A shift in marketing strategy is taking place before our eyes. As a new generation of consumers is entering the workforce, companies are beginning to adopt new marketing methods. After the internet revolution, businesses can better market their products through multiple avenues all over the world. However, this is both costly and sometimes never reaches the consumers in mind. For this reason, companies are increasingly turning to a new form of marketing – influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing focuses on key individuals that have large reaches in certain segments, hence the term influencer. These influencers are typically those with a large following on various social media platforms. There are two types of influencers: Micro and Macro. A micro-influencer has between 1,000 to 100,000 followers whereas a macro-influencer has more than 100,000 followers. Companies will reach out to these individuals and pay them to promote their product in a post or video.
I know what you might be thinking. Companies have used celebrities to reach audiences for centuries. It wasn’t until Babe Ruth, Lily Langtry, and Sarah Bernhardt in the early 1900s that celebrity marketing was widely practiced. Nowadays, seemingly every celebrity is making a substantial amount of their income in endorsements. What’s the difference? I argue that celebrity marketing is targeted to the mass population. Only multi-million dollar companies can afford celebrities. With influencers, any size company is able to target a specific audience at a fraction of the cost. Even if you are a relatively new company looking for marketing opportunities, influencers are a good way to reach an intended audience.
What does it cost?
As previously mentioned, the cost of an influencer varies on their following as well as final negotiations. However, the following table provides a guideline for the potential cost per followers or views. According to the NY Post, an A-list celebrity can make anywhere between $500,000 to $2 million per commercial. For example, a 30-second advertisement with Kate Upton reportedly cost $1 million dollars. In contrast, an influencer with the same amount of followers as Kate Upton on Twitter would charge less than $5,000 for a single post in theory. From an influencer’s standpoint, there’s not a lot of work copying and pasting a post provided by a company for a quick buck. Influencers are hubs for people that share similar interests, making them the perfect marketing opportunity.
How to effectively market products using influencers?
The more niche your product is the easier it is to find an influencer to target an intended audience. For example, a company specializing in a new portable phone case can use influencers in both the technology segment and influencers who are always on the go. In essence, it is the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing. The consumer feels a connection with the influencer almost as if they know them personally. According to a Nielsen study, 83% of consumers trust influencers over a branded advertisement. If an influencer raves about a product, their followers who share similar taste will also go out and purchase the product. A simple 5-second plug about “never leaving the house without my Product X phone case” would likely reach a more direct audience than a costly commercial. Influencer marketing tends to already be international marketing. Influencers have followers from all over the world. Even though the influencer may be located in the states, they potentially could have a global reach. Another option is identifying the top influencers in other countries. It’s a lot easier for an American company to advertise via influencers from other countries. They can even do it remotely!
As the number of social media users continues to increase, companies have an opportunity to gain exposure to untouched markets. Most social media platforms have analytics that will give a company in-depth information about an influencer's following. This makes it more transparent for companies to identify a potential influencer to partner with. Influencer marketing will play a big part in the future of international marketing; so what is your company waiting for, hire an influencer today and watch your next product take off!