What Is Influencer Marketing?
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Your Ultimate Influencer Marketing Guide
What is Influencer Marketing?
People listen to people, not brands. The core idea of Influencer Marketing stems from this fundamental principle. It involves brands collaborating with online personalities – known as influencers – because of the clout they possess in the form of their followers. These influencers have built a credible name for themselves as experts in their field and people trust their opinions and recommendations. Whether it’s for brand recognition, a desire to appeal to a wider audience or simply to get your brand noticed, these influencers provide a platform for you to reach out to a large pool of individuals who trust their expertise and will generate interest in the brand.
A subset of Social Media Marketing
The world of influencers resides online, on social media. They have the power to sway their followers with one single Instagram post or a tweet. By leveraging this power in your influencer marketing strategies, influencer marketing offers an effective way for your brand to reach your target audience.
What Influencer Marketing is NOT
Though easy to confuse between the two, Influencer Marketing is definitely not the same as celebrity endorsements. You cannot merely assume that a social media influencer will blindly endorse your product. These are regular people like you or me, who have built a reputation over time, with a lot of effort. They will not risk their credibility by promoting a product they do not associate with or have interest in, which might question their trustworthiness.
It is also not correct to assume that Influencer Marketing will immediately result in a significant rise in business. It’s not the ‘instant-gratification’ kind of channel that brings results from day-one. A lot of factors need to be considered – the popularity of the influencer, how relevant is their field of influence to the brand, how genuine is the follower count and much more.
Who is an Influencer?
We have mentioned ‘Influencer’ several times now, but we haven’t really defined it, have we? An influencer is someone who is continuously gaining knowledge about a specific field (or multiple fields) and has consequently got the power to sway the purchasing decisions of others; someone who has generated a following with whom they actively engage based on a niche interest shared by both the individuals and their audience. These are people who don’t usually consider themselves famous in an offline world.
Through their knowledge, credibility and connection with followers, these social media influencers are an authority on their subject and people trust them. A brand, especially an upcoming one, doesn’t invoke the same emotion of faith in them as these influencers do. Hence, several brands run online marketing campaigns with them to add credibility to their products and give them their stamp of approval, so that their audience is influenced to purchase what the brand wants to sell.
Many companies create brand partnerships with these influencers as a part of their social media marketing strategies. For instance, take the make-up brand BECCA who made a splash in the market with their Champagne Pop collaboration with YouTuber Jaclyn Hill, which sold out within 20 minutes of its release on Sephora. The brand BECCA also became known for having some of the best highlighters in the market and were soon sought after by everyone who was fond of make-up.
How can a business benefit from Influencer Marketing?
Conventional marketing strategies have now lost momentum and people are exasperated with too many ads and online marketing messages, and are experiencing “ad fatigue”. Millennial customers want to engage in conversations about brands and products that they’re interested in. They understand that they are impacted by different people, at different times and in completely different ways. This allows them to find someone they identify with and trust their opinions. Through influencer marketing strategies, brands can ensure that they are constantly available to new customers, who are interested in their products. They can also ensure a greater number of repeated purchases and, by creating a high standard of product, retain the loyalty of their customer base. This ensures a growth in sales, and revenue is generated.
According to reports, around 67% of customers engage in some form or other with influencer marketing. The engagement that these social media influencers have with their audience can no longer be ignored by any brand’s social media marketing team. Several platforms are available for brands to decide which influencer they want to collaborate with. Amongst the most popular are Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. Each of these mediums have their own pros and cons for different demographics. Brands can choose which one is best suited for their online marketing message, and create tailored content around them.
When influencer marketing agency Mediakix conducted a customer survey back in 2018 to understand how they viewed influencers, 89% said ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other mediums. This makes the customer’s feelings with respect to the influencer marketing landscape very clear – this is here to stay.
How is the Influencer Marketing landscape changing?
Influencer marketing came from a blend of old marketing techniques of celebrity endorsements and the new marketing tools of social media marketing that reach out to customers directly. Since its inception, the landscape is fast witnessing a transformation. For example, take the kind of images that are being uploaded. While millennial influencers tend to take picture-perfect photos on their DSLRs, GenZ or the younger influencers often upload shots directly from their phones. These barely edited pictures add an authenticity to the picture and gives it a touch of familiarity. This organic and genuine experience is a fast gaining traction in the online marketing world, and newer influencer marketing strategies are factoring in this level of engagement with the real world. Users are getting smarter by the day, and they can easily differentiate between a paid promotion and an organic post. The key to brand partnerships with influencers will be to touch upon this aspect, and make influencer campaigns as authentic as possible.
Influencers 2.0: The future of Influencer Marketing is here
Influencers 2.0 is the Arab world’s first ever platform that helps you discover, vet and collaborate with influencers across the GCC. Our data-driven methodology helps brand forge partnerships with relevant influencers based on authentic, real-time data. We have verified and checked a large pool of influencers, hand-picking the best of the best influencers. Our customized filter options help you choose the right influencers for your brand that generate the most effective influencer marketing campaign results.
Influencer Marketing is here to stay. And to get the most bang out of your marketing buck, it’s important to optimize your strategies with the best tools available. Sounds idealistic? Well, it’s as real as it gets.
Check out the different features that our platform offers to help you make the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns.