A quick tour of your social media today will bring out many posts about influencer marketing. The hottest fashion shows, the coolest beauty, and health products, the cutest models behind the wheels of the fastest car models and more.
These posts have irresistibly grabbed your attention and even influenced you to buy something. Chances are you’ve also spread the news to your close friends.
Influencers have fast evolved into an
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a marketing concept that utilizes important content creators to stimulate serious engagement and conversations around a brand or product to make a “buy” decision.
This is a branch of marketing that revolves around influential people in society as opposed to the target market as a whole, identifies people commanding influence over potential customers and plans marketing activities around these people. It has existed in different forms like blogger outreach or guest posting for many years, and is not likely to slow down any time soon.
Influence marketing and an influencer are inseparable. An influencer is a highly visible media icon that can have a huge following in both mainstream media and online. Some have millions of followers.
They casually ignite conversations around a particular topic, fashion item or niche area, and end up converting the followers to something akin to a herd mentality, charting decision-making paths and influencing a purchase action.
The reason for the rise of influencers is the mass departure of consumers from TV and mainstream media, to social media platforms.
One thing that makes influencers become influential is their massive following on social media and on the web. An influencer can be a socialite (Kim Kardashian?) or a politician (Donald Trump) who tweets aggressively.
In any industry, you’re likely to find influential people. They’re instantly recognized by their thousands, if not millions of followers, and in reality, that is the target audience you want your product to reach.
To the visionary digital marketer, the rise of the online media influencer creates a world of enormous possibilities. It creates a new avenue for brands to connect with the target audience instantly and directly and at a large scale.
As more and more millennials are glued to their smartphones, they quickly reach out to their friends to inform them about the latest fashion trend that informs their purchasing decision.
Instead of looking at companies, like they did previously, they now seek out their favorite stars and celebs, who have amassed incredibly huge social media followings either on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
So here are the reasons influencer marketers have become so important in this digital age:
1. They have a social appeal
Influencer marketers have a social appeal and magnetism. Society, meaning consumers, has shifted to social media. So it makes sense for your business to follow suit.
In the past, consumers made their buy decisions based on traditional advertisements they gleaned from television or heard on the radio. Today it’s easier to connect with other buyers (read influencer marketers) via social media and make enlightened buying decisions by learning about their experiences with a service or product.
Consumers expect brands to talk to them and not at them. They look at brands to inform and entertain them, rather than sell to them. In this setting, influencers become a force to be reckoned with. When a brand is paired with the right personality, it can ignite a powerful conversation in gossip columns and seduce more and more followers.
2. Influencer marketers have sex appeal
When a clothing line works closely with a shapely female influencer chance are bookings will surge and orders will be snapped up even before the dress hits the stores.
Back in 2010, when Kate Middleton announced her engagement to Prince William, she wore a dress whose design was quickly snapped by one of the leading department stores in the UK, House of Fraser.
And when on the same day, 50 influencers posted an Instagram picture of themselves wearing the same dress, they mentioned that the dress was a must-have item to be in the crowd. The dress was snapped from stores the following weekend.
So pairing brands with influencers create a sex appeal that resonates well with the consumers and your brand may very well be the next big thing in the market. In addition, you can reference the content they create to boost your CV.
3. Influencers create quality content
In a survey commissioned by Vocus, Brian, and Solis, over 60 percent of interviewees said that they follow an influencer because they create good quality content. Good quality content is an important marketing tool for any digital campaign.
Influencers are therefore capable of creating superior content that strikes a chord with the consumers, thereby reducing the workload for you the marketer.
Chances are they can even come up with some brilliant ideas for your content marketing that your product itself did not think of. Some can even post reviews of your brand and services, their quality and features etc.
4. Influencers know latest trends
Through a sophisticated network known to only their clique, influencers are usually aware of the latest trends in the ever-evolving social media platforms and usually, tend to be among the very first people to try these latest trends. To identify new platforms to engage and reach out to new audiences.
Using their network, it's possible to get acquainted with new ideas and utilize them to lure prospective customers. And as they are acclaimed pundits in their own right, you can end up gaining deeper insights about your business from them.
The first time Kanye West wore
ripped jeans in late 2016, many people were aghast! But today ripped jeans are
so popular that all teenagers from Los Angeles to Nairobi make them an
important wardrobe accessory.
5. Influencers are credible and their word is the truth
Another important fact that draws the huge following is their credibility. Influencers are credible and their word is the truth. Many people consider them opinion leaders and follow their every whim, whether sensible or outright crazy.
A good example is Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, who keeps several snakes as pets. Many of his fans are thrilled by this and would love to keep snakes of their own.
Another one is Juventus football superstar, Ronaldo, who locks himself in a freezing cryotherapy chamber, apparently to boost circulation and healing after a grueling soccer match.
The expertise these celebrities hold in their particular field combined with the good rapport they maintain with their huge audiences makes them attractive to people. One word from them regarding your brand will sway many people and a single word can make or break your brand.
These days many businesses in the know are avidly engaging influencer marketers and paying them top dollar to sway consumer opinions and tastes. Because they understand building good relationships with them will boost their advocacy or attract them strongly enough to develop a link with your brand.
But getting to select the most influential influencers from the vast ocean of social media users and celebrities can be a daunting experience. And this is where social media screening comes in handy. There exist media tools in the market that can help you identify your loyal customers, including the ones who don’t like your brand.
Catherine Park is a connector with Caffeinated who help businesses find their audience online. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.