Influencer marketing is the practice of promoting and selling products or services through people, often celebrities, who have the ability to affect the character of a brand1.
As I scroll through my Instagram feed, it seems like more and more I’m seeing not only celebrities but other bloggers and influencers posting sponsored advertisements promoting a certain product or brand. This can be attributed to the growing influencer marketing trend.
Influencer marketing is definitely on the rise, with nearly half of U.S. marketers planning to boost their budgets for influencer-focused campaigns in 20172. Data trends show that influencer marketing continues to grow, and ROI measurement tops the list of things U.S. marketers want to improve about influencer marketing3. Right now, the average earned media value for every dollar spent on influencer marketing campaigns is $6.584.
Not only does influencer marketing reach key audiences on the social platforms they are engaging with, but it also allows advertisers to zero-in on a specific audience and provide value to them.
Within the influencer-marketing world, there are generally two types of influencers: celebrity influencers and social influencers.
The difference between celebrity influencers and social influencers is how they gain their following. While celebrities gain followers because people enjoy their music or like the movies they’re in, social influencers gain followers based on a specific niche or interest. Most bloggers and influencers have a focus that sets them apart, whether it be their personal style, cooking talent, or workout habits. They gain followers who share that interest and want to learn more about that subject. Therefore, when they are marketing a certain product that aligns with their interest, it’s more likely to resonate with their audience and increase ROI. Social influencers also tend to have more of a relationship with the product and a reason for promoting it, while celebrities are simply aligning their name with a certain brand to raise awareness.
Using myself as an example: due to dietary restrictions, I follow a gluten-free diet. This has led me to follow numerous bloggers and influencers who share that diet and post content around gluten-free and healthy cooking. So when one of my favorite influencers promotes a gluten-free product, I am more likely to take action and try that product—as opposed to if a celebrity with no focus on gluten-free and healthy eating was to post about it. By following their blogs and social media platforms, I have developed a relationship with the influencer and trust their recommendations.
This is also beneficial for advertisers, because they’re reaching a more niche audience based on what category or interest the influencer has created their platform around. Advertising through social influencers who already have a trusted relationship with their followers increases the impact of the influencer marketing through better engagement, and ensures that they’re reaching their niche audience.
So when you’re thinking about influencer marketing, remember it’s not all about movie, TV, and sports stars. Social influencers can be more effective at actually influencing the audience you need to motivate, and at a dramatically lower expense. Read more on choosing the right network to reach your target audience through social media.
1. What is Influencer Marketing? │ The Huffington Post │ July, 6 2017
2. Marketers to Boost Influencer Budgets in 2017 | eMarketer | December 13, 2016
3. Chute and Thuzio 360 │”2016 Influencer Marketing Report │ September 23, 2016
4. 6 Ways to Measure and Receive ROI from Influencer Marketing on Blogs, Instagram, and YouTube │
The Huffington Post | November 21, 2016
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