WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
A form of marketing where activity is focused on targeting key individuals instead of a wider audience. These individuals are identified to have a large influence over their following on forming opinions and making purchases.
The key to influencer marketing is understanding the importance of meaningful relationships in communities while knowing the difference of quality over quantity.
Last year I read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell which provides an analysis on social trends and epidemics from their inception to discover what makes them ‘tip’ and spread like wildfire. He explains that there are three basic laws that are essential to causing social epidemics. One of these is ‘The Law of the Few’, where Gladwell states that there are three archetypes of people who have significant influence on trends:
- ‘The Mavens’ are people who are a data bank of information on a lot of different products, prices or places.
- ‘The Salespeople’ are the ones with the skill of persuasion, taking the basics of an idea and positioning it through storytelling.
- ‘The Connectors’ are people who are linked up with the world and are the bridge to communities and can make change happen through people.
Understanding social behaviour patterns will help you to understand the authenticity that different influencers have upon online communities. The recommendations influencers are making helps people feel confident in the purchase decisions they are making. When was the last time you did a quick search online to see what people were saying about that product before buying it? Not only that, did you think about the type of person whose opinions you were reading?
IT HAS BEEN WIDELY STATED THAT UP TO 92% OF CONSUMERS TURN TO PEOPLE THEY KNOW FOR RECOMMENDATIONS OVER BRANDS.
An influencer doesn’t have to have thousands of Twitter followers, but what they do have is ‘klout’ – bloggers, vloggers and artists provide an invaluable resource for marketers in the way they connect with people.
In today’s pay-to-play world where it costs to have your content seen, it’s important to understand the true value of engagement and how brands can connect with a wider reach of engaged customers through the right influencer relationships.
As people, we trust the recommendations of others over the actual brand themselves, and so forming a relationship with the right influencer for your brand is crucial. You want them to be genuinely involved in your brand to the point where they will be happy to help promote your products. That way, you will have better success tapping into their communities. If successful, the brand/influencer relationship will bring together like-minded people which can lead to raising awareness, valuable insights and product development.
As online communities are seeking the content of influencers and are already engaged, not only do bloggers and vloggers showcase products, but many now demonstrate how they can fit into their everyday lives – content that proves invaluable for brands.
If done correctly, the brand/influencer partnership can provide a substantial return on investment.
That said, we must approach this relationship with as much care as anything else in the industry. Don’t seek out too many partnerships and become over-exposed, and always remember that the credibility of influencers can change just as quickly as a brand’s reputation.16th June 2016