New age marketing gurus are no strangers to the term “influencer marketing”. Among many other trends and hot topics taking over the landscape, influencer marketing seems to have taken a shine among brands.

When it is done right, much like any other marketing strategy, influencer marketing can lead to a boost in growth, high ROI, unmatched sales, and acquisition of new customers. Overall, the concept has a lot of potential.

Most companies make influencer marketing a part of their strategy because of the fact that people tend to listen to other people. However, there is much more involved. Understanding influencer marketing is important if you are considering it for your next campaign.

Understanding Influencer Marketing

This strategy orients itself around influential people as a mouthpiece for a brand. When you combine the words “influence” and “marketing”, influencer marketing can be defined as a strategy where businesses market their offering through people with influence.

The influence doesn’t just mean fame, but a connection with their audience so they can impact their buying behavior and thought process. The goal is to reach out to the influencer’s audience through them and sell the product/service while building a potential customer base for the brand as well.

How it Works

Influencer marketing begins with brands conducting research. The aim is to identify influencers with an audience that aligns closely with the brand’s own target market.

The “influencer” can be a celebrity, sportsperson, YouTuber, blogger, and other social media stars. The requirement is an audience that would listen to them. The brand builds a relationship with the influencer to promote their business to their audience.

For example, let’s assume your brand creates vintage or 1950s inspired clothing and accessories. You would have to find an influencer with a substantial following. The influencer is likely to dress in the 1950s style or vintage-inspired clothing, positing pictures to inspire followers with a similar fashion sense. Somebody like Jessica Kellgren-Fozard on Instagram is perfect for the job.

The influencer you choose will tell their followers about your brand, influencing their buying behavior. Since the influencer already has a connection with their audience, they know what resonates with them.

They would be able to come up with a strategy the audience is more likely to react to. Additionally, the audience trusts the influencer they follow. They will believe in the influencer’s recommendation more than they believe in a brand’s marketing.

However, the influencers don’t do it for free. There is some form of compensation involved. It’s either an upright payment for the promotion or a certain percentage of the sales the company makes from their promotion.

What do the Influencers do?

This depends on what your influencer looks like. In conventional marketing, this would be a TV commercial, billboard or print advertisement featuring a celebrity.

In the age of digital marketing, this involves influencers taking to their social media accounts or blogs to promote the brand. If you’re choosing an Instagram influencer, it would involve them placing your product in a post. A blogger could write a testimonial on their website.

The goal is for them to drive traffic to your website, establish credibility and brand awareness and start a conversation about your brand.

Why Influencer Marketing? – The Advantages

· Conventional marketing strategies are more focused on creating brand awareness and finding people that find the company relevant. With influencer marketing, you already have an engaging audience you can connect with via the influencer.

· Brand visibility is easier to build on digital platforms. Even your SEO ratings will improve. The influencer will talk about the product, which will result in their followers talking about the brand too, boosting SEO rankings.

· Similarly, working with an influencer provides an opportunity to create brand awareness. Instead of reaching the target market from various aspects, you will have your niche audience in one place.

Influencer Marketing Done Right

To showcase the effectiveness of influencer marketing, here are some examples of brands that have done it the right way.

MTV Pants Off

As the name suggests, Pants Off is a sexual education show on MTV. Instead of airing it on TV, MTV wanted to use a different medium to target young people, giving real advice and information regarding sexuality and sexual health. They chose SnapChat for broadcasting the show.

Their influencer was Laci Green, a popular YouTuber known for her sex-ed videos. With over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and a substantial social media following on different platforms, she was perfect.

She hosted the show, inviting other influencers to talk about sex and relationships. The content was made to be relevant for teens and young adults.

The result was each episode receiving millions of views, hundreds of thousands of shares, and authentic conversations among the audience. It also met the show’s goal of disseminating sexual education among young people.

Lagavulin: My Tales of Whiskey

“Parks and Recreation” is one of the most popular comedy sitcoms in the US. Ron Swanson is one of the most quoted and meme-ed characters out of the cast. The character earned Nick a loyal following during and after the show. His sense of comedy and the roles he portrays in shows make his brand even stronger.

Diageo chose Nick to promote to their Scottish whiskey brands, Lagavulin and Oban. The campaign consisted of a 44-minute video that shows Offerman sitting by a crackling fire, taking an occasional sip of whiskey as he broodingly looks at the camera.

The concept might seem a little strange on paper, but it made complete sense for Nick Offerman’s branding and his audience. And as expected, it was a viral hit.

Audible

Lastly, Audible has been on that influencer marketing game for a long time. Audible is an Amazon company, selling monthly memberships to people who listen to audiobooks and podcasts.

Over the years, they have collaborated with numerous YouTubers and social media influencers of all sizes to promote the brand. From big YouTuber names such as Tyler Oakley to Jesse Driftwood (photographer), they target a large audience.

Final Thoughts

Examples like these and many others exist in the current market. The strategy enables brands to navigate the saturated and heavily competitive landscape where traction is harder to get.

Influencer marketing, when chosen properly, can get you some of that traction and increase your conversions. To discover how your brand can use this strategy, get in touch with Business Marketing Solutions Group today.

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