What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing?

By now, you’ve probably heard about influencer marketing, and how celebrities like Kylie Jenner are paid to endorse products on their social media accounts.

Some prominent marketers may warn that brands who neglect influencer marketing are missing out on the greatest marketing strategy since sliced bread. While there’s some truth to that, for the most part, influencer marketing works best for particular brands.

Either way, the goal of this blog isn’t to convince you to hop on the influencer marketing wagon. We’re just covering the fundamental question: “What the heck is influencer marketing?”

Only once you have a solid understanding of influencer marketing can you make a decision as to whether or not it’s ideal for your brand.

What are influencers?

Influencers are people on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, that have a large influence on the community around them (their followers).

Lots of followers = lots of people looking at the content they post, which is why you want them to post about your brand. It’s all about exposing your brand to a larger audience that you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.

That said, it’s important to choose the right influencers based on your brand’s message, values, and personality. Be sure to do enough research to make sure you invest in genuine influencers, not just someone’s instagram account with a couple thousand followers.

Look out for blogs and websites attached to these accounts, and be sure the content they post on social media generates engagement. By doing this, you’ll see if they have real potential to reach the right audience for your brand. There’s been a lot of buzz lately surrounding the legitimacy of influencers on Instagram, and a deceiving method for influencers to attract brands to their page has become a trending topic. Before beginning your influencer partnership, do thorough research into who they are and the engagement they are receiving.

Are influencers worth the investment?

The opportunities that brand influencers bring to your business are centered around two things; gaining exposure and increasing sales. Influencer marketing should always do one or the other, and sometimes both.

Working with a social media influencer can be a gamble, but a recent survey by Inc.com found that 84% of marketers plan to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next year. If you have any doubt on the effectiveness of social media influencers, just look at the facts. These influencers can bring exposure to your brand and best of all, an increase in sales.

Before investing big bucks in influencer marketing, it’s important to start small. Once you start to see a clear ROI (return of investment), increase your budget and reach out to larger influencers to increase exposure & sales.

According to AdWeek, 94% of those who have tried influencer marketing believe it has been an effective part of their marketing strategy. Not only has it worked for many brands, it also keeps businesses competitive in the ad world. Many social media users are installing ad blockers, making it difficult for businesses to use traditional digital advertising to reach their target audience.

Wondering where you should invest in these influencers? Although Facebook has reached over 1 billion users, it is best to develop your strategy around platforms such as Instagram, which recently reached an incredible milestone of 700 million users. Popularity matters in influencer marketing, but be sure to think about where you want exposure, and what social channel your target audience spends most of their time. The popular option isn’t always the best one for your brand.

Why is influencer marketing so popular?

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a popular phrase amongst millennials, and it couldn’t be more relevant to influencer marketing. When a brand influencer such as Kylie Jenner promotes a service on social media, her followers have a hard time resisting the urge to use it. Dedicated followers feel like, Kylie uses only the best, and that anything she endorses is gold.

Naturally, brands jump at the chance to partner with influencers, and because of the increase in social media’s popularity over the years, social media influencers are booming.

So, now you know what influencer marketing is and how it can be a great way to enhance your marketing strategy. Our advice? Work with your marketing team to develop a budget, list of influencers, and a list of specific goals.

If working with one influencer doesn’t garner the results you’re looking for, don’t get discouraged. It’s all part of the process of perfecting your strategy and finding the right influencer for your brand. Start out slow, learn from your mistakes, and you’ll gain the experience needed to launch your first influencer marketing campaign.

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Author

Chris Bernstein

Chris Bernstein

Chris is a Marketing Assistant at Hudson. He has a strong passion and excitement for social media/digital strategy, and loves getting to work with people who share that same passion everyday.