WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING AND SHOULD YOU CONSIDER IT?
Even just five years ago the word ‘influencer’ was foreign to most of us. It’s only in very recent years that the term has made its way into the general public’s vocabulary, and that being an influencer has become a legitimate and profitable career option.
With influencers being so active on social media, and with social media being so prominent in a lot of brands’ marketing activity, it makes sense that influencer marketing has taken off. This article is exploring what exactly influencer marketing is, and how it can benefit businesses.
INFLUENCER MARKETING IN A NUTSHELL
Influencers – persons with a substantial following and engaged audience on social media – are now commonly integrated into brands’ marketing campaigns. An influencer may be contracted to promote a company’s products or services to their audience, through feed posts, videos, stories, and more. The aim of the collaboration is to boost a brand’s recognition and ultimately garner more sales.
The primary value that can be found in this form of marketing is in the trust that an audience has in a given influencer. People follow influencers because they can relate to the content in front of them, because they feel an alignment with the influencer in question. It’s this personal connection that results in loyal and resilient followings, who can be ‘influenced’ by accounts.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN BUSINESS
In today’s digital age, social media is an invaluable tool to include in your marketing strategy – in fact, it’s non-negotiable. With so many platforms out there, the opportunity to reach an audience that is vast in numbers is something that should be taken advantage of wherever possible.
Through social media you can connect with your audience directly, gain valuable feedback from those that matter most, and pitch your company to potential new customers. And, because social media has no business hours – in other words, it’s accessible 24/7 – you can connect with your audience at all hours of the day.
In light of this, it makes complete sense that social media plays a huge role in marketing strategies nowadays, and influencers go hand-in-hand with this.
The beauty of influencer marketing is that a brand is being advertised direct to an audience that it will resonate with. Unlike with other forms of marketing, where your message is put out to a much wider net of individuals, influencer marketing is more targeted.
However, compared with other forms of targeted marketing – such as browser cookies – it’s much more palatable and is more likely to be well received by an audience. People have free rein over which accounts they follow on social media, and by choosing to follow someone, they are consenting to consume said person’s content. If this person is an influencer, ad content is an expected part of their profile. It’s due to this understanding that influencer marketing is accepted so readily.
HOW IT COULD BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS
Influencer marketing won’t be for every company out there, but you might be surprised at how many businesses can benefit from its use. An influencer can be anyone with a substantial following behind them – the term is not exclusive to individuals of a certain age or demographic. So, in order to ensure maximum success with the marketing strategy, you simply need to find an influencer whose values align with your company values, and work from there.
Aside from the obvious brand recognition opportunities, influencer marketing can also be less expensive than other forms of marketing. Because there is a wide range of ways to go about it – from officially contracting a certain volume of content to gifting a product in exchange for a shout out – there’s a scale of cost involved which means that you can still benefit from the strategy, even if all you can afford is to gift a single product.
Ultimately, influencer marketing is still a very new corner of the sector, which makes tracking its success in the long-run more difficult. However, if your business relies heavily on social media for exposure to your audience, and you have the budget to collaborate with influencers that align with your company values, then it could be a valuable addition to your marketing strategy, even just for a short while.
If you’re looking for help with upcoming marketing campaigns, we’d love to hear from you! Follow this link to start a conversation today.