Influencer marketing is a collaboration between brands and influencers to market a product or service to an influencer’s audience.
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using niche influencers to drive a brand’s message to the larger audience. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers.
Most of the time Influencer marketing goes hand-in-hand with two types of marketing: social-media marketing and content marketing. Most influencer campaigns have some sort of social-media component, So influencers are expected to spread the brand’s message through their personal social channels. Many influencer campaigns also have a content element in which either brand creates content for the influencers, or they create the content own.
What’s the Difference Between Influencer Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
Although some people use word-of-mouth marketing instead of influencer marketing, there is a real difference between the two. Influencer marketing is the concept of engaging key individuals to spread their influence among their connections, Whereas word-of-mouth marketing is to give advice to someone from an individual’s experience, the actual avenue by which this communication takes place.
So, almost all influencer marketing includes word-of-mouth marketing activities by its nature, but not all word-of-mouth marketing is driven by influencer campaigns.
Is Influencer Marketing and Advocate Marketing same?
No, advocate marketing focuses on already loyal customers to share their love towards brands or products or services, this sharing might happen in the way of product reviews and customer references. Whereas, In Influencer marketing brands are more focused on finding the niche influencer not the customers to spread the message.
Another distinguishing factor can be that, In Influencer marketing, Influencers are paid in some way either with money or free products whereas, Sometimes in advocate marketing it’s not done.
Why is Influencer Marketing important??
The influence economy has changed the way we buy things — forever. Roughly 67% of marketers report that they are engaged in some form of influencer marketing, a number that’s likely to grow as social media influencers gain more mainstream exposure. With demand on the rise, the influencer economy is shifting toward more streamlined solutions, embracing tools like influencer networks, match-making platforms services and even programmatic to help brands tap influencers more easily. Brands who aren’t part of it are losing control. Consumers now control the buyer’s journey, and they are getting harder to reach with digital advertising:
- 90% of Americans ignore digital ads — Harris Interactive, 2015
- 40% of ad revenue lost to ad block by sites that target millennials — President of IAB
- $7.2B estimated global losses to bot fraud in 2016 — White Ops/ANA, 2016
- 56% of paid-for digital ad impressions are never seen -Google, 2015
- 62% of consumers trust brands less -DoubleClick, 2015
Conventional digital marketing no longer works. A huge 66 percent of customers are overwhelmed by too many online marketing messages, and 20 percent of consumers would boycott a brand because of excessive ads. Marketers should care about influencer content because it provides the perfect cure for “ad fatigue” and, unlike traditional ad campaigns, delivers authenticity.
Smart brands are combating this by using influencer marketing to create an ongoing conversation with consumers, recognizing that they are influenced by different people, at different times, in different ways. Instead of diminishing returns from digital advertising, brand social and content marketing, the influencer marketing goes past reach and clicks to continuous engagement and conversations that drive commerce, giving you metrics that matter and align with your business goals, such as:
- Attracting new customers
- Increasing repeat purchases
- Driving customer loyalty
- Maximizing customer lifetime revenue
Consumers want authentic voices, not faceless sales executives who use the same old tricks. Marketers can’t ignore influencer marketing any longer: content creators have the power to drive business growth and deliver authenticity that engages with audiences. Imagine — thousands of voices having authentic conversations about your brand that hold sway in a way your voice alone never could. That’s the power of influencer marketing.
What works in Influencer Marketing?
Carefully consider your approach to influencer marketing:
- Be super organized, put together a strategy, plan, and budget, spend time on research
- Decide on your approach to finding influencers — find them organically, subscribe to a platform, or work through an agency
- Be patient and be human — people talking to people, not companies talking to companies
Develop a schedule:
- Does the influencer prefer monthly/quarterly/biannual calls or newsletters?
- Integrate with your PR schedule, product release schedule, etc.
- Send emails on behalf of key executives. Plan travel schedules for executives and arrange face-to-face meetings
What Influencer Marketing is Not?
Influencer marketing isn’t just about finding someone with a perfect audience and offering them money or exposure so they can say good things about you. That’s what viral celebrities are for. Influencers are people who’ve spent time building their own brand and cultivating their audience; they will be naturally protective of their reputation and the people who trust them. They’re people who had the patience and focus to succeed in social media, one organic follower at a time — people like this aren’t interested in doing influencer marketing solely for the money.
Influencer Marketing is also not about quick results. It’s the same kind of slow-and-steady approach as Social Media and Content Marketing, where your campaign isn’t about directly selling your wares. It’s about demonstrating your authority, credibility, and thought leadership within your industry. It’s about becoming synonymous with whatever it is that you offer, like when people say they’re going to Xerox a document instead of photocopying it, or to Hoover the floor, rather than vacuuming it.
With Social Media Marketing, it’s a slow game of acquiring the kind of followers who are going to be loyal and engaged. It’s tempting to think that joining forces with an influencer is going to be an easy way into the hearts and minds of his or her followers — it’s not that simple.