We have (sort of) bad news: consumers have nearly become impartial to most target marketing strategies we currently exploit. And yes, popular social platforms where consumer interaction is currently thriving are included.
The reason for the growing disinterest stems from an overload of messages coming directly from the brand; people don't want to interact with the brand anymore. Instead, many consumers want to hear more from a clever marketing concept that has crept its way into recent popularity: influencer marketing.
What Is Influencer Marketing, And Why Do Consumers Respond To It?
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that involves a third party (or middle-man, so to speak), generally an individual who has a large social media following and a robust emotional connection with their audience. The idea of influencing consumer emotions to push a campaign is nothing new, but doing so covertly through an idolized blogger or vlogger is a new trend taking the industry by storm.
It starts with an 'influencer', the aforementioned web icon. Influencers create an emotional connection with their audience by sharing personal experiences, memories, opinions and ideas. These are individuals who at least appear to have interesting and/or relatable lives, which in turn grabs and maintains their audience's attention and loyalty. This is key; brand loyalty is a crucial piece of any marketing strategy, and influencers manage it effortlessly. Capitalizing on that invested audience is not only possible, but is also occurring more and more as businesses strive to get more and more personal with their customers.
Say you want to know what it's like to vacation in Monaco, and you turn to the internet for some insight. Would you be more likely to trust an individual who travels as their hobby and gives a detailed account of their stay in Monaco? Or an article on a travel agency's website, which is fairly generic and highlights tourist spots and transportation options? Even if that traveling blogger includes a link to book through that same travel agency's website at the end of their detailed, intimate account, you're still more likely to trust a personal experience over a speculative agency article. That's where influencer marketing wins, and it can provide huge benefits to companies looking to supplement their primary marketing efforts.
MORE ON EMOTIONS IN MARKETING:
Outperforming Your Competitors By Adding Influencers To Your Marketing Strategy
Influencers can help your business in more ways than just shout-outs at the end of a video or a tag in an Instagram photo. Tapping emotional influence in marketing through a third party can:
All of these benefits have the potential to give you a pretty sharp edge on your competitors. And in the end, everyone benefits: the brand has more leads, the influencer is sponsored, and the consumers can identify brands they trust through influencers they trust. This inadvertently encourages companies to earn their audience's respect by being a trustworthy brand worth mentioning by said audience's favorite influencer.
Enough About Trust. How Do I Find An Influencer To Promote My Brand?
First, be sure your business has all of its PR ducks in a row. Sketchy ventures could give an influencer a bad name by association. Most influencers won't want to risk losing their audience, so they're not going to enter an agreement with a company unless its public image is generally good.
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The next step is to go on all of the social media and conversational platforms you want to start influencing. Hopefully you already have a solid idea of which platforms your industry performs best with. If not, start by considering your audience and their social media habits. For example, a clothing retailer could expect their audience to visit Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr often. Here, you'll be able to identify your industry's current and potential influencers.
What's the Difference Between a Blogger and an Influencer?
Not all bloggers are influencers, but they certainly can be. Influencers may have a blog, a video channel/live feed or some other platform they use to connect with their listeners or readers. You may be able to tell if an individual is open to being an influencer for a brand if:
Wrap Up: Chances Are, You Can Benefit From Influencer Marketing.
Unless your business is highly specialized, you will probably find at least a few potential influencers in your market. Even if you ARE highly specialized you can probably find at least one influencer ready to work with you. It does take research and time, but believe us when we say it's worth it.
If you're hankerin' to learn more about influencer marketing, digital marketing, creative content or just about anything else in that area, keep checking back! Some of the blog topics we have planned for the upcoming weeks include:
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