Why is influencer marketing such a game changer?

Influencer marketing has been around for over years. It has been a strategic marketing plan for brands to promote their product. From pancakes to cigarettes, influencer marketing is everywhere. Even Coca-Cola has been using this tactic since the 1930s. With the rise of social media, influencer marketing has evolved into what it is today, but what actually is influencer marketing?

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing which centres around people of influence rather than the traditional form of marketing. Brands target individuals who have influence over potential customers. As I mentioned, the rise of social media has been a big player in how marketing has changed. Using content to promote a brands product and get the word out there.

There are a lot of ways that an influencer can direct their content. They can act as a potential consumer themselves and give you a review of the product. Some influencers are outright honest in their approach. I have often seen influencers state that a brand has sent them a product to review. The whole point of using influencer marketing is to form a trusting relationship with you and your consumers.

How did it begin?

Influencer marketing has been around for a long time. In the advertising industry, there is an old wives’ tale that the Queen and the Pope used to endorse medicines for the well-being of the common people. As I mentioned in the introduction, Coca-Cola has been using the tactic since the 1930s. They used Santa Claus in their adverts to promote their drinks. Influencer marketing has been around for a very long time, the only difference between now and then is that we are only now noticing it in action. The Internet has made it extremely easy for an average Joe to make a name for them self. It has also made it even easier for brands and businesses to use these average Joe’s to marketing their products and services.

How has it evolved?

In the beginning, it was public figures, actors, and apparently, Queens who put the influence into influencer marketing. Now, it’s everybody. From fitness fanatics to computer coders. Everybody had the potential to be an influencer with social media. During the 20th century, Influencer marketing consisted of Flyers, TV ads and Radio ads all including a public figure/celebrity. Now, it is in the palm of your hand. Your favourite internet stars get paid to advertise products. Whether you know it or not. You see, when you enter the realm of influencer marketing, you quickly realise how much content actually is an advertisement. The reason we don’t notice it too much comes down to two reasons. Number one is the sincerity of the post. Influencers make it look like they’re genuinely interested in the product and simply want to show it off to help make their followers live easier. Number two is “post time”? What do I mean by this? Post time is the amount of time that an influencer will keep your ad on their page before taking it down, and it all depends on how much you pay. Prices vary based on how long you want your ad to be posted for and how many followers your influencer has. Now, I know what you’re wondering, “what are the benefits of influencer marketing?”. Which brings me to my next point.

What are the benefits of influencer marketing?

Did you know that 92% of people trust word-of-mouth over all other forms of advertising?
If you’re actively using social media advertisements, then you should probably consider influencer marketing. People have grown cynical of traditional ads. I mean, would you trust a random, targeted ad that appears on your newsfeed over a real person reviewing a product? Of course, you wouldn’t. if you said you would then you’re either a part of the 8%, or you’re in denial.

Influencer marketing is also better than traditional ads in the sense that you’re not blindly advertising. By this, I mean that influencers already have a big audience, who trust them and who are all within the same niche. All the dirty work is done for you. You don’t have to put together a target audience (on Facebook ads manager for example). You don’t have to build rapport with your audience through your ad because it is already there. The influencer has already built that relationship, to some degree. Then when it’s time for you to advertise, you send your content and the influencer will spruce it up to make it fit with their profile and the rest of their content. I could go on for pages about the benefits of influencer marketing, but those are the biggest two benefits, and the most important ones. So we’ve talked about the pros, but what about the cons? There’s got to be cons, surely.

What are the downfalls of influencer marketing?

So, what are the downfalls? For a start, it’s expensive. Depending on the size of an influencers following, prices can range anywhere from $20 to $1000 for a 12-hour post. However, the good thing about the pricing is that it is negotiable. Price can be pushed up or down based on a few factors, such as engagement rates and campaign length.

It’s like anything else in business, you have to spend money to make money. The outcome is worth it if you have picked the right influencer. Which brings me to the next downfall. Picking your influencer.

In this blog, I have made it sound quite easy to get started with influencer marketing, but when you don’t have any idea of any influencers in your field then it can be quite daunting. It’s all well and good finding an influencer in your niche, but is that influencer worth the time? Yes, they may have a large following, but what is their engagement like? Do more than 20% of their followers engage with their posts? Do they post actively? These are all factors to consider when picking your influencer. Remember, the end goal is to put the right product (whatever you’re selling) in front of the right people.

Conclusion – should you go ahead with influencer marketing?

Yes and No. Before you start you need to ask yourself a few simple questions.

  • What is your budget?
  • Does your budget have room to incorporate influencer marketing?
  • Is it ROI positive compared to your current marketing plan.

My advice would be to ask yourself these questions and if you’re willing to take a risk then go for it. Experiment in the world of influencer marketing. Try and fail then try again. However, if you’re not willing to take that risk then I wouldn’t. You have to be a risk taker and not be scared of failing. Give it a go, and if it’s not for you then the team at Blue Whale Media can put together a campaign for you.

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