The concept of influencer marketing is nothing new, we have always looked to other people for shopping inspiration, however, with our increasing devotion to social media the idea has taken on new life. In this blog, I will be looking at what influencer marketing is and how you can make it work for you.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Social influence has been around for as long as we have had a society, we look to our peers and our idols for ideas on how to dress, how to eat and how to live our lives. What influencer marketing does is capitalise on this innate aspect of human nature, by using influential people to market a product rather than all out advertising.
The most obvious influencers today are of course celebrities, we see what they are wearing and immediately want to emulate it. I once worked in a department store, and after Cheryl Cole wore a particular pair of tights we sold out immediately the next day and were inundated with requests for several weeks after that! However, not all influencers are famous, at least not in the traditional sense, there is a new brand of influencers out there, the social media IT crowd. Followers alone, however, don’t make an influencer, influencers need to be:
- Credible: The audience needs to trust their knowledge and opinions on products within their field.
- Charismatic: They need to be able to talk about a product in and clear and inspiring way, people need to like them!
- Far Reaching: They need to be able to deliver a message to large groups of people, be it a readership, T.V audience or social media following.
Influencers can be sorted into different categories depending on how many people of within their reach.
- Micro-Influencers - 5000 to 100000
- Macro-Influencers – 100000 to 1 Million
- Mega- Influencers – Over 1 Million (these are usually celebrities)
Surprisingly micro-influencers are the most effective regarding influencer marketing as they are able to carry out more social interaction with their followers and therefore have higher engagement.
How Influencer Marketing Works?
Influencer marketing essentially works by using the reach of your chosen influential person to promote your brand and products. This, of course, can simply be done by paying influential people like celebrities to wear your brand of clothing, however, this is more celebrity endorsement than influencer marketing and the public have become more sceptical toward it as we all know they are getting paid. While social media influencers can be paid to promote products the best form of influencer marketing is free.
Influencers want to be recognised, they want to be seen to have the latest products and be privy to new information if your products are good enough and your story exciting enough influencers will be more than happy to promote in exchange for freebies. Authenticity and honesty are vital, desire for it has been the driving force behind the rise in influencer marketing and without it, influencers and their audiences will see right through your brand.
Why use it?
The younger generation is craving ‘real’, they no longer want to be spoken down to by big brands, they want access to real people with real opinions. By allowing your products to be unbiasedly reviewed you are winning customers and are tapping into this new younger market that has unbelievable future spending potential. By using influencers, you are also avoiding using adverts in the traditional sense, and therefore ad blockers cease to be a problem.
Influencer marketing makes a lot of sense and is clearly here to stay. It has appeal for all kinds of brands of all different sizes, plus who doesn’t want a bit more authenticity in advertising!