Over the past few years influencer marketing has transformed from marketing buzzword to formidable marketing strategy.
So what is influencer marketing? How has it moved beyond simply being the latest marketing buzzword into the realm of legitimate marketing strategy?
Influencer marketing defined is this: a process which involves researching the content your target audience consumes and identifying, engaging with, and supporting the people who are able to have high-impact conversations with your target audience.
When the influencer marketing trend was only beginning, most brands were still trying to wrap their heads around more effective ways of connecting with their target audiences through the new online platforms.
Yes, the digital space allowed them to reach the right people but it was also apparent that not all ad formats that worked in print translated well online.
Consumers had more information at their fingertips due to the accessibility of the internet. As a result, they began placing more value on authenticity. This is where influencer marketing came in clutch for the brands who were willing to try it.
In a recent study done by Forbes, it was revealed that 39% of marketers plan to increase their 2020 budgets for influencer marketing. By the end of the year, the whole influencer marketing space is estimated to become a US$10 billion business.
Influencer marketing has truly become a viable strategy for brands. Here are four ways it has changed advertising in recent years.
Word-of-mouth over celebrity promotion
While there are similarities between celebrities and influencers, there is a significant difference between partnering with an influencer and choosing a celebrity to become your brand ambassador.
Influencers don’t necessarily have to be movie stars, tv actors, or musicians. Many are simply thought leaders or online personalities who have gained a significant following which they constantly engage and interact with.
This is definitely the edge that influencers have over most celebrities: beyond fame, they have engaged and loyal communities who take their words to heart.
Advertisers who work with influencers can often rely on generating engagement. One clip of an influencer talking about your product could lead to more conversations within the community that their words reach.
So why spend a lot of money on a celebrity, when you can get a series of people with an active and engaged target market?
Influencers are not billboards
We have said it before: influencers are not billboards. Rather, they are multi-dimensional storytellers who already have an audience readily listening to their every word. They have built this audience by creating good content and knowing the niche that they belong in.
So make sure you are making the most out of your partnerships with influencers by treating them as more than just endorsers. It’s best to engage influencers in their content creation. Meet with them and align on what kind of voice (one that should definitely remain authentic to their own) they should use and what type of content they could provide you.
Think of influencers as partners and not just billboards.
A premium on authenticity
Gone are the days wherein only the voices of brands are heard. Hard selling is not as effective as it used to be. Trust is a cornerstone of effective marketing in the digital age. This has become more apparent in the rise of influencers.
We’re not saying you can’t just ask influencers to tell their community to buy a product or try a service. This strategy could still work effectively depending on the influencer, their community, and your product.
However, working with an influencer is a great chance for your brand to get involved with content that is interesting, informative, inspirational, and unique.
This is how you build better engagement; this is how you build authenticity.
As mentioned earlier, influencers are partners. It’s best to find influencers who actually embody your brand. Find influencers who speak your brand voice, have values that align with yours, and have gained the trust and confidence of the market you aim to tap.
(If you find an influencer who is already using your brand to begin with, better!)
With thousands of influencers across categories, the GetCraft Marketplace is an excellent place to start your journey. Influencer marketing can be a tough nut to crack, and there’s nothing wrong with looking for guidance. Click the button below to learn more.