Businesses are always thinking about how to advertise their products or services effectively. The online marketing industry is especially competitive, with brands and companies all vying for awareness and recall online. There are many ways to market online, including search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), content marketing, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), banner advertising networks and platforms (like Click2sell.co, for example) and others.
Influencer marketing is one of the newest buzzwords in internet marketing. People have been talking about it, and marketing professionals have been trying to leverage social influencers to boost their brands online.
So, what is influencer marketing? Is it merely a passing trend or is it something worth doing? Let's dig in:
What is Influencer Marketing?
At its very core, influencer marketing takes the old-school marketing strategy of celebrity endorsement and places it within the context of a content-driven marketing campaign. The big difference is that the campaign is the result of a close-knit collaboration between the brand and its influencers. The influencer usually promotes the brand's product or service via various social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
There is also a big difference between celebrities and influencers. Although many influencers are celebrities or have become celebrities (or web-celebs) in their own right, many of them are regular people with a large, loyal following on their social media channels or their blogs. The beauty of it is that an influencer can be anyone – a fashion or travel photographer on Instagram, a musician or a chef on YouTube, or a respected professor or a comedian who tweets regularly. They all have one thing in common: they have thousands or even millions of avid and loyal followers. Influencers have built their credibility with these followers.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Is influencer marketing really effective? Can it help you boost your business? The latest stats show us that influencer marketing is growing into a very profitable industry. It is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2020. Also, stats show that 22% of people from the 18-24-year-old bracket purchase an item after seeing an influencer endorse a particular item online. In a study conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, they have found out that it is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition strategy today.
Now that we have established that influencer marketing is indeed effective, here are some of its benefits for your business:
- It allows your business to locate and market directly to your target audience without resorting to expensive advertising and marketing tactics.
- Trust is already built with the potential customer, especially when they see the influencer using and loving the product or service you're promoting.
Running an Effective Influencer Marketing Campaign
When it comes to influencer marketing, there are some key areas that marketers need to focus on. These areas are: choosing the right influencer and channel, building trust, focusing on authenticity, and measuring ROI. More than 90% of online marketers believe that transparency and authenticity are the keys to success.
In order to achieve this, marketers should set aside time for research, be organized, and able to put together a well-planned strategy.