The power of influencers
Harness the power of influence
In today’s highly interconnected world, word of mouth could be your most powerful marketing tool. So who is influencing the decisions of your target market?
Traditional marketing and advertising have been superseded by a multitude of methods to develop relationships with potential customers via social media and online content. Within this interconnected world, no one holds more sway than the influencers.
An influencer may write a popular blog or have a network of social media followers, for example, but what makes them significant is the high level of engagement their followers have in what they have to say. People look to influencers for advice, insight and opinions, and that can have a huge effect on brand awareness and purchasing decisions.
Why is influencer marketing so hot right now?
Of course, influencer marketing is nothing new. The advertising and marketing industry has always understood that a recommendation from a trusted source has more credibility with a consumer than one coming from a third party. Seemingly sincere celebrities have been endorsing products for decades, but in the last 10 years, two things have changed:
- It is no longer celebrities people trust, it is ‘real’ people with insights and interests that resonate with their audience.
- Online content and social media have enabled these people to build huge communities of loyal followers far beyond anything traditional marketing channels could hope for.
As well as the stand-out stars of the online social scene – such as Zoella, the fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger and vlogger who has followers in the hundreds of millions – there are countless niche reviewers and commentators with tightly focused groups of eager followers.
While some people may scoff at so much power, popularity and profit being acquired by what they consider amateurs, it is a fact that these ‘amateurs’ are highly skilled at building and maintaining an engaged and enthusiastic audience. And, because it is happening outside the usual commercial channels, their influential voices offer extraordinary potential for businesses who share the same target audience.
Making influencer marketing work for your business
The aim of influencer marketing is to utilise the influence of these key individuals to achieve business goals. By targeting the influencer, rather than the end-user, businesses can stimulate interest in their products without the negative connotations of a direct sales pitch.
But how can you influence an influencer? The first rule of marketing is to know your customer – and part of that knowledge should be to know who influences their decisions. Once you know that, you need to understand how the influencer operates. What content do they share? How do they interact with their followers? When you feel you are able to make a positive contribution to the activities of the influencer, you can determine how to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Ironically, this authentic form of marketing is becoming increasingly commercialized. Some bloggers, for example, who would once have been happy to review a relevant product they were sent for free, now insist on a payment for their services. Influencers who go too far down this route, however, are in danger of losing their credibility, and their followers.
Finding the most appropriate influencers and working in harmony with them to achieve strategic objectives is a skilled and time-consuming undertaking – and it is one that increasing numbers of businesses are taking advantage of. A report in eMarketer found that 84% of marketers planned to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign within the next year.
If you would like your brand to benefit from an authentic, trustworthy and highly influential voice, contact Kenza Smaili (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discover how you can tap into the enormous marketing power of the influencers.