Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where focus is placed more on influential people rather than the target audience as a whole. Put simply, a brand or business reaches out to potential influencers who can help to build a network of customers for them instead of doing a generic type of marketing to one large audience. Where would you find such influential people? The answer is social media. Active bloggers are as influential as, or more so, than celebrities, because they are also followed by a masses of users, known as the audience, and that includes advisors, journalists, retailers and fellow bloggers.
Influential marketing uses various tactics that contribute towards increasing engagement rates. One method is that the brand pays the influencers for sponsored ads or they create sponsored accounts for the influencers to use. Another method is when influencers are provided with gifts in return for the paid posts.
There are a number of ways influencers can generate awareness and boost marketing efforts. Here at HypeFactory we promote different types of collaboration that benefit both the influencer and the brand. For example;
Allowing influencers to design a product for the brand, so that they can create personalised products that they are excited and passionate about promoting to their existing followers.
Sending influencers products and providing their followers with discount codes in exchange for promotion.
Inviting influencers to events for them to share the experience on their YouTube channel.
Connecting with an influencer and encouraging them to become a permanent brand sponsorship for long-lasting exposure. The possibilities for effective collaboration are endless.
Why Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Brands have been utilising celebrities, athletes and public figures for years to capture large audiences. However, the birth of YouTube celebrities and famous Instagrammers has opened up pathways towards niche audiences that effectively capture the more specific demographic your product or service aligns with.
The top three benefits are:
Influencers involve their audience which encourages them to feel special, creating loyalty and lots of sharing.
Fresh, new ideas: By working with the relevant influencers to your brand, you build strong relationships and creative networks.
Buyer trust: Influencers have the feel of that mutual friend. They can respond to YouTube comments, exchange Snapchats with the audience and arrange meet ups. By getting involved on a personal level with the followers it proves to be a relationship that continues to be strengthened.
As a result of these positive results, many brands are reporting exceptional performance outcomes.: According to Adweek, brands that invest in influencer marketing earn, on average, a 6.5x Return On Investment, measured on earned media value. Over the next 12 months, it is estimated that a staggering 84% of brands plan to run influencer marketing programs.
Is This Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
The relationship followers have with influencers is comparable to a big brother, older sister or best friend relationship. By a two-way relationship, influencers make their followers feel up-to-date on every aspect of their life. In contrast, celebrities typically have a one-way relationship with their fans that can feel distant and impersonal. In that respect, influencer marketing often captures word-of-mouth marketing much more effectively than that of celebrity campaigns. Saying that, word-of-mouth marketing is only one of the avenues in which communication is taking place.