
Influencer Marketing is a growing trend, especially among social media followers. In the past, it was limited to celebrities, but the field is much broader today. Remember Michael Jordan in the Nike commercials? Watching those commercials made people, and especially young people, feel like they wanted to be just like Michael. They wanted to be tall, athletic, and sure of themselves. But it was more than that. It was all that Michael Jordan stood for as an athlete and a hardworking individual. It was Michael’s reputation. His reputation came to represent and sell Nike shoes. Michael Jordan was trusted by his audience, which in turn trusted the brand Michael endorsed.
Influencer marketing takes the same concept and translates it to a much wider pool than just celebrities to help businesses reach customers.
When you set out to make a purchase, whether it’s large or small, what factors influence your decision? A majority of the time, our decisions will be made based on hearing a product endorsed by someone we trust.
Perhaps it’s as simple a decision as one brand of clothes over another. You choose the pair of jeans in your right hand over the brand in your left. Why? Because you remember reading a blog from an author you respect and trust, that those clothes are a better brand. That’s influencer marketing.
Perhaps you’re in the market for a new vehicle but are having a difficult time deciding between one company over another. You’ve read the data and reports, and now it’s time to make a decision. Both vehicles have merit and characteristics you’re looking for. You type in a search and on a reputable website, find a bunch of positive reviews favoring one brand over another. You trust the reviewers on this site and make your decision accordingly. That’s influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing uses endorsements and mentions of a product from influencers to help sell. It’s an alternative to traditional advertising in a world overcrowded with advertisements. Ads can be easily ignored because there’s nothing to connect you to the product. However, it’s a fact that people are more likely to trust the recommendation of someone they’ve built a relationship with. There’s more credibility with someone familiar vs. impersonal advertisements, which we often gloss over. Interestingly, emerging trends in young Instagram and social media users show less “perfect shot” looks and concepts. Instead, users are turning to a more “authentic” platform.
People are tired of fake, air-brushed advertisements. They want real people they trust being honest about a product.
Who/What is an “Influencer”?
Influencers can be people or an organization. Bloggers can be a great form of influencer marketing because they’ve got a more solid, trusting relationship with readers. It’s all about the personal connection. A person becomes an influencer because of things like their popularity, reputation, and knowledge about specific subjects. These aspects make them a person audiences look to for guidance. It can be anything from fashion to food to products—the list is endless.
Influencer Marketing is not just about someone popular enough to have a big following on social media. Being an influencer requires you to have enough “influence” to reach your audience and make an impression—an impression that then leads to an action, such as buying a product.
Influencer Marketing relies on the credibility, trustworthiness, and believability, as well as the salesmanship of the influencer. When a company hires an influencer, they’re relying on that person’s “persona” to impact their target clients/audience.
Authenticity and honesty are two key components to influencer marketing. These aspects tie directly to the influencer themselves. Sincerity is important in this equation. The influencer needs to believe in the product, and even have a personal relationship with it. It’s a way for someone with a following to give a “seal of approval” for a product or brand, which helps give potential customers faith in what they’re getting for their money.
Trust is a key component of influencer marketing. An audience of potential buyers won’t take action without trust in the influencer.
- Influencer marketing is a sharing of information, which is beneficial to both the influencer and the business they’re promoting. Influencer Marketing’s success is about both honesty and that it doesn’t always involve direct financial compensation. Using reviews is one example. Compensating through the product is another.
- It also has an ever-growing audience. Influencer Marketing is expanding to other platforms such as YouTube videos and individual blogs. It could be your perfect opportunity to get your brand recognized.
- One definite benefit to your business is that Influencer Marketing relies heavily on “word of mouth” marketing that keeps things more personal. It’s all about getting your product talked about and creating a conversation around your brand. This could be anything from a blog on your website, to encouraging customers to write reviews.
How Can Influencer Marketing Work for You?
Lead Dog Digital is a digital advertising agency that understands and keeps up to date with emerging trends in advertising and marketing. Please contact us to find out if Influencer Marketing is the right strategy for your branding and marketing needs.