Influencers are specialists in their niche and just like a brand chooses them, they choose a brand that reflects their unique personality – one that is most likely already established on social media channels, such as Instagram and YouTube.
The high level of trust between influencer and follower makes the marketing utopia of true two-way communication and authentic consumer engagement a reality – which is a reason why the influencer marketing campaigns trend is living up to its hype.
Tapinfluence.com defines influencer marketing as “a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire/pay influencers to get out the word for you.” Although not an entirely new trend, this year it is exploding. This is probably because people like people and social media has given it a whole new spin. The recently published “Influencer marketing is growing faster than digital ads” article on Forbes.com states: “Just like a B2B transaction isn’t a deal between two businesses (but rather managers trusting each others’ abilities), selling products and services to consumers also converts better with a trusted figure.” Influencer campaigns are much more than advocacy drives. In its blog, “10 impressive examples of influencer marketing campaigns”, Hubspot.com explains this fine line as: “While there is some overlap between celebrity endorsements and influencer marketing campaigns, influencer campaigns are designed to tap into an existing community of engaged followers.
Influencers are specialists in their particular niches, and have established a high level of trust and two-way communication with their follower bases. “Their fans trust that their endorsement of a product or brand comes from a well-researched, more holistic place, rather than something as simple as a signed contract. And while there is often a formal agreement in place between brands and influencers, influencers tend to be more selective about their affiliations, choosing to partner with brands that reflect their unique personal brands and won’t alienate their followers.”
Utilising digital channels instead of traditional advertising is an essential ingredient of any successful influencer marketing campaign, as various interactive communication platforms can be exploited as opposed to more old-school static type of advertising. It is all about taking the old thought leadership mindset and placing it in the new economy to inspire and encourage consumers. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have a global reach and also allow for immediate two-way communication – like, love, wow – and, of course, sharing. Another valuable channel is YouTube – allowing consumers to not only see but also listen to a person turning a product into action. Receiving the message straight from the horse’s mouth is providing immeasurable value-add for brands by having their influencer live-stream. It’s the ultimate peak of an influencer marketing campaign to engage consumers through live chat. What it all boils down to is dialogue and interaction – person to person. Face to face makes a brand more believable.
Of course, finding the right trusted influencer who is comfortable across digital channels is paramount.