What is Influencer Marketing?
One of the most underestimated aspects of video marketing, and marketing through the Internet, is the impact that influencers have on the opinions, traffic, and product purchases of the majority of Web users. In every industry, there are a select few that are considered the most popular in their respective fields – this is determined by the size of their following, the brands they endorse, or how plausible their advice and judgment is. For instance, with a staggering 95.6 million followers on Instagram, Kylie Jenner has become an enormous social media influencer by endorsing fashion brands, makeup products (including her own), and countless other companies that rely on her support. This is a perfect example of social media marketing, and how its every day use is a means for celebrities and businesses alike to advertise to the general public through ads and sponsorships.
Recently, the use of the influencer market has surpassed the efficacy of digital advertisement for a number of reasons.
Who is an Influencer?
If a product is marketed through a person rather than an online advertisement, an audience is going to be more receptive towards a trustworthy influencer, who has used, tested, and reviewed the product. While digital ads are reliant upon a media outlet, focusing on making a transaction, an influencer’s word is going to be taken into account, as they are connecting with the project in a tangible way, and are willing to risk their own brand in order to advertise a company’s product.
While online advertisements are still an effective method of garnering website traffic, there has been a dramatic increase in their presence, which often overwhelms the viewer and takes away from the content they were originally looking for. In light of this, there has been a rise in Ad Block software, which, after purchasing, blocks the appearance of ads on any website, allowing a viewer to surf the Internet without being constantly advertised to. According to the IAB, 25% of users use this software, which causes a reduction of conversion rates, therefore decreasing the amount of money a company would be able to earn. This is why marketing through an influencer is a more effective method.
Influencer Marketing Platform
A company is able to cater to their target audience by advertising through the right influencer. For example, Desi Perkins, a beauty guru on YouTube with over 1 million subscribers, has proficiency in marketing L’Oreal and MAC cosmetics to her audience, which, for the most part, is composed of women between the ages of 15-40. This gives makeup companies the opportunity to market their products to this particular demographic. It is important for a company to recognize their most receptive audience members in order to pick the right influencer to showcase their products. An influencer has the power to determine the credibility and usefulness of the product compared to those of competing companies, which makes partnering with the right influencer so important. Additionally, while the world of advertising might take years to penetrate, the influencer market expedites the process by facilitating exposure and a surge in network growth.
What are Influencers on Social Media?
Influencers, much like businesses, rely on social media to market their own brand. Due to the versatility of each platform, there are always unique, new ways to advertise. Whether it be simple, decorative Snapchats, sponsored Instagram pictures, or a YouTube video, there is no limit to the benefits that social media offers. According to Forbes, influencer marketing revolves heavily around the visibility of the influencer, which can be done through the following ways:
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Video marketing through YouTube
- Live video and interactivity with a tangible audience
- Public relations tactics (i.e. interviews)
This widespread exposure is extremely valuable to both an influencer, and any company that advertises through them. This is an untraditional form of advertisement, which has a higher chance of attracting new buyers who are looking for an innovative marketing strategy.
The Influencer Marketing Examples
Digital advertisements do not open up a dialogue, neither about the product itself, nor the relationship a viewer has with it. Influencers who are established on social media, and who have accumulated a substantial following, are easily accessible through direct messaging and the comment/reply dynamic that is present on YouTube. Influencers are present at events, through e-mail, on Twitter, or even on their website. Many YouTubers and companies also publish Q&A videos, which allows an audience to connect with who they are buying from. The influencer market also has the capacity to increase SEO through marketing content and promotions, which provide reliable analytics and traffic throughout various social media platforms.
If a company wishes to grow closer to their audience, communicating within the influencer market is an effective alternative, which strengthens a marketing campaign in addition to traditional forms of advertising. This method also allows for product feedback, and establishes a strong connection with influential members of society. In order for a business to stay relevant, becoming involved in the influencer market is definitely the next step.