A look into Influencer Marketing
People tend to pay more attention when products are being recommended by someone they know and look up to, even recommendations from friends and family members. Recommendations are known to be more believable and genuine, rather than just seeing the typical straightforward advertisements.
Social media plays a valuable part in marketing strategies, and the number of people who browse the internet daily is increasing rapidly. Consumers are looking to experts, critics, bloggers, celebrities, and more to shine a light on their perception of certain products and to influence them in their purchasing decisions. That is why countless brands and entrepreneurs are turning to Influencer Marketing as a top priority.
Going through the basics
When you come across the words “influencer marketing”, it’s pretty much self-explanatory. We know that marketing is a strategy one uses to inform people, or rather to promote and advertise their products or services to their targeted customers and to society in general. Having the right marketing strategy is an essential part of running a business.
From the word “influence”, we understand that it is the power to have an impact on the opinion of someone or something. It has to do with being a compelling force or to have an effect on the behavior or the actions of others. In this case, the influencer has the power to highly impact the purchase decisions of your target consumers.
The idea of Influencer Marketing is to not only find the right influencer to market your product for you, but to establish a relationship with the influencer, to get them to trust and to love your product. And from there the influencer could highly enhance the credibility of your product, with a chance of increasing your sales remarkably.
The only downside of influencer marketing is that promotion is not manageable compared to traditional marketing. Not every influencer will give a positive feedback to the product; there might be some influencers who negatively affect a product’s chance of success. Marketers must be prepared to deal with the repercussion as influencers may misinterpret or reject the products.
Examples of Influencer Marketing
1. Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun? by Collective Bias for Tyson Foods.
****Based on the announcement of The Huffington Post.****
In order to clear out their entire inventory of chicken nuggets, dozens of mommy bloggers contributed to Tyson Foods by decorating nuggets during the holiday season and share their creations on social media networks and on their blogs. Tyson exceeded its initial goal by 70% and demonstrated the impact of influencer marketing by social influencers during the campaign period.
2. Test Kitchen by Barilla Pasta
Barilla Pasta sent out food packages containing Barilla products including pastas, and sauces to influencers who would need to host a dinner party. Those influencers then cooked and served the food with their friend and love ones, and shared their real photos of the dinner party to their social media or websites. The photos that were submitted were used to create authentic looking advertising that featured real Barilla customers.
3. Innovating for the Connected Home, Living Room And TV by MWW for Verizon FiOS
****Based on the announcement of The Huffington Post.****
Verizon FiOS hosted a branded home innovation meet-up event in Boston and New York consisting of leaders and professionals from social networking groups to get a firsthand experience on the products and services that early adopters are building to optimize today’s connected home. During the two meet-ups, Verizon FiOS expanded its database to over 1,000 members of the innovation and technology communities, with more than 20 potential partners and over 400 attendees.
There are four levels of Influencers:
2. Publishers (Bloggers and Youtubers)
3. Fans (customers and stakeholders)
At the top of this list you’re reaching the most people, but they have the least influence on our lives. At the bottom, you’re reaching a much smaller group, but they will have much more influence. –
Bloggers as influencers
More and more bloggers are becoming popular and gaining quite an impressive fan following, some even having a similar status as celebrities. Fashion bloggers have started off as enthusiasts who just want to share their love for fashion and favorite brands across social media. But today many bloggers have become leaders, making a huge impact in the fashion industry, with brands determined to partner with them for marketing strategies and important events in the hopes of reaching out to the bloggers’ devoted fashion fanatics. As consumers started to pay more attention to fashion bloggers, brands had no choice but to do the same and to get in their good graces by inviting them to important events and fashion shows, seating them right next to celebrities.
