Influencer marketing, marketing via selected influencers, is becoming an increasingly important part of how companies reach their target groups. Here you will find out more about it and get some tips on how you can work with influencer marketing.
Trying to reach many by influencing a small group is nothing new. As early as the 1940s, Lazarsfeld and Katz formulated the two-step hypothesis, which has been used in both politics and public relations and communication. The whole reasoning is based on a basic truth, we are more likely to listen to a small number of people whom we regard as credible or expert in one area than anyone else.
There you have the essence of influencer marketing. If you, as the sender of a message, can get a person or a group of high credibility with a larger group to pick up your message and pass it on as their own, you will reach your goal both faster and with better results.
Digital has made the influencer more important
The rise of the internet we use today, and not least social media, has made influencers or influencers even more important to make a difference. Not least because other channels have lost in reach and efficiency, like traditional advertising. Hardly to say that an influencer is developing where adblockers now prevent ads from running.
And not only that, the confidence a larger group feels about a person who is considered knowledgeable in their field is incredibly much stronger than most other things in marketing.
The network first gave birth to blogs, and they have long been the focus of influencers. The phenomenon of blog has given rise to an entire industry, especially the United States. For example, when reading Trust me lying, Ryan Holidays book on how to manipulate the media, he constantly refers to “bloggers” and often means sites that today are gigantic media platforms such as Huff Post, Mashable and more.
Then came the influencers who could showcase a large number of followers in social channels such as Twitter in particular. Here came a mix of stars from other contexts, who brought their fans into Twitter, and those who built up their crowds of followers right there. It is still teeming with Twitter accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers, who seem to have the sole purpose of building influence and capitalizing on it.
YouTube stars and Instagram stars
But the trend in social media has not stopped there. One particular area of influencer marketing that is interesting to look at is YouTube stars and their opportunity to influence their audience. Some of the biggest stars in Sweden today, such as Pewdiepie, Miss Lissibell and others, have a huge impact among their fans.
Speaking of Pewdiepie, he has now taken the step from influencer to even producing. He does this together with YouTube Red:
Influencers also work in B2B.
The examples so far have mostly been about consumer products, but the idea of influencers is of course equally valid in B2B. The content marketing blog Top Rank recently wrote about this, and noted, among other things, “everyone is influential at something”. It is not difficult to find qualified experts in most areas, which can help you convey the message of your solution or product.
The challenge lies more in the fact that there is no working way to reach them, as in B2C. Influencer networks are rare, and your experts often lack a representative to negotiate with.
What you need to do in that situation (which also applies to those who want to get hold of more modestly successful influencers within B2C) is to build a relationship with them yourself. Marketing Insider has produced some tips and advice that are worth listening to. Here are some of them:
Set clear goals – it helps both you and the influencers you contact that it’s clear what you want to achieve
Be relevant – it is important that what you want to do works for both your target group and the audience influencer has already acquired. She is not interested in losing it because of you.
Build a long-term relationship rather than investing in a one-off opportunity – the chance of success increases significantly with longer collaborations
Let go of control – you can’t expect an influencer to use your company’s language or say things exactly the way you want.
Influencer marketing and content marketing
Previously, influencer marketing was often used as a separate activity, and instead of other activities. Today, it is usually one of several ways companies work to reach a target group.
I see some natural links between influencer marketing and content marketing, not least because it is good if a collaboration can give rise to content that is also used in the company’s own channels instead of only being seen for a short time by the influencer.
A concrete advice for anyone who wants to do influencer marketing is to combine it with other activities, some of which should be in owned channels. If you can also get some of it in earned media then it is very good.
In addition, good, relevant content can further strengthen our efforts in influencer marketing.