What is Influencer Marketing?
Trying to reach a lot of people by influencing a small group is nothing new. Companies have always wanted to associate their brand with influential people, industry leaders, and celebrities. As long as marketing has existed, celebrities have been able to make money by letting their person adorn cereal packages, billboards, commercials, and other media. What is new with Influencer marketing, however, is that social media has given it completely new preconditions. Both for marketers and influencers.
Influencer marketing has in recent years become a hot topic for marketers – probably because they realize how powerful it is, and how important social media is for companies.
And one way to reach out to people via social media is influencers. Influencer marketing can work as an alternative to traditional advertising that can be expensive and inefficient. Consumers are not fond of ads and promotions messages such as billboards and tv commercials, and these continue to lose credibility every day. However, social media influencer marketing reaches them in a completely different way, which enables it to work more effectively. However, that still means that you need to know how to use it in order to properly get any results from it.
Influencer marketing, which is marketing through selected influencers, therefore becomes an increasingly important part of how companies reach their target audience.
There are different types of influencers. Different people use different terms, but some of the terms that are quite common are: Macro influencers, micro-influencers, nano influencers, and simply “influencers”.
What’s interesting is that micro-influencers generally have a smaller following on social media, normally between a few thousand followers up to one hundred thousand followers. But at the same time, because they have fewer followers, they can engage, interact, and build relationships with them in a completely different way. This means that while the influencer has fewer followers, they tend to have a more engaged audience. And because of this, they can impact them in a better way, thus having more impact with their brand and product recommendations.
So, how can you leverage micro-influencers and why should you work with them?
Bloggers and Youtubers
Influencer Marketing is about identifying the people who have the confidence and ability to inspire potential buyers and consumers. In other words, it can be people who are from journalists, politicians, researchers, bloggers or other people who have made imprints.
The companies want to be seen and heard where there are customers. And today, customers are on social media. Bloggers and YouTubers are the ones who are mainly associated with influencer marketing and carry the new professional title influencer. If you get the right person in the blogosphere to write about a product or you get broad visibility on Instagram or YouTube, it can be crucial to get started “buzz” around your brand. However, an influencer can be anyone who influences a person’s perception, behavior, and purchasing decision.
What is an influencer?
Customers have always influenced their surroundings by telling them what they have bought and whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the product. The customers’ shopping experience then determines how they convey their impression of the brand and product to others. Therefore, marketers have early on been aware of the importance of mouth to mouth marketing. However, it is not easy to influence it. However, a great improvement has been made thanks to social media. By analyzing and capturing what is written about the brand and product names online, it is possible to detect and put in action.
Influencer marketing means that a company uses a celebrity, a blogger, a social media profile or another influential person to communicate their message – usually via the profile’s own channels. This has long been prevalent on the PR side, but more and more people are seeing the benefits of buying exposure in these channels and thus gaining greater control over their visibility.
The whole reasoning is based on a fundamental truth, we are more likely to listen to a small number of people that we consider credible or expert in one area than anyone else. An influence is, therefore, someone who has the power to influence our perception or make us do something new or different.
The emergence of the internet as we use it today, and not least social media, has made influencers and their ability to deliver a message to a large number of people even more important in order to have an impact. This can be the reader of a publication/magazine, the audience of a television host or the number of social followers anyone has. Reach is important but insufficient. Those with rather limited reach but high credibility and sales creation are called micro-influencers, and these can actually have a bigger impact than “regular” influencers with more followers.
Influencer marketing is done correctly
The easiest way to work with influencers is to pay them money. Advertisers have used celebrities in their campaigns for decades. Marketers basically “borrow” their credibility and familiarity with selling a product. This is a tactic that can work, but that’s not what we define as influencer marketing, this is normally known as celebrity endorsements. Consumers know that the actor, athlete, or celebrity is paid to market a product in a completely different way, so, therefore, it doesn’t come off as equally effective.
Another way to work with influencers is to “borrow their reach”. This is how most marketers use influencer marketing today. In other words, leverage the reach of the influencer to reach your target audience. They are looking for someone with many Instagram followers and pay them to market a product. This is truly sponsored advertising and does not maximize marketing opportunities for influences.
Good marketing influences are focused on building sincere personal relationships with influencers and sharing useful, unique, exclusive or early information.
The goal of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing should be honest and authentic. An influencer speaks about your product not because they are paid to do so, but because they want – because they think your company is interesting and the information is useful for your readers.
Therefore, influencer marketing takes time, commitment and focus, and it must be open and honest. An influence will talk about what is good and the bad with your products. But they will do in a way that is much more credible and useful and honest than any ad could be.
What is needed to become an influencer?
Exactly what is required to be titled “Influencer” is open to debate. There are no given quantities of followers who automatically certify you as “Influencer”. Because if you want to make money from your influence then not only a certain quantity of followers is required. It is also required that companies can see commercial value in your influence. Having a lot of followers can be important. But it’s not everything.
A little simplified, the following is required in order to be able to call yourself an influencer:
- That you have a clear target audience as followers
- That you have a real influence over the target group (ie your followers engage in your content)
- That company can see commercial value in reaching your target audience