Influencer Marketing is the New Black

A new marketing channel is entering the category and creating a name for itself. Brands now have to work harder to get the interest and attention of consumers, and with the many different channels available, they must be smart about where they invest their money and efforts. Due to the rise of “storytelling platforms” such as Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube, a new marketing channel has emerged and doesn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon.  That channel is Influencer Marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Some readers may be thinking “isn’t influencer marketing just social media marketing?”, and though it may seem that way, they differ because influencer marketing wouldn’t exist without social media. In simple terms, influencer marketing is when a brand or company partners with someone with a following whose opinion in trusted. An influencer can be anyone, but their following is what makes them so influential. That “influencer” then rates, reviews or promotes the product. This comes in the form of a social media post, a video blog or even a discount in honor of the influencer. It is has been called  a “modern day content-driven marketing campaign”. The main difference between social media marketing and influencer marketing is that the latter is the result of a collaboration between said influencer and a brand. Additionally, the influencer is a brand in and of itself. They have created their own following by expressing their likes and dislikes, opinions and personality. They are not just someone who can push a brand; they are the brand.

Why brands should care:

One of the biggest appeals to influencer marketing is the reach the influencer is able to provide. One influencer can expose your product or brand to millions of people that otherwise wouldn’t have seen it, For example, beauty influencer Kathleenlights has over 4 million Youtube subscribers and 2 million Instagram followers. She gained her following by reviewing different makeup products and brands and giving her honest opinions on them, as well as modeling looks using the PR packages she receives. It is clear from her success that she did a great job of telling us who she is and what her preferences are. One bad review from her can send negatively influence buying decisions. The word-of-mouth that results from this kind of influence is what brands should be focused on. To our point, brands are not only reaching a bigger audience, but an audience that is in the market looking for their product. They are ready and willing to buy because they are actively searching for new products in that market that the influencer recommends.

71% Of Marketers Say The Quality Of Customers & Traffic From Influencer Marketing Is Better Than Other Marketing Sources

Selecting someone to represent your brand is a heavy decision. Therefore, it is important to take the time to select the right identity. While there is now a plethora of influencers readily available, not all of them will fit your look. It is important to remember that influencer marketing is not like a celebrity endorsement. These influencers have created their own identities and their following came to them because of it. It isn’t about finding someone to say good things about your brand, but someone who found your brand to fit in with their lifestyle that can share it with their audience. Influencer Marketing is not a “one size fits all” approach. It takes time to find the right people to fit your brand identity naturally and effortlessly. Essentially, brands should take the time to market to influencers who have made their own identities clear. Therefore, making it easy to see if their likes and dislikes fit seamlessly with the brand.

There are no tricks when it comes to this kind of channel, and that is because it is so transparent with what it is. Having a well-trusted influencer that meshes well with your brand express their interest and opinions can either really benefit or hurt a brand. An influencer can increase engagement, strengthen a brand message through an authentic endorsement, and reach an audience that is in the market for that product. There is already an established trust between the influencer and their followers, so buying decisions are vulnerable to influence.

On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing .

Here is an example of beauty influencer Kathleenlights, as she reviews her favorite drugstore brand products that i’m sure positively benefited in sales after this was released.