This post was originally published on September 28th, 2017. Updated for June 29th, 2022.
Social media has rapidly changed the face of marketing. Once comprised of advertising and press releases, marketing today involves social media networking, content marketing, and now influencer marketing. Here’s a brief introduction to influencer marketing, and how it can help your brand online.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on influential people in a brand’s niche, rather than the brand’s larger target market. Like celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing uses the power of “word-of-mouth” on social media to increase brand awareness, trustworthiness, and sales.
How it Works
An ideal influencer, with a social media following ranging from a few thousand to a million or more, will offer a subtle brand testimonial to their thousands of followers. The result is great targeted exposure for the brand, by those who pay attention to and trust what the influencer has to say.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
When done right, influencer marketing doesn’t just promote brand awareness, it inspires action too. In fact, good influencer marketing boasts some of the greatest ROI of any marketing strategy. Consider this:
- Influencer marketing is generally more affordable than traditional advertising
- 82% of consumers trust an influencer’s recommendation
- 75% of consumers do not trust advertisements
- Nearly half (47%) of online users have ad blockers turned on
- Micro influencers alone (those with 5,000-100,000 followers) are known to increase a brand’s sales by 300%
Examples of Influencer Marketing
- A startup custom shoe company, Shoes of Prey, teamed up with popular 16-year old fashion vlogger to host a YouTube giveaway.
- Startup makeup company Glossier earned overnight fame by teaming up with dozens of “micro-influencers” on Instagram. It’s worked so well, the company now offers a referral program.
- Using the hashtag #Keepsakeit, Hallmark encouraged dozens of family-focused Instagram influencers to share their family traditions and promote the company’s keepsake ornament collection.
Leveraging the power of influencers in your marketing effort takes lots of research and time, but when done correctly, this marketing strategy is proven to be extremely powerful.
Sources: A Startup’s Guide to Micro-influencers
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