Is marketing dead? Many believe that the internet at large is getting too smart for marketing. Indeed, consumers are getting resourceful. Traditional marketing such as advertising, public relations etc doesn’t seem to hold the same weight as it used to. People are simply not buying into these campaigns — users take matters into their own hands and do their own research (thanks a lot Google…)
So how do marketers tackle this newfound challenge?
WATCH: This Article Has Been Visualized Below!
Enter: Influencer Marketing
What is influencer marketing? Well, it’s a type of marketing where you don’t actually communicate directly to your audience. But instead, you pinpoint key leaders of a specific community — and drive your message through them.
These “key leaders” are people that have earned the trust of your target audience. Malcolm Gladwell talks about this in his book “The Tipping Point”. He refers to them as “Mavens” – information brokers who share their knowledge and thoughts simply to help others. In the process of doing so, they build a foundation of trust with their audience.
Influencer Marketing leverages these ‘Mavens’ to deliver their message. It’s like Apple going up to Superman and saying “Hey, could you tell all your fans that you love the new iPhone?”
A Real World Example With Out Of This World Results
In 2015, Lord & Taylor — a retail giant — collaborated with around 50 Instagrammers and asked them to post of picture of themselves wearing a specific dress on a specific day. With a 1000$ to 4000$ incentive, the Instagrammers happily obliged and posted the pics on the given date.
The posts reached a total of 11.4 million Instagram users — which prompted 328,000 brand engagements on Lord & Taylor’s account. The dress sold out in no time.
Most of the buyers didn’t even know they were being advertised. Nor did they care — Because the ad didn’t disrupt their experience ON Instagram. If anything — it enhanced it!
That’s how effective Influencer marketing can be! Let’s look at a few stats to see why.
The Proof is in the Numbers
92% of customers said they trust recommendations from strangers over brands. And Of all marketers who have used Influencer Marketing, 81% said they saw success. That’s a pretty high success rate.
Another study showed that — for every dollar spent on influencer marketing —- marketers are generating up to 20$ in return (Averaging at $6.50). With these strong returns, everyone’s scrambling to get in on the action before it’s too late
Here’s the thing, at the moment the value generated from Influencer Marketing is worth WAY more than what you’re paying for. But this won’t last long. Soon, there’ll be more marketing campaigns than there are trusted influencers. Prices for will go up, and margins will thin.
Get in on the Action Before it’s Too Late
Platforms like TapInfluence and Tomoson are making it easier than ever for marketers to target influencers.
But before approaching an Influencer, do your research. Ensure that the influencer has the desired relevance and reach. And if you do decide on an influencer, let him be himself! The reason influencer marketing works so well, is because the message delivered is authentic. Holding an influencer to a script…kinda ruins that!
It’s important to realize that Influencer Marketing is by no means a quick & easy hack. It requires time and investment, but the returns can be worthwhile!