The word “influencer” has been the biggest buzzword lately and although at the beginning it seemed like it’s just another trend, it doesn’t look like that anymore. Now it seems more like it’s becoming the future of marketing, and there has even been an information that if you want to become a popular person on social media you can get a formal education for that!
What is influencer marketing?
Let’s take it from the top. What are influencers? The simple explanation is that influencers are people who have the capability to effect on other people and their perspectives, and influence marketing is using those influencers to promote or sell particular products or services. But, there is much more to all that.
Good influence marketing means making all these promotions through influencers subtle and not too obvious. Users nowadays are too smart and one wrong move can put you on the side forever. Influence marketing is actually creating visibility for your product or service.
Some marketers even refer to it as a “growth hack”, since it helps you reach a big audience in a short time, while saving a lot time and money because instead of doing the effort to grow your own “army of followers”, you use an already built one.
Actually, only the word “influencer” is new. The concept itself has been used probably even longer than the ads’ existence. Brands have been using celebrities to promote their products since the 1760s, when a company called “Wedgwood”, who produced pottery and chinaware, used royal endorsements to add value to their company.
How to use it?
If you decide to promote your product or service this way, you’ve got to know exactly what do you want to achieve.
First of all, carefully choose your influencer. Think about the ideal person who would promote your brand, what do they do, what are their habits, what do they like and most important, how do you want them to communicate. Define your values and look for them in a person, and make sure to peak below the surface. There are many influencers who at first look cool, but do they really share your most important values?
Define your goals, your expectations and the exact job description with the deadlines and conditions. However, give them creative freedom and be ready to let them have the last word. It is very important for them to keep their tone and their style. Let them see your product with their own eyes.
Try to build a firm relationship with the influencer and give the passion you’re expecting to see. Think of it in long terms, it can really bring you a lot.
An example of a very successful collaboration is probably the one we all know — Chistiano Ronaldo and Nike. During 2016, Ronaldo posted 1,703 times on social media, and Nike was mentioned in 347 of them. These posts, where Nike’s logo was visible, or they were referenced in any other way, brought Nike around $500M in media value.
Nick Offerman, the star of Parks and Recreation, made a 44-minute video that shows him sitting by the fireplace and occasionally drinking his Lagavulin whiskey. The video became a viral hit, and the ad got the Shorty Award for Best Influencer Marketing Campaign.
Kendall Jenner has been posting about many brands, and Daniel Wellington is one of them since March this year. They partnered to introduce the Classic Petite collection. But, it doesn’t always mean that if your influencer is very popular, your campaign will be successful too. Remember her Pepsi ad?
Since influencer marketing is not so easy, there are a lot of influencer platforms to help you get started. Influencer platforms are places where you can connect your company with an influencer who suits you best. They have databases for influencers from any fields like fashion, food, sports etc. and with the platform’s tools and metrics you can find the perfect person to represent your brand. Most of them have a high quality control and project management tools. They also offer to measure your ROI, so you will know exactly what you are receiving in exchange for your investment. Check out some influencer platforms here.
There’s always a good and a bad side of everything. The biggest problem here is that it isn’t easy at all and you have to be very careful. You really have to look out from influencers with false followers and metrics. The audience can recognize a content that is not original. Furthermore, social networks are heaven to spread hate and to provoke. Hatred sometimes sells, but it’s not good if you’re thinking in long terms.
To conclude, influencer marketing is not that easy and requires a lot of attention. But, the benefits are huge. You can reach to a huge audience that probably would be very hard to get to through other channels, and it’s definitely worth it. Influencer marketing is currently one of the fastest growing marketing categories and the prediction is that as a market it will be worth over $5 billion by 2020, so yes, it definitely is the future of marketing.