The “YouTubers” who review books, or also known as “booktubers” are valuable influencers. Christine Riccio is a well known booktuber, having started with uploading comedic sketches and video blogs to her YouTube channel “Polandbananas20” in 2010. She then started her second channel “PolandbananasBOOKS” where she comes up with witty, fun ways to discuss and give book reviews, and is in fact her more popular channel. Now having over 180,000 subscribers, she is currently the booktuber with the highest number of subscribers on YouTube. She has since interviewed New York Times bestselling authors Marie Lu, Alexandra Bracken, and even a few celebrities. Christine’s influence on the book community has no doubt helped authors gain exposure for their books. Many book enthusiasts are now going to booktubers when deciding which books to purchase. In turn book bloggers now have the pleasure of receiving advanced copies of books to be reviewed.
There are platforms like Tomoson who helps business and marketers find bloggers who are interested in doing product reviews or where bloggers can find products to review for their own blogs.
Celebrities as influencers
To give you an idea of successful influencer marketing, one example is “EOS” lip balm which stands for ”Evolution of Smooth” it is a New York based company that specializes in personal care products. EOS has been on the market for only a few years, and yet they currently have the best-selling lip balm in the country beating out competitors that have been around for far longer. Packaged in unique egg-like shaped, vibrantly colored pods with a variety of different flavors, these lip balms have been getting a lot of positive reviews on social media, with an impressive number of followers on their official EOS Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account. Instagram users have uploaded over 80,000 EOS lip balm related photos, most of them expressing their desire to collect every flavor of lip balm. While another brand having only an estimated 30,000 uploads.
It’s really no surprise how much buzz it’s creating since the lip balm has been featured in music videos of some of the most popular artists today, such as Jennifer Lopez, Hilary Duff, and Miley Cyrus. “Beats” is also a popular brand being featured in music videos these days. Their goal to reach the music enthusiasts is ingenious because this is the type of audience who could potentially be any company’s most successful and largest targeted group of consumers. Any company would be fortunate to attain this type of influencer marketing strategy.
7 Tips for a successful Influencer Marketing
1. Figure out who your influencers are. Are they influencers to your target consumers? It is known that celebrities can market anything under the sun and they could get your product a lot of exposure too, not to mention bring in hundreds of consumers for any product. But if you’re aiming to find influencers who aren’t as high profile as celebrities, you might turn to bloggers. There are many type of bloggers, but the trick is to narrow it down to those that have marketed products homogeneous to yours. For instance, you wouldn’t choose a clothing blogger to market your product if it’s something as far-fetched from their area of expertise as a car accessory. And you probably wouldn’t do something as outrageous as getting a food site to advertise dog shampoo.
2. Build your relationship. Upon reading about influencer marketing, we notice that writers have come to the point that having a good relationship with your influencers is important. You have to be prepared in what way you’re going to approach them, how to get them on board, and how you’re going to maintain a harmonious and long lasting relationship with them. To get an influencer to believe in your product is a significant part of getting their followers to believe in your product as well.
3. Choosing your influencers also means you’re going to risk your product’s image. There are influencers that will give positive exposure to your product, but there’s a chance that it could be negative instead. Like in instances when the influencer is a celebrity who falls into some trouble, and certain actions ends up giving them a bad image in the public eye. Some may even have a troubled past that you should look into before deciding if you want to work with them. Those factors could do a bit of damage to the product’s reputation.
4. De-Emphasize product sales. Influencer marketing is not just about the increase of product sales, but its main goals should involve creating awareness and getting more positive publicity.
5. Understand marketing itself. To really be effective and successful in influencer marketing it is best to have a degree in marketing, to study and attain the set of skills that will prepare you in how to reach out to the right influencers and achieve your marketing goals.
6. Increase awareness. A lot of potential consumers will turn to online sources such as review sites for research when they consider buying products, even if they aren’t particularly a part of any social media networks. There is always a chance that they could be motivated into purchasing something, simply by finding or reading any positive reviews.
7. Strive for Relationships. Partnering with an influencer might just be the best decision you will ever make. You’d be surprised at how much of an impact an influencer could have on your product by sending out a tweet, or uploading a photo, or even the use of a simple hashtag.