In an age where traditional advertising is consistently overlooked, companies are looking for new ways of introducing themselves to consumers without seeming out of place or overbearing. If you’re among the many businesses looking to stand out from the crowd, influencer marketing may be the right marketing solution for you.
What is Influencer Marketing Anyway?
Influencer marketing is not a new term, but it is only in recent years that this form of advertising has really taken off. Rather than getting a celebrity to endorse a brand’s product, companies are now looking to individuals with large, loyal social media followings in niche markets for marketing help.
You might be wondering, “how exactly is an influencer any different than a celebrity endorsement?”
Well, when celebrities agree to endorse brands, they show up on set to shoot a commercial, they recite scripted lines, and aren’t particularly invested in seeing the product do well.
On the other hand, influencer marketing is successful because the individuals doing the influencing normally receive greater creative reign on the way they showcase a product or service. Although they take on some of the brand specifications offered by the company itself, they are responsible for creating their own content and directing the way it’s shaped. Because these influencers have large follower bases that trust their opinion, these campaigns are generally viewed as more authentic and thus are more well-received by their niche audiences.
Top Social Media Influencers in 2018
Some of Instagram’s top influencers were famous before they stepped foot in the social media space. They’ve been able to grow Instagram followers organically based on their celebrity status alone!
For example, Kylie Jenner was just named the youngest woman on Forbes’ annual list of America’s richest self-made women this past year. A lot of her success, she says, can be directly linked to her social media fame. She’s not wrong. In fact, she’s collecting a cool $1 million for every sponsored post she shares with her 112 million followers on Instagram.
Her sisters, Kim Kardashian West and Kendall Jenner aren’t far behind, raking in $720,000 and $500,000 per sponsored post respectively. It’s not without missteps, though. Just recently, Kim got herself into some hot water with fans due to her questionable decision to sponsor appetite-suppressing lollipops. It’s important to note that just because you hire a celebrity to advocate for your products doesn’t mean it’s going to go smoothly.
Some brands aren’t relying on pop culture celebrities to promote their brands, though. Some of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns are being executed by social media stars. CoverGirl has hired the likes of Katy Perry and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, but they’ve also worked with Instagram/YouTube star Lele Pons, whose social media following totals 30 million.
It’s not just beauty companies though. Chiara Ferragni became a brand ambassador for everyone’s favorite Barbie manufacturer and toy company, Mattel. With 11.6 million and 1.2 million followers on Instagram and Facebook respectively, Ferragni has a large, loyal audience that will trust her opinion and recommendations.
How Your Business Can Benefit from Influencer Marketing
The reason that influencer marketing has become so successful is that consumers have become more and more suspicious and skeptical of ordinary brand advertisements. Think about it—you’re far more likely to trust a friend who recommends a product than a commercial on tv, right?
By working with influencers, you don’t just get access to their audiences, you have an opportunity to drive more customers to your website, sell more products and services, and create more social media fans, too!
In the past, you may have invested a lot of money to create commercials, articles, and other kinds of ads to get your customers’ attention. We’ve all come to terms with the fact that traditional advertising just isn’t cutting it anymore. Consumers are more likely to disregard your billboards and skip through your commercials today, and influencer marketing helps you get in front of the right audience without being ignored. With this kind of marketing, you invest in an influencer to create the content themselves, share it with their captive audience, and inject themselves into conversations that pertain to your brand.
That’s all great, but now the question is—how can you make influencer marketing work for you?
It all starts with identifying and understanding your audience. More often than not, you have a pretty good understanding of the niche you’re trying to target with your brand. Now think about that audience. What topics are they likely to seek out online? Which famous bloggers, Twitter handles, and Instagram stars are known to discuss those ideas?
Once you’ve found an influencer that you think might align with your brand, you’ve also got to determine whether or not they are a contextual fit, they have sufficient reach, and they can get their fans to take action. Neil Patel explains this best, stating that if you have a huge icon whose niche doesn’t match that of your brand, the results may not be as ideal as you’d hope.
If you sell cosmetics, find a great makeup artist to use your products and feature them in their next how-to video. Looking to launch a new fashion line? Identify an influencer that’s known for their style and send them a complimentary swag bag. Consider seeking out a fitness icon to introduce and review your new protein shake product for their audience. Like we said, though, context is everything. If you try to get a beauty vlogger to talk about your protein powder, both your company and your influencer will get some raised eyebrows, similar to the unfortunate example of Kim Kardashian West above.
There are two red flags you should be on the lookout for, though. You’re putting your brand into the hands of a virtual stranger, so you’ll want to be sure that you trust their judgement and reputation to do your image justice. Also, you’ll want to beware of fake followers. Influencers are often paid based on the reach and relevance they have, so some may try to buy fake followers to increase their payday. You’ll want to ensure their followers were gained organically by using tools like InstaCheck.
There’s no doubt about it, the benefits of influencer marketing are numerous and cannot be ignored. If you’re looking for digital marketing that empowers, you’ve come to the right place. At Quick Marketing, we provide a strategic approach that will drive relevant traffic to your business, by establishing a clear roadmap to success.
Let’s talk about how we can develop the perfect digital plan for your business. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-807-8784 to get started today!