Influencer Marketing: Is It All It's Hyped Up to Be?
Marketing overall is still a young concept despite the fact that we’ve seen marketing efforts from as early as the 1900s. It really wasn’t until the 1950s that advertising changed in drastic ways; across industries, competition was on a steady incline, so much that companies needed a boost to get ahead. The principle of marketing then was rudimentary: understand the needs of the customers. Going on that, advertising professionals found their ways into the minds and hearts of their consumers, and perhaps that was easier to do in a time when life was simpler, needs were more basic, and desires even more so.
Reaching the customers was also a lot easier than it is today, simply because there weren’t as many channels available. We are far beyond radio, mail, and television. Today we have radio, mail, television, streaming services, SMS marketing, social media, and so much more because we are a connected society. With multiple avenues to reach the customer, we are seeing a shift in how companies market themselves, and it’s precisely why influencer marketing is becoming the next big thing.
Rather than focus on the target market as a whole, influencer marketing hones in on a specific group of individuals while using a person of influence to boost the reach. In prior years, direct mail professionals would use research tools to gather up names of a specific subset of people and use that targeted list to send out a mailing. The hope was, of course, that within those thousands of names, a few good customers would come of it.
We are far beyond the “shot gun” method of advertising. Today, consumers are connected and involved with the companies they do business with, and it’s because of this that they very much have a say in how and when companies service the consumer. Bringing a social media influencer helps your case that much more. Influence comes when someone with social networking clout helps advance your brand’s digital objectives, either by an outright referral, sharing of content, or other interactions that engage with your brand and encourage others to do the same. In short, interesting people can create authentic conversations with an audience that is already interested in your product or service.
Influencer marketing presents an obvious opportunity for brands to leverage the power of word-of-mouth at scale through personalities that consumers already follow and admire. YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat have become normal advertising channels that companies are using, and new tools are making it easier to work with influencers.
A report from TapInfluence has outlined the history and the impact of the rise of digital influencers, and for marketers especially, the transformation is simply fascinating.
“It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when. Influencer marketing is a proven channel that delivers results,” according to the interactive report.
Whether it’s sponsored content or mobile engagement, influencers via these newer methods succeed with today’s consumer.
Working with influencers will communicate to the market that your brand may very well be the next hot ticket item, and that is a very good thing.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson