Influencer Marketing: An Introduction
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
If you haven't been living under a rock, you will have heard the term 'influencer' being thrown around a lot recently. The term has grown in tandem with the rapid and pervasive domination of social media in the past decade. Not only is it a savvy form of marketing, being an influencer is a bill-paying profession that see’s content creators influencing and connecting with their niche audiences on a regular basis. Influencer marketing takes the concept of celebrity endorsement and applies it to this modern-day landscape where online influencers with huge and more importantly, engaged, followings can influence buyer behaviour.
According to Adweek the influencer industry is set to reach $10 billion in worth by 2020, and a recent survey has found that 89% of marketer’s said ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other channels. As a digital marketing agency, we have seen the inherent value that influencers can bring to your business.
In this blog, we want to introduce you to the world of influencer marketing, and how capitalising on this trend can improve your brand awareness, increase traffic to your pages and drive your brand’s message, services and products to a targeted audience.
What Is an Influencer?
An influencer is an individual that has a large and engaged following in a particular niche that they actively connect with and produce content for, typically using social media channels. Unlike celebrities, they can be anyone, anywhere in the world – they just need a large social following.
An influencer tends to have the power to affect the opinions and purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, or relationship with his/her audience.
The social relationships that influencers have cultivated within certain demographics are invaluable assets to brands who can then use this exclusive pipeline to an audience’s attention to achieve their marketing objectives.
Types of Influencer
Celebrities are the original influencers, the modern influencer market really growing out of celebrity endorsement. As individuals that others look up to and admire, celebrities have incredible influence over how others think and behave. Think George Clooney and Nespresso, Mr T and Snickers, Usain Bolt and Virgin Media, Mariah Carey and Walkers… their advocacy is gold dust. When a celebrity endorses a product or a brand, their sales tend to rise. That said, in practical terms, there are few celebs who are actually willing to participate and even if they do, they come with a hefty price tag.
2. Industry experts and thought leaders
Industry experts and thought leaders tend to be people like journalists, academics or industry experts/professionals. They have peoples respect and attention because of qualification, position and experience - they’re influential because of reputation as opposed to popularity. Having endorsement from this type of influencer is also incredibly powerful, as there is a genuine legitimacy behind it. People trust them and their judgement, and therefore they will also trust in your brand. Having an industry professional using or recommending your brand will verify your authority in a particular field. For instance, internationally renowned musician, Billie Eilish, endorsing Beats headphones legitimises the brand as a leader in the music industry.
3. Micro Influencers
Micro Influencers are the most common type of influencer. Micro influencers are ordinary people that have built up large followings in specific online niches because of their personality, their image, or their talent. Their following is a bare minimum of 3000 people, and their relationship with their followers is more personal and authentic – people listen to them because they like them, and they interact on a personal level regularly. Some people have risen from virtual obscurity to celebrity status because of the popularity of their online presence; this in part is due to the growing relevance of the internet, which is fast overtaking other media outlets for engagement rates. Finding an influencer that already communicates to your demographic across different channels is a great way of ensuring exposure that can’t be scrolled past. Here is Molly Mae Hague, a recent Love Island contestant/influencer, promoting the online E-commerce brand, PrettyLittleThing. Their paid partnership is mutually beneficial.Molly Mae can keep producing content and therefore herself, and PrettyLittleThing have their clothes showcased on a popular, current channel which is populated by their main demographic.
4. Bloggers/Content creators
Blogging and content creation go hand in hand with influencer marketing. Bloggers and content creators tend to operate in specific niches, and have built huge followings because of their regular content output. There is a lot of overlap between bloggers/content creators and micro influencers in the sense that they are a personality that people buy into and subsequently follow in order to be exposed to more content. The main difference is that blogger and content creator output is often more specialised. They can be trusted reviewers and advocates of anything from fishing, fitness and finance to cosmetics and cuisine. If you can get them to promote your brand in their content, as long as the product aligns with the bloggers core audience you can be certain it will be received by eager, listening ears and eyes. For instance, Jus-Rol know that MobKitchen will have hundreds of thousands of followers that are genuinely interested in culinary content and will therefore be an appropriate platform to market on.
Influencer Marketing and Your Business
• Improved Brand Awareness
Having your product featured by influencers that have such enormous followings you can be assured that your brand is being registered and noted. Even if your link isn’t being clicked, your brand is being put at the forefront of your target audiences minds and your relevance will steadily begin to increase.
• Increased Traffic and Online Engagement
Any social media novice will tell you that the key to a successful social media account and campaign is engagement. Being able to connect with your consumer, create interesting and click-worthy content, and have other social media accounts post about you are the best ways to create noise about your brand – employing an influencer can tick all three boxes for you. People who engage with them, who are in turn promoting you, will inevitably lead to people exploring your pages and your website.
• Improved SEO Ranking
When an influencer writes a blog post about your brand, or mentions you in a post, they will link directly to both your socials and your website. Not only would this would be considered a high-authority ‘backlink’, the influx of traffic will be recognised by Google and your organic SERP ranking and overall SEO will be improved as a result.
Take the First Steps into Influencer Marketing
Although influencer’s operate across many digital channels, nine times out of ten, an influencer’s platform is one of the big 3 social platforms. To discover more about your content or you brand, more often than not, people will link through to your socials as opposed to your website. It is therefore paramount that you have slick, up-to-date and maintained pages in order to impress and engage inevitable traffic. If you’re looking for help maintaining your socials, or think your pages may need a face-lift, please get in touch today and our lovely social media executive Abby can talk you through how to improve your social media presence.