Updated: Jun 2
A GENERIC DEFINITION:
Influencer Marketing is a hybrid form (use of old and new marketing tools) of reaching your target audience and potential buyers via social media and digital outlets through influential people or popular accounts.
Usually, an influencer, blogger, content creator, key opinion leader, or influential person comes up with content specifically for your brand to use in your marketing materials. They then share some or all of it with their followers and/or audience as a review, opinion, or recommendation in which they are seen as consumers or third-parties.
For some perspective on what other authorities in this industry consider a good definition of Influencer Marketing, we think THIS is a good article to read further.
WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS:
Influencer marketing campaigns are collaborations between brands and influencers, where influencers act as content creators and brand ambassadors for a set amount of time in a mutually-beneficial exchange of goods, money, or services. Once a small space with just a few key players, influencer marketing on is on pace to become an $8 billion dollar industry by 2020.
Influencer marketing removes the barriers of traditional advertising because customers are introduced to your brand from a trusted source (the influencer) on an authentic, casual platform (like Instagram). When an influencer recommends a product or service on their channels, it can come across as a trusted recommendation from a friend. This is obviously hugely advantageous to brands — it gives them direct access to target markets for just a fraction of what they’d pay for a traditional ad.
From a brand’s perspective, these campaigns usually have a five-step process:
Step One: Choose Your Target Audience
It's important to know exactly who your brand or business is targeting and trying to reach. By knowing who your “ideal client avatar” is, you can find who best impacts and influences them.
Step Two: Select the Right Influencers
You will need to find influencers, bloggers, or content creators that will create and disseminate content that impacts your brand, business, or your buyer’s decision-making process.
Step Three: Build Relationships and Engage
This step involves building relationships using simple actions such as following, sharing, and linking influencers.
Step Four: Monitor Opportunities
Once you have negotiated and on-boarded your chosen influencers you begin to monitor their social media for the magic to happen.
Step Five: Measure Results
Keep track of conversions, use of discount codes, and clicks to trackable links to measure the effectiveness of the influencer and the campaign overall. It also gives you the opportunity to learn, tweak, and optimize your strategies so that it succeeds and benefits both your brand/ business and the influencer you’re collab-ing with.
WHAT IT IS NOT:
It’s not just about finding an influential person with a large audience and telling them you’ll pay, or offer them exposure in return for saying good things about you. Influencers, bloggers, and content creators have taken a very long time building their brand and growing their audience. They will be serious when it comes to who they collaborate with and will instinctively want to protect the trust they’ve developed with their audience.
A couple of other things to note about influencer marketing:
It’s not a one size fits all situation or about looks and numbers
When it comes to approaching influencers it's important to tailor your approach and not generalize how you look for, offer, and use different influencers. I am sure you’ve heard the phrase “never judge a book by its cover.” this is something that can be applied when it comes to influencers. You shouldn’t just look at the amount of followers they have and assume that more followers means better influencer. There are different types of influencers all with specific jobs attached to them.
Additionally, it’s definitely not a quick payout. It’s similar to other forms of marketing on social media, where you need to create authority, credibility, and leadership within your industry.
There are many benefits that a brand or a business can gain from implementing influencer marketing into their communications strategies. Here are a few:
1. It helps to build trust and credibility with a targeted audience.
2. It increases brand exposure, awareness, reach, and reputation.
3. It can help boost your SEO.
4. It helps drive quicker customer acquisition and conversions.
5. It adds another level of authenticity to all other branches of marketing
Now that we’ve given you the bread, peanut butter, and jelly for the sandwich, you should be clear on what influencer marketing is, isn’t, and how it can be of benefit to you.
If you want to learn further details about how to incorporate influencers into your business be sure to download our booklet:
About the Author:
Katherine Pereda is the Founder and CEO of The Influencer Grapevine, a boutique Influencer Marketing agency based in South Florida. Her clientele list ranges from luxury houses such as Gucci, Roberto Coin, Acqua di Parma, Vacheron Constantin, Jitrois Paris, Cartier LatAm, and Jimmy Choo to beauty, home design, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness companies like Maisons Du Monde, Tampax + Always PURE, Home Made Simple by Procter & Gamble, Target, MintedLeaf CBD, and Agnes & Dora. Katherine has also worked extensively in experiential marketing for WantedDesign, New York Fashion Week, DesignMiami/, Glossier, Create & Cultivate, Miami Swim Week, Funksion Fashion Week, and Art Basel Miami. Now specializing in talent management, and brand campaigns, she helps influencers and businesses from all over the world gain exposure, connections, and collaborations to build lifelong relationships.