As a newbie online marketer, “what is influencer marketing?” might be one of your questions. And this is the question we’ll try to answer for today. Influencer marketing is in fact one of the recent (and established) kinds of internet marketing. Many people have been using this term for quite some time now and the mainstream media has actually noticed it.
However, there are still people who don’t understand what this word means or what it’s all about.
Influencer marketing is a combination of old and new marketing tools. It comes from the idea of celebrity endorsement and fuses it to modern-day content-driven marketing strategies. The main distinguishing feature of this end result is mostly collabs between brands and other influencers.
However, influencer marketing does not need to involve celebrities. But instead, it circles around influencers who mostly never consider themselves popular in the offline setup. In a nutshell, influencers are persons who have the ability to affect the buying decisions of others because of their charisma, knowledge, position, and relationship with the audience.
Also, influencers are those who are following a specific specialty with which he or she is highly involved with. The size of an influencer’s followers depends on this specialty or in other words, niche. Often, people fail to see the huge difference of a celebrity and an online influencer. One has to realize that influencers have established very specific and oftentimes enthusiastic audiences.
It’s actually not a surprise these types of audiences follow the influencers – and not necessarily the brand. The reason is that most of the time, people don’t actually care less about the brand. They only listen to what the influencers say. So, if you want to hire an influencer for your brand promotion, don’t impose business rules and practices. If they (influencers) don’t like it, they can simply walk away taking their followers with them.
What is Influencer Marketing?
When we talk of influencer marketing, we are talking about a product or brand that collaborates with the influencer – for marketing purposes. Basically, brands work together with influencers to increase if not improve brand recognition or simply put to strengthen the audience’s recall of the brand or product.
There are a lot of examples on these in YouTube. You might even have stumbled across one of these collaborations. It’s a huge advantage because instead of paying for a 30-second advertisement, you can put in your products inside a 10-minute video.
There’s a simple reason. Unlike famous celebrities, influencers can be anywhere. They can be simple people. They can be anyone. They are called influencers because of the large following that they have within the world of social media. An influencer can be a photographer who posts his photos on Instagram, or a tech expert who reviews gadgets, or a traveler who posts his videos on YouTube or TikTok.
Now, any brand or product can collaborate with these random but popular people to promote their product. A camera company for example can ask the said photographer to feature its latest model. Or a travel company or even an airline company can tap the traveler vlogger to mention the product in one of his or her episodes and more. That’s basically what influencer marketing is all about. The target of the brand isn’t the influencer’s perse but the influencer’s followers – a large number of people, a group of possible clients. If executed the right way, both parties will win.
What’s not Influencer Marketing?
An influencer marketing is not just about looking for somebody who has a large audience, give them money just for the influencer to say something good about your product. This setup is for a viral celebrity. Influencers are persons who have worked hard, started from the bottom, learned, and mastered their craft just to build a large following. They have built a reputation through the type of content that they created. They were focused and passionate about what they are doing so people saw them, that’s they follow these people. They collected organic followers and did not force anyone to support what they do.
Another point is that influencer marketing does not wait for quick results. As mentioned, the influencers built their image slowly through social media. Influencers don’t have to mention your product if it doesn’t help their content. It’s working so hard to the point that the brand becomes a household name. Have you heard those products that are mentioned by brands instead of their generic names? Examples would be having a document Xeroxed (from the brand Xerox) rather than photocopying it.
That’s how influencers are working. It takes time, it takes hardship, it takes effort and it takes a lot of creativity just to reach success. Of course, there are few who get lucky and they are just the result of good circumstances. But generally speaking, influencers are pouring out their passion slowly until they have reached the peak of their chosen path.
It is about acquiring followers who are loyal and engaged. These followers are willing to share everything on their own social media accounts. They are the ones who are making certain content or posts viral.
Taking Advantage of Influencer Marketing
If you want to engage in this type of marketing, you have to realize that you can’t just apply your regular business ideas. You have to learn what these influencers are doing and how they do their craft. You don’t push your own ideas just so they can mention your products. You should just let these persons be. Audiences will know it if the influencer they follow makes a drastic change from his or her regular content. They might even suspect that you had something to do with it and this is where the trouble begins.
Take advantage of this popular internet marketing method by playing with the waves. It may not deliver a quick result but over time, it will bring about something big, A genuine success built on trust and the hard work of influencers.