Influencer marketing is not a new concept. It has been a part of marketing since forever. It was once dominated by the use of Hollywood actors, athletes, and those of high statutes as a marketing strategy, however, in today’s digital world, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snap Chat have opened the doors for everyday people to be what is considered “Reality Famous” or “Internet Famous.” These individuals usually have thousands of followers online. Therefore, you can see why they would be prime marketing tools. A famous reality star, who has over a million followers can be beneficial when marketing a product or service. People love people and they love to feel that they have a connection with a company before they invest in a product or service. This connection is usually related to opinions, what others have experienced, or because their favorite reality star thinks so highly of the brand.
To be clear, influencer marketing is a strategy used by brands to promote their product or service through the use of influential people. This is a stray from the “norm” for companies. Usually the objective is to simply introduce a brand to a specific target audience.
So how does influencer marketing work?
In using influencer marketing, businesses are using that already established relationship the public has with the influencing person to promote their own product or service. Years ago, in the age of the dinosaurs, we simply purchased a TV ad or newspaper ad to promote a product or service. Nowadays, the average consumer expects more. We are still sold primarily on “word of mouth”, however, it helps if that recommendation came from someone with great influence.
What role does social networks play in influencer marketing?
Social networks have an extremely crucial role in marketing as a general. Influencer marketing allows the promoter to utilize their already established audience to promote a brand. Not to mention, with the use of social networks, an influencer audience grows daily across multiple platforms and it is free publicity, which is beneficial to the influencer and the brand.
Who will make a great candidate for influencer marketing?
Choosing the right candidate is not as simple as choosing a person with the largest following. Each person represents something different. This can be a plus or a negative for your brand. It is important to know your candidates’ likes, dislikes, passion, challenges, and stories. What presence do they bring to your brand? Is their audience your targeted audience? Can he or she follow the RACE model, if so, success should be affirmative. RACE stands for: Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage. Many successful companies practice this model with each customer.
It is important that your brand and it’s marketing influencer complement each other. Many companies make the mistake of investing in a person of interest without doing the proper research, which can lead to wasted time and money. Influencer marketing can be a great marketing strategy if conducted correctly.