Influencer marketing is now a well-established form of online marketing. It’s been a buzzword for a while now, and mainstream media regularly refer to it. Yet, there are still people who really don’t understand what it is all about
Who are the Influencers?
Influencer marketing is a hybrid of both old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea from celebrities endorsing a brand and puts it in today’s content-driven context. The main difference in the case of influencer marketing is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers. However, influencer marketing is not about celebrities. Instead, it revolves around influencers, many of whom would never be famous in an offline setting. An influencer is someone who has:
- The power to influence other people’s purchasing decisions on the basis of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
- A sequel to a distinct niche, with which he or she actively engages.
The size of the following depends on the size of its niche theme. One of the biggest mistakes that traditional media make is the failure to see the difference between celebrities and online influencers. It is also important to realize that it is the influencers who have built up a keen and enthusiastic audience. It’s not accidental that these people are following the influencers, not the brand. The audience doesn’t care less about your brand. They care only about the opinions of the influencers. Don’t try to impose rules and business practices on the influencer. The audience is there, and they can just walk away, take their followers with them.
So what is Influencer marketing all about?
Influencer marketing involves a brand that collaborates with an online influencer to market one of its products or services. It’s easy to imagine a celebrity partnering with a company to pitch for a product, even if the pitch is a 10-minute video series and not a 30 second TV Ad. But people would not be talking about influencer marketing and you would not be on this website reading about influencer marketing if it did not have a much broader application. And the key is the word influencer.
Influencers can be anywhere, unlike celebrities. They could be anybody. What makes them influential is their extensive web and social media followers. An influencer can be a well-read cybersecurity blogger on Twitter, a popular fashion photographer on Instagram, or an influential marketing professional on LinkedIn. There are influential people in every industry; and all you need is to find the right ones for your brand. Some of them will have hundreds of thousands of followers. Yet, many of them may have only 10,000 followers, even less in some cases. They will, however, have developed a reputation for being experts in their field. They’re the people who give answers to people’s questions. Depending on their area of expertise, they are the people who have the most engaging social roles in their field of expertise. They share the best photos, make the most entertaining videos, and engage in the most informative online discussions. As a brand, you need to be careful in finding and approaching the right influencer. The following points would help you in streamlining your strategy of marketing your brand through influencers.
- Organize, develop a strategy, plan, and budget, and spend time on research.
- Decide on your approach to finding influencers. You can find them organically, sign up to a platform, or work through an agency.
Be patient and human. Influencer marketing is all about people talking to people, not companies talking to companies.