Influencer marketing means using influential individuals in your industry to recommend your products and services. It’s hardly a new concept but the rise of social media has increased its power dramatically. Plus it’s set to become the BIG trend in 2017. We have a look at why Influencer Marketing proving to be so effective and how to make it work for your business.
We’re all Under the Influence
Since the dawn of time, the influence of the people around us has affected our behaviour. It’s affected the decisions we make about our lives – whether to get married and what to study. It’s also affected our decisions as consumers – how to dress, which car to drive and whether we should get a pedicure. Traditionally marketing has existed separately from social networks – billboards of aspirational beautiful people we know nothing about or editorials informing and persuading us to try a new product or service.
But Social Media is Changing the Game
However, the explosion of social media onto the scene has ripped up the rulebook, bringing with it powerful new possibilities for persuading consumers that YOURS is the product they must have. Social media comprises Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat (the fastest growing social network) amongst others. For a growing number of people of all ages, these platforms not only provide a leisure activity but are an essential part of their social lives. Much more than a way to share photos and send messages, people build their identities via their social network activity – and it affects their actions in the real world too!
Who are these Influencers?
Influencer marketing takes the principle of word-of-mouth marketing and applies it to the social media age. Social media personalities are people who have built up thousands of followers by sharing content through social platforms. These range from health, beauty and fitness gurus to entrepreneurs, travel bloggers, gamers, mums: in fact, just about any industry you can think of. With social media increasingly used for both social and business purposes, the line between these types of users is vague. Successful influencers build a brand which carefully straddles this line – with free content which inspires, informs and helps followers mixed in with product placement and promotion. This builds trust – a hugely valuable asset within marketing in general.
What’s the deal?
Influencers will often charge a price for your product to feature in their publications. A feature-length review on YouTube will cost you more than an appearance in an Instagram photo and a mention. The number of followers an influencer has will also dramatically affect the price you’ll be charged. Whatever you decide, there is no doubt that influencer marketing is currently dramatically underpriced – which means that in terms of return you will get A LOT of bang for your buck. Marketing the same product with multiple influencers increases ROI even further – taking your product from recommended to ‘must-have’ status!
Making the Most of your Campaign
Although you’ll likely be paying your chosen influencer to feature or recommend your product, it’s very important to understand the differences from a traditional marketing media. Influencers build their brand based on trust and relatability – this means that they are often very careful when it comes to choosing the products and services they recommend. This means that they may mention disadvantages of your product too – particularly if they are reviewing it. It also means they will want to present your product in a way which suits their brand – not yours! Therefore, allowing them a large amount of artistic licence when negotiating the terms of your deal is widely considered to be the best approach.
Finding a great influencer that is willing to promote your product may take time and perseverance. When making contact, it’s important to have fully researched each influencer’s brand and follower-base. As well as showing that you have taken the time to find out whether their brand is right for your business, it will also help you see where your product best fits into their content. If you’re pushed for time or have little social media experience, a marketing agency can be a great way to outsource this work.
However you choose to go about it make sure you don’t miss out on Influencer Marketing whilst prices are still low!