Over the last couple of years, influencer marketing has become one of the biggest digital marketing trends. A massive 75% of marketers are using it, and it’s not difficult to see why. Influencer marketing taps into one the most powerful and persuasive strategies there is – word of mouth.
While a brand may put a lot of time, effort and skill into engaging with its target market, there’s no-one customers trust to recommend products and services than members of their closest friends and family. If a marketer can tap into the influence others can have over our purchases and choices, the sky really is the limit.
How to find influencers and why fame isn’t the only factor
Many brands understand how this kind of marketing works and why influencers are so effective, but it’s another thing entirely to incorporate it into your overall digital marketing strategy. Where do you find the influencers and how do you get these individuals to promote your product, service or brand?
Influencer marketing often takes the form of celebrity endorsements, either paid or voluntary. This can be effective, as famous and prolific social media users are likely to have a lot of reach, and their celebrity status gives them a lot of influence over their fans. However, fame shouldn’t necessarily be the only factor you consider when tracking down the most effective influencers for your campaign.
Marketing expert Inga Johnson, speaking to Social Week, explains that relevancy can be more important than reach – with crucial factors being the first-hand experience an influencer has with a product, how passionate they are about the topic and how trusted they are. She says:
“If you have someone who doesn’t have these elements and they attempt to promote on behalf of the brand, it doesn’t come off as an authentic recommendation.”
The most famous person you can convince to endorse your brand may not necessarily be the most effective either. In an E-Consultancy round-up from May 2015, it was revealed that in the fashion industry, fashion bloggers have more influence than even A-list celebrities and style icons like Taylor Swift.
Is influence marketing just a fad?
All the latest statistics suggest that influence marketing is not going to disappear any time soon. As well as big brands such as McDonalds utilising the power of influencers – using key influencers such as YouTube star Raphael Gomes to dispel myths about how it’s chicken nuggets are made – a huge 84% of marketers are expected to include it in their strategies this year. If your competitors are within this 84%, then they could gain a crucial edge over you – this is why now is the ideal time to find key influencers and make sure you use their voices effectively.
Have you any experience with influence marketing? If so, how did you find the key voices in your most effective marketing campaigns, and how did you make use of them? Please feel free to share your thoughts.