In January, we brought you our take on 2016’s biggest marketing trends – one of which was influence marketing. For many, this may be a new aspect of digital marketing which you have yet to tap into. However, with this type of marketing on the rise, there has never been a better time to get to grips with influence marketing.
What is influence marketing?
Influence marketing is basically the act of marketing a product or service to those who have a sway or power over what other people will buy. Those people are known as influencers, and can be identified by a number of factors, most commonly for their expertise in a certain product area or industry. Other influencers include celebrities and bloggers, basically people who are regarded as hugely popular or who have carved out a strong reputation in the chosen industry.
The principle of marketing this way is similar to word of mouth marketing. Basically, you market your product to the influencers, and their association will in turn encourage their followers or fans to buy into your product. Celebrity endorsements have been used as a successful marketing tactic for many years now, and influence marketing is almost the same thing – though of course influencers do not necessarily have to be celebrities, but depending on your product market this may help.
Why is this important?
You only have to look at the success of sites like Trip Advisor to know that people buying into products or services online are keen to find reassurance, or at least further information before forking out for a product or service. Even Facebook has its own review system for businesses. In fact, it’s estimated that around 75% of people will consult social media for reassurance or guidance before making a purchase decision.
If you can back your product or service with a stellar celebrity endorsement or glowing reviews from influential bloggers, people are more likely to actually make a purchase on your product or service. In fact, bloggers have become hugely important influencers as they are seen as more genuine and authentic, much more so than advertisers. In addition, they tend to have loyal followings within their field, who could be influenced by the blogger into buying your product or service.
By marketing to influencers, companies can avoid the general cynicism which is associated with traditional marketing and advertising methods. With the transparency of social media allowing these influencers to tell us their thoughts on a product, directly from their own social profiles or accounts, it seems more trustworthy and genuine that traditional marketing. Therefore, it becomes more likely that your influencers’ audiences will buy into the product.
So by targeting influencers with your marketing, you are not only reaching them and making them aware of your product, you are also reaching each of their loyal followers or audiences. Whilst this is ideal and could help increase your sales dramatically, marketers should be careful how they choose influencers. For instance, if the wrong influencer or celebrity is associated with your product, it could actually have a negative effect on sales. Similarly, if the influencer does something negative, or gets involved in legal trouble, it can really affect your brand. Also, with bloggers and other influencers it’s much less easy to control how your product is marketed to their audience, so be prepared for the consequences of an influencer who misrepresents or even rejects your product or service.
With many looking for reassurance and guidance when buying into a product, service or idea online, it has never been more important to consider the role an influencer can play.
For more information about using influence marketing in your strategy, please get in touch with Kyle or Gordon on 0141 427 0727 or via firstname.lastname@example.org