Although influencer marketing is a term we are using to describe a trendy, “newish” type of marketing, promotion using influencers has been around since the beginning of advertising itself. Call it product placement, celebrity endorsements, or affiliate branding, today we’re going back to the basics to help you decide if this tactic should be a part of your integrated marketing campaign.
Influencers are online celebrities. They could be actual A-list movie stars but are more likely to be formerly unknown individuals who made a name for themselves through social media. Influencers typically build their own names as their brand by creating viral content in their specific category—be it fashion, makeup, video games, lifestyle, design, sports, art, cooking, activism, etc. Their audiences are made up of like-minded individuals and range from the thousands to millions, depending on who they are.
At a very basic level, influencer marketing uses personal endorsements by individuals, paid for by brands, to increase awareness, sales, traffic, and any other outcome that impacts the brand’s objective. If you are on social media, then you have experienced influencer marketing in some shape or form. Though the category is not officially regulated, social media platforms have taken steps to ensure that influencers are transparent in their partnerships. You may have seen this on Instagram with their “Paid Partnership with BRAND.” On social media, all content can be advertisements and all advertisements can be content; and this is the fundamental difference between regular digital marketing and influencer marketing. They are creating content that people will engage with, alongside the brand message that happens to be woven into the story.
Aptly named for the influence these people have over their audience, they make the perfect partners for brands with products and services that align with their values, because their audiences trust them, and it is all about trust. Influencers impact purchasing decisions with their keen audiences. So much so, many influencers will kindly decline opportunities that are not aligned to their own personal values, or that do not provide enough of an incentive to their audience. After all, they are their own brand, and when it comes to partnerships, it is all about their audience; so it should be no surprise that they would be fiercely protective of them.
Influencer marketing is all about strategy, timing, and relationships, but it can be a difficult tactic to navigate as a brand. Contact us to see if an influencer marketing program could help elevate your next marketing campaign today!