Back in 2017, influencer marketing really picked up. Well, it's now an $8 Billion industry. And it’s not slowing down. At first, like many new things, people thought it was a fad. It has since been following the 'adopter curve', meaning that there are a few categories of adopters: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. The general consensus is that we are still in the early majority category. Many companies, especially brands, have gone past realizing the potential of influencers to the point of utilizing them and spending serious marketing dollars on them. But many other brands still haven't committed any portion of their marketing budgets to influencers.
As this trend in influencer marketing explodes before us, aligning your social media marketing strategy with an influencer campaign can reach a segment of your target audience in a way that invokes trust. In fact, a study has shown that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than a more traditional ad, or a celebrity endorsement.
Personable Recommendation vs. Personal Selling
Digital marketing is now the dominant form. Digital marketing is basically just anything online, mobile, or even streaming. Print and OOH advertising are still prevalent, but smaller businesses especially are leaning heavily towards digital marketing because of ROI and demonstratable KPI's.
Most of digital marketing comes down to inbound vs. outbound strategies. For instance, Search Engine Optimization is an inbound method, but influencer marketing is technically an outbound method. You are trying to get your product or service in front of your target audience. Industries are targeting and retargeting consumers to ease them along the buying process.
With influencer marketing, followers are being sold to. But in most cases, instead of feeling like they are being sold to, followers tend to view influencers as another regular person with a shared interest in whatever their niche/subject/specialization is, instead of just an advertisement. This is great for brands, and for consumers. Good influencers only promote brands/products/services that they actually use/trust. So, if you follow a good influencer, and you've bought something they've promoted/recommended, and enjoyed it, then you are more likely to take their recommendations in the future.
There’s a level of trust that comes along with influencer marketing because at the end of the day, they’re just people that share the same social media channel and taste in products.
Is Influencer Marketing all B2C? Or can it be B2B?
It can be both. The term "influencer" is pretty broadly used. Basically, it's just anyone with a large enough following of active users. So, for example, there are real-estate influencers, medical influencers, hospitality influencers, etc. These influencers can have followers that work for companies that your company is trying to work with, and they may actually be decision makers at their companies. As with any other marketing activity, it’s all about conveying and providing value to the consumer.
The relationship between the brand and the influencer is mutually beneficial. In return for pay, and usually free products, the company indirectly gets access to the influencer’s followers, thus increasing reach.
What’s the Big Deal?
The best thing about influencer marketing is it’s still relatively cheap. That is why smaller businesses (B2C brands especially) are turning to influencers to get an immediate ROI. Not only that, but since the 'advertisement' isn’t being posted by the business itself, it’s considered 'marketing' instead of 'advertising'.
Depending on the deal you've struck with the influencer, the content they create for you and your brand can be repurposed into other forms of promotions or advertisements later on. Creating a strong influencer campaign can work directly into your content marketing strategy and can keep the flow of new content steady. Trends in digital marketing are shifting to a content-oriented approach, and influencer marketing can help provide continual content creation that people love.
If you think you want to get started with influencer marketing, but aren't sure where to start, then reach out to us! We'd be happy to help. And not only with influencer marketing, but with SEO, Content, Web Design/Development, and more.