With banner ads becoming a less reliable ad format, companies are now looking at other digital channels to reach their target audience. One of them is influencer marketing.
But the term has already begun to be used misleadingly and the market seems to think that influencers can be automated in the same way as banners. We find out – what is influencer marketing and why should you use it?
A few weeks ago, Apple released its new iOS 9 operating system, and since then, the adblockers apps have been an active topic of conversation in the same vein as they have climbed the App Store leaderboards.
These apps allow iPhone users to turn off banner ads in their browsers, ads that are a vital source of revenue for online magazines, and an obvious channel for most online marketing companies.
A fashion word in digital marketing is content marketing. This is a clear step towards more value-based marketing that, together with social media, aimed to build relationships with the target group and increase the brand’s credibility. Now a related term, “influencer marketing”, is starting to appear more and more in the same circles.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing means that a company uses a celebrity, a blogger, social media profile or other 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 keywords in influencer marketing are the three R’s; relevance, scope and relationship. More about this further down in the article.
Two different ways to work with influencers
For many years now, PR agencies have known that bloggers are key people in getting visibility on the web. If you get the right person in the blogosphere to write about a product or get broad visibility on Instagram or YouTube, it can be crucial to get the buzz around the brand started.
Nowadays, however, this promotion is not as simple as placing a product in a goodie bag or making a press release. If you do not have a very attractive product (according to the recipient), the key is long-term relationship-building and smart PR activities.
You should never demand exposure from an influencer with only one product as payment, it is unethical and an insult to the blogger. By comparison, you would never think of asking for a full page in a monthly magazine in exchange for a dress (or equivalent product).
2. Editorial cooperation
When you pay for your visibility with an influencer, you can expect delivery, just like in other contexts where you are a client. You can set quality, content and deadline requirements. To make sponsored collaborations with influencers is to buy in to a pre-existing trust with the target group. It’s almost unaffordable.
Keep in mind that when you pay to be featured in a blogger’s editorial stream, the post must be marked as “sponsored”, “in collaboration with” or the like. Otherwise, it violates the Marketing Act.
3xR – Three reasons to include influencer marketing in your marketing strategy
Think of your partners as ambassadors. A person who already likes your brand and can help an audience that already has a built-in trust to expose you and your brand in front. The benefits of these compared to traditional media or display advertising?
By working with very niche influencers in social media or bloggers, you can segment your marketing to the level of detail and reach only those that are relevant to your particular product. There are bloggers for almost everything. It’s just about finding them and associating them with you.
Popular bloggers’ traffic figures are in many cases comparable to monthly magazine editions. A full-page ad in such a one usually costs from EUR 1K and you cannot segment it narrower than the newspaper’s entire target group is. In addition, the confidence in such ads is nowhere near that of most bloggers.
Bloggers have spent years building credibility and relationship with their readers. The confidence that bloggers feel about the bloggers they read frequently can be compared to that of the closest acquaintance. In addition, three out of four blog readers have purchased a product recommended by the blogger. This is an invaluable place to place your brand.
Think long term and keep in mind that the people you work with will be people you want to be associated with for a long time (Google doesn’t forget). Be respectful of the brand the blogger built up but don’t be afraid to make demands if you pay for your exposure.