Before I explain what exactly influencer marketing is, you have to first understand what, and who, an influencer is. An influencer is someone who grabs the attention of others. Whatever they have to say, tweet, or share, hundreds of people care about it and are interested in learning more. When they post something to Instagram or Facebook, they get plenty of likes, comments, and shares. When they send out a tweet, you can be sure it is retweeted at least a dozen or so times. When they share a blog post, they have a wide audience who will read, share, and comment their opinions.
There is one common theme in how influencers interact with the world – they have a very strong internet presence and their social media platforms have loads of followers itching to interact with them at every turn. Due to this, they have heavy influence over their audience, especially when they recommend certain products or services.
As for who an influencer is, they can be anyone from an everyday person to a celebrity, so long as they have a large audience and a wide scope of influence to promote a brand’s goods or services.
Now that you know what and who an influencer is, we can start to further define influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is when a brand teams up with an influencer to promote their product or service to their audience. The main benefit of teaming up with an influencer is to raise awareness, sales, and engagement with a brand so that the brand itself can grow.
For your brand or business, influencer marketing means growth. You may be wondering how influencer marketing can accomplish this. I invite you to think about ads featuring a celebrity who is promoting goods or service – Do you ever feel more inclined to go and check out those products? What about when it’s a celebrity you particularly idolise? For example, if a company places Justin Bieber in a commercial, chances are that fangirls and boys of a certain age are likely to at least check out what the brand is. This might include visiting the site or social media platforms of the brand. In some cases, the mere inclusion of Justin Bieber in a commercial could be enough for that customer to give the brand a follow, like, comment, share their posts, or purchase their goods or services.
With this in mind, influencer marketing means that your business and brand can grow if it is only done effectively. I say effectively because some influencers won’t fit with your brand. I did use Justin Bieber as an example, but it is likely that your influencer is going to be someone with a large follower count on Instagram and/or Twitter – they probably aren’t going to be a superstar singer, model, or actor – and that’s okay! As I said earlier, you want someone with a wide scope of influence, and that does not have to be a celebrity. Even though your ideal influencer will have a large audience to work with, you don’t want to pick just anyone. The influencer you choose must be in line with the context of your brand and business. This simply means that if your brand creates fitness clothes, your ideal influencer might be someone who posts about exercise and clean eating. This way, when they post about your products, their followers find credibility both in your brand and their recommendation.
Influencer marketing is a very important practice for many brands and businesses because it aids the growth of a brand and business through creating awareness and engagement. Marketing has evolved throughout the years, but there has never been a question of a business not doing their marketing. Without marketing, a business cannot hope to grow and thrive for long.
Influencer marketing is a type of “word of mouth,” marketing because it relies heavily on the element of trust. In traditional word of mouth marketing, a brand or business gains new customers because individuals look into a product or service a trusted friend or family member has recommended. In influencer marketing, this level of a trusted recommendation comes on a much bigger scale thanks to social media. Followers tend to trust who they are following, and if a particular person makes a recommendation, their followers are highly likely to check out who and what the recommendation is for.
Influencer marketing can benefit your business in a number of ways including:
Influencer marketing is a great way to grow brand awareness and increase the number of potential customers visiting your site and viewing your content. Brand awareness almost exclusively refers to the number of views blog posts and videos receive, and how much interaction certain pages receive. In short, it measures how many people are at least checking out your brand or business. Influencer marketing spurs this by getting the word out from a trusted source to a waiting audience.
Brand engagement is the next step of brand awareness because it is when potential customers take action. No longer are they simply looking at your content, they are now interacting with it! This means sharing posts, liking posts, leaving comments, and sending direct messages. This next step occurs when the potential customers are ready to learn more about your product or service. Usually, brand engagement is the direct step before a sale. Influencer marketing makes this step easier because it provides a space where liking, commenting, sharing, and messaging is simple and effortless.
As you continue with influencer marketing, you learn which practices work and which don’t. You can find which demographic most interacts with your content, and who just is not interested. You know which topics garner the most attention, which posts get the most likes and comments, and which questions customers ask the most. With this information, you can start tailoring your influencer marketing strategy to cater to these specific topics, questions, and posts. As you begin to reach the people who are most invested in your brand and business, you can expect the word of mouth strategy to grow, which can lead to brand growth, sales, and more!
Many of these benefits can be measured through influencer marketing data analysis.
As you can see, influencer marketing is a many-pronged approach to business growth. It has certainly earned its popularity thanks to its high success rate and ease of execution. With this in mind, you now know that all you really need to get going is a brand, a campaign, and the drive to team up with the right influencer for you.