What is influencer marketing?

The current buzzword, ‘influencer marketing’, sounds good, but what really is it? And do I want it for my business?

Let’s start with the basics. Influencer marketing is marketing products and services to those people who have a say. The general idea: get people who have an influence over your target market to talk about your brand. Any person, group, or brand can be an influencer.

Why now?

The word influencer marketing is very ‘in vogue’ at the moment. But to be perfectly honest, this is not a new phenomenon. For many years, bloggers have been used as a way to spruke products. They are trusted and they are highly visible. Similarly, bloggers have been used in recent history as a way to speak to a specific demographic from a trusted source. The reason that influencer marketing has really taken off in the last year comes down to the success of Instagram. Now, anyone with an instagram page can be an influencer.

Why does it work?

The biggest reason that it works is authenticity. People trust people more than they trust brands. Influencer marketing is a complete win win win. Firstly, the customer wins, they get marketed a product/service that is directly related to the content that they are looking for. Second, the brand wins, they get seen by people who are directly interested in their product or service. And lastly, the “influencer” wins, who would be paid or remunerated for the ‘advertising’.

The problem with this is when it gains so much popularity that it no longer works. If customers lose the trust that they currently have for the influencers, this medium will be no better than traditional advertising. This is why brands must not take advantage of this system, lets keep the content highly targetted and interesting for the consumers. Then everyone wins.

The good and the bad

Influencer marketing has one great strength: building brand awareness. That’s not to say that the strategy doesn’t work for other metrics, however, its greatest strength is most definitely brand awareness. It opens doorways between interested consumers and the right companies. The bad? Well, influencer marketing is not controllable. You must put your faith in the influencer and hope that it does not turn out badly for you.

What does it work for?

It really can work for anything, but things that are currently in fashion definitely work the best. Within recently years, tapping into fashion, fitness and food have been incredible sources of traffic for businesses. However, in no way is it limited to that. The tech industry has a very large amount of influencers with very high levels of credibility. Be careful though, in order to keep their credibility, these influencers aren’t going to speak fondly of your product unless it is worthy of it.

So there it is, a break down of influencer marketing. In the end – influencers are successful because they represent the brand without being it.



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