A trend that is coming in strong. Getting back to basics for a minute – an influencer is someone who can essentially influence the opinions or decisions of an audience through social media. Influencers build up their ‘brand’ for what could be years. They create a cohesive look for their page, an engaged following and ultimately, partnerships a’ plenty.
Why We Need Influencers
This type of marketing is a practical way for a company to develop trust and awareness with their audience. Last year, influencer marketing grew 198 percent. We’ve also learned that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers when making decisions to buy. This form of marketing is a true way to reach out to your targeted audience, and influencers are ultimately going to cast a larger net than any other standard marketing strategy.
And let’s be real. Consumers are now preferring all things digital. It is much easier to scroll through Instagram and immediately click a link to buy a product. No need to wait until your next trip to the mall.
Who To Target
There are an incredible amount of influencers in action covering almost every industry you can imagine. How do you pick and choose who will be successful in building brand awareness? Naturally, we would think that the more followers means the more consumers, but this is not so. Influencer marketing is not just about posting a product and expecting people to buy. It’s about the relationship and collaboration your influencer can develop with your audience.
“We have blacklisted influencers who may have hundreds of thousands of followers because their tone of voice has been off, they never reply to audience comments or are occasionally aggressive – it wouldn’t be worth our time getting involved.” Lauren Spearman, Benefit Cosmetics digital manager
Another thing to understand when choosing an influencer is specifically who they are targeting. You need to make sure the audience is going to work with your brand. If the person does not have credibility or expertise in the industry, it will likely not be a meaningful relationship (for you or them).
“…influencer marketing is evolving into an efficient blend of people and technology. Technology is needed, but a skilled human touch cannot be replaced.” Danielle Wiley
A recent study showed that fashion bloggers had a bigger influence on consumers over celebrity social media accounts. It is all about the audience and their expertise.
Happy Influencer, Happy Company
You’ve found an influencer you want to work with? Well, the feeling has to be mutual.
“Influencers are essentially the cool kids at school who buy a pair of trainers that the whole school then buys.” Bex Ringer
In order for the ‘cool kids’ to be on board, it is important to compensate them appropriately to ensure a lasting relationship. Most influencers preferred method of payment is through cash, though another way to compensate is per sale or per engagement. If you are a small company/start-up, you can even compensate your influencer with free products, though this will not suffice long term.
Companies do need to realize that influencer marketing is focused on brand awareness rather than ROI. This could be a long term project. But with 40% of Twitter users following brands, and 60% of them doing so to know about their products, so we can assume influencer marketing is here to stay.
Marketing has never been more complex. Staying ahead of the latest trends and technology is a full-time commitment. CMOs and CDOs alike are seeking new ways to maximize their digital reach to attract new and retain current business by delivering increasingly personalized experiences.
Join us in August 2018 in Dallas for the 6th edition of the Digital Marketing Transformation Assembly. We are bringing together North America’s most prominent digital marketing technology and business leaders from all major consumer-driven industries to discuss the latest technology, innovations, and strategies driving digital marketing in 2018 and beyond.