Influencer marketing leverages the influence or reach of leaders in a particular industry, field, or even sub-culture. For example, a renowned surgeon is an influencer in the field of medical science and an athlete is an influencer in the sports/fitness industry. Companies encourage relevant influencers to recommend their products or services to their followers.
Examples of Influencers Marketing
An example of influencer marketing is the promotion of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Millions of people have read them and even more have seen the Harry Potter movies. You might be surprised to know that only 43 influencers have driven the content sharing on the internet.
The influencer marketing campaign, led by an agency, engaged top influencers through old-fashioned relationship-building communication – invite them to an event, connect with them over the phone, send them content through email. The influencers shared the content in their communities, and then it was further shared by their followers and connections. Needless to say, the campaign has been a huge success and a model for every brand.
Another example of influencer marketing is the innovative influencer campaign Retree Project launched by Boxed Water in 2016. Although the brand sells water, its focus on renewable resources and environmental conservation struck a chord with its target audience. Boxed Water announced that it would plant two trees for every photo posted on Instagram with #Retree.
The company partnered with the National Forest Foundation and reached out to top influencers on Instagram. It asked influencers to support the campaign and encourage their followers to share it further. The campaign was a huge success. Boxed Water raised its brand awareness and gained instant credibility from a huge audience on Instagram.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Influencer marketing has emerged in recent years as one of the most prominent forms of digital marketing. The reason it stands out from other forms of digital marketing, such as Facebook advertisements or Google AdWords, is that it doesn’t involve hard-selling a product or service. It doesn’t even involve using celebrity endorsements, which is simply paying celebrities to promote a brand.
Influencer marketing adopts a much more subtle approach by engaging people who are considered to be authority figures in their respective fields. These are individuals with strong reputations and huge follower bases on social media. They are considered genuine and reliable by the people in their field. Consequently, their opinions are deemed to be credible and dependable by their followers.
People want to become important members of society. To gain recognition and expand reach, people love to share content and ideas that are relevant to their communities. Since influencers have massive followings, they work as catalysts for content virality.
Why Influencer Marketing Is the Most Efficient Form of Digital Marketing
Unlike other forms of advertising, influencer marketing enjoys credibility. Since influencers have their reputations to maintain, they support or promote a solution only if they find it to be authentic and credible. The factors of credibility and authenticity play crucial roles in the success of an influencer campaign.
Influencer marketing enables businesses to target specific segments of customers who are likely to be genuinely interested in their products or services. For example, the followers of an influencer fitness expert would be other fitness trainers or consumers interested in the health tips provided by the expert. Therefore, a company that sells health drinks or other supplements would find a precise target audience by engaging with fitness experts who have mass followings.
The efficiency of influencer marketing is not only qualitative but also quantitative. It can be measured in terms of the return on investment it delivers, which is the highest of all the digital marketing methods. Influencer marketing achieves 11X more ROI than other digital marketing formats.
These factors make influencer marketing the most effective marketing method, not just in the digital space but even across the marketing channels encompassing online and offline methods.
The next BIG THING
Influencer marketing is set to get even better. The year 2017 will be the year when influencer marketing achieves its rightful place. The trend already began in 2016. According to a survey conducted by eMarketer, 84% marketers plan to use influencer marketing for at least one of their campaigns in 2017. They know that it boosts their brands.
They also know that approximately 47% of all internet users use ad blockers to get rid of what they consider irritating and intrusive advertisements. With the improvements in ad blocking software programs, this percentage is slated to increase in 2017, further squeezing the reachability of display campaigns. The most viable alternative for marketers will be influencer marketing, which is the most authentic and reliable form of customer engagement.
Influencer marketing is the fastest evolving digital marketing method that will gain in prominence in the near future. It is not only the most effective but also the most cost efficient form of marketing, and that will soon make it the most preferred form of marketing.
About the Author: Anthony Bergs is a Project Manager at writers per hour. He strives to solve business problems through technology and adopts recent marketing & tech trends in his strategies. Connect with him on G+ to give an edge to your content marketing efforts.