In an age of personalised ads and bad acting in “real-life” TV commercials, Influencer Marketing is as important to businesses, as it has ever been.
Earmarked as a major trend in 2018 by many, more and more companies are using influential figures as the centerpiece of their marketing campaigns.
Putting those individuals at the core of a businesses’ marketing strategy does unfortunately mean a fundamental shift in your marketing activities…
However, don’t fret! It’s nowhere near as difficult as you might expect.
What’s an Influencer?
Bingo! You guessed it. An “Influencer”, reliably according to dictionary.com, is classified as:
someone who has the power to influence many people
(Apologies in advance, you’re going to be sick of the word influencer after this one…)
They could be anyone, from Celebrities & Social Media stars, Industry Experts & Vloggers, to generally successful & well-known people.
The important aspect to focus on, is that they are held in high esteem by some.
Naturally, people make associations with and take note of, figures who we feel a deal of admiration for.
These people, consequently, have the power to determine what people think, and in this case, purchase.
Thus, paving the way for the rise of…
Influencer Marketing! erm... What’s that exactly?
Essentially, it’s the practice of identifying someone who holds influence over a segment of the general population, and building your marketing activities around them.
These aforementioned activities could be things such as:
- Allowance for Influencer to create content about product/service
- Discussion of the product/service involving them
- Endorsements from that figure
- Testimonials about the product/service from them
The desired effect from this?
People will see this influential figure, whom they have an affinity with, endorsing, talking about or using a product and in turn change their attitude towards it.
The end goal, is, of course, a sale.
Sounds pretty simple? You’d think that’s the reason behind the rapid rise in the uptake of businesses using this theory, but there are other reasons…
People are a little tired of conventional marketing
Apparently, the general population are starting to become somewhat desensitised to regular advertising.
Mainly because, on a daily basis, we’re hit with a barrage of marketing messages everywhere we go.
Which, even on a good day, can become tiresome after a while!
It also means that it’s incredibly hard for companies to create content that stands out, as it all just blurs into one.
It’s no longer enough for companies to simply tell you that you should purchase their product/service, as everyone is doing that.
Now, the marketplace needs something extra, something a little more organic and fresh.
Influencer Marketing holds the key to creating such content.
It’s rise is heavily intertwined with the boom of online and social media consumption.
For many, this is their primary source of daily media, where they get their opinions, which figures they form relationships with and where they are influenced by them.
For example, YouTube stars are fast becoming celebrities in their own right, and have legions of fans worldwide, businesses can now capitalise on their popularity.
The fact that they have creative control over the content they produce, it makes them ideal vehicles with which to promote products/services, through Influencer Marketing!
How can its power be harnessed?
- What does your company do?
- What industry do you operate within?
- What does your target market look like?
- Who are influential figures within your industry?
- Who is someone who hold sway with your target market?
- How could their skills be harnessed to boost your business?
Okay, that’s a whole lotta questions. But, they’re all necessary for you to benefit from Influencer Marketing in 2018.
Answering this conundrums will give you and your business the bigger picture when deciding how to harness its power, narrowing the list of figures to choose from and figure out how to turn them into an influencer for your company!
Remember, the theory behind this, is almost the opposite of traditional marketing methods that we’re all familiar with.
You’re not creating classic advertisements here, you’re placing trust in the power of the influencer.
So, exercise a degree of control over the campaign, but allow them the freedom to advertise for you!
Whether your influencer is using their social media to promote your product, vlogging about it, or simply appearing with it, give them loose guidelines and don’t stifle them.
That way, you’ll get the most organic and natural results possible!
Is it the right step for us?
Okay, I’ve not gone totally in-depth about things, that’s perhaps for another time.
But, hopefully you’ve been given a clearer view of what Influencer Marketing brings to the table and how you can get started.
It’s not for everyone, but it’s explosion in popularity among the marketing community hints at a future direction where things are heading.
Why not take the plunge? Or at least dip your toe in the water!
By Matt Tobin
Matt is the resident Content Executive here at WorkCast and joined us last year. He's responsible for creating much of the Blog, eBook and Webinar Slide content you see on the WorkCast website. Also, he hosts the Weekly Tips Webinar every Friday at 2pm GMT (nudge, nudge). Check it out at http://insite.workcast.com/workcast-weekly-tips :)