How Influencers Have Transformed The Marketing Industry
Ten years ago, the term ‘influencer marketing’ didn’t exist. Today 17% of companies will spend more than half of their marketing budget on influencers. Influencer marketing allows brands to deliver their message straight to their audience through the voice of someone they trust and admire. As customers become more skeptical of advertisements, learning how to leverage the power of influencer marketing isn’t an option; it’s a necessity. In this blog, we will go over how influencers have transformed modern marketing and reap all of the benefits influencer marketing offers.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Simply put, influencer marketing is the use of influential people as a means to promote your product. Choosing the right influencer for your brand can significantly boost engagement, drive sales, and increase awareness. Isn’t that true for any type of advertising? Yes, but on a much lower scale. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to get your audience to trust you and attract new customers. 92% of consumers around the world trust recommendations by influencers more than any other form of advertising.
When Did Influencer Marketing Start, And Where Is It Now?
You may think that influencer marketing rose along with social media platforms, but according to Forbes Magazine, it could even be traced back to Ancient Rome, when the most successful gladiators endorsed products! However, it wasn’t until the 1930s when marketers started exploring the full potential of influencer marketing. One of the most popular and interesting examples of influencer marketing is the popularization of Santa Claus by Coca-Cola. At the peak of the great depression, Coca-Cola used this beloved and cheerful figure to build trust and drive sales. Using Santa Claus as an influencer allowed Coca-Cola to instill hope and joy in a time when people were miserable. The success of this campaign inspired other brands to use fictional characters at the core of their marketing strategy, and that is how modern influencer marketing began.
After witnessing the extensive benefits of having a popular and trustworthy figure as a brand representative, marketers decided to take it one step further by hiring celebrities. Unlike Santa Claus, celebrities are real people with a huge following, and with well-crafted campaigns, they can sway their mass audience to buy a product. As influential as celebrities can be, marketers quickly realized that their often luxurious lifestyles are unrelatable, which led them to a new type of influencer: reality TV stars. Cue The Kardashians; whether you love or despise them, their influence is undeniable. Shows like ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ or ‘The Bachelor’ follow real people, making their audiences perceive them as more authentic and relatable than other celebrities. Their show put the Kardashians in the spotlight, and their clever use of social media to give people an even deeper look into their personal lives made them one of the most influential families of the decade. In fact, at only 21 years old, Kylie Jenner became the youngest self-made billionaire. Were her Kylie Cosmetics products revolutionary? No, but her influence was.
Before the rise of social media, the people with influence could get the most visibility, like celebrities or reality TV stars. However, with the popularization of platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and more, ‘normal’ people with highly engaging content saw their followers rise quickly, leading us to the new era’s influencers.
What Is An Influencer?
To enter the world of influencer marketing, you first need to understand what qualifies as an influencer. Essentially, an influencer is a person who can influence the purchasing decisions of their audience. The power of influencers comes from their organic growth and the profound interest their audience has in their content.
Take Emma Chamberlain as an example. She started her Youtube channel in 2017, she has over 10 Million subscribers on the platform, owns a coffee company, and partnered with renowned brands like Louis Vuitton, Levi’s, and Calvin Klein. She accomplished all of this in only four years. How? She has loyal followers that trust her and are eager to consume their content. Influencers like Emma Chamberlain have created a personal connection with their followers by speaking directly to them and showing them parts of their lives that, typically, only close friends would see.
This intimacy and authenticity lead followers to form a deep connection with the influencer, which, in turn, leads to them trusting their recommendations and wanting to hear more of what they have to say. What better place to promote your brand than somewhere where people are willing to listen?
The Types Of Influencers
Influencers range from photographers, bloggers, Vloggers, artists, athletes, and many more. Their specialty or background is not what makes them influencers, but the pull that they have on their audience and the engagement they create. There are six main categories of influencers: Mega, Macro, Mid-tier, Micro, and Nano. We will be breaking down each of them below.
- Mega influencers (celebrities): Mega influencers are the people that have over 1 million followers. A mega influencer can charge over $10k per post on Instagram, and they are the hardest influencers to reach out to! Paying over ten thousand dollars for a single post is a considerable investment, but because of their extensive reach, it will boost brand awareness almost immediately. However, the engagement rate for mega influencers decreases as their followers go up. It is estimated that the engagement rate of mega influencers with more than 10 million followers is only 1.6 percent, but that is still 160,000 people engaging with your content!
Macro influencers: These are the influencers that have a following between $500K-1M. Promoting your product in one post will cost somewhere between $5K-10K. Macro influencers are professional social media personalities. They have a niche audience that loves their content. They cater towards them, so if you find a macro influencer whose audience aligns with your target audience, they might be worth investing in.
Mid-tier influencers: This is likely the most common type of influencer. They are big enough to be considered highly influential (100K-500K) but small enough to engage with their audience frequently. The cost per post for a mid-tier influencer ranges between $500-5,000.
Micro-influencers: Micro-influencers have a following between 10K-100K. These are considered the most relatable type of influencer because their content tends to be more organic and less polished. While their reach is not as extensive as the influencers above, their engagement is usually through the roof. The biggest pros for hiring a micro-influencer to promote your product are: reaching a niche audience who fully trust the influencer and a low price per post. According to ANA, over 82% of consumers are likely to buy something recommended by a micro-influencer they follow, and a post by a micro-influencer can be as low as $100!
Nano influencers: Nano influencers have a following of 1K-10K. They are seen as regular people by their followers instead of influencers, which makes their engagement higher than any other type of influencer. While their reach is small, if you use them correctly, they could boost your brand. Additionally, the cost per post of a nano influencer can be as little as $10!
What You Should Look For When Hiring An Influencer
Now that you know the types of influencers you can partner with, and how much it would cost you, we will be giving you some pointers on what to look out for when choosing the right influencer for your brand.
- Relevance: When looking for a potential influencer for your campaign, the first thing to consider is how relevant their content is to your brand. The purpose of using influencers is to make your promotions feel more authentic. It might be tempting to choose a macro influencer to promote your product, but if their content is not relevant to your target audience, the chances of meeting your marketing goals will plummet.
- Audience data: Social media platforms give influencers a comprehensive breakdown of their audiences, who they are, where they are from, their age, engagement, etc. Make sure you request the media kit from prospective influencers to ensure that you can reach your target audience.
- Audience engagement: The influencer of your choosing may stun you with a large following, but is that following translating into high engagement? When looking to hire an influencer, make sure that they provide you with their engagement rate.
- Reputation: Once you promote your brand with an influencer, you become linked to them, for the good and the bad. If you promote your brand with a controversial influencer, it will likely affect your brand’s reputation.
- Price and budget: As you can see above, influencers can come at a hefty price. Influencer marketing should play a key role in your marketing campaign, but it shouldn’t eat up all of your budget. Keep in mind that one post by a micro-influencer costs as much as ten posts by a nano influencer. So, manage your budget wisely!
- Their interest in your brand: Ideally, the influencer you choose should be familiar with your brand to make promoted content more genuine. Having an influencer already familiar with your brand allows them to tell their experience with your product in a more authentic way that is bound to capture their audience’s attention. Moreover, you want someone interested in more than a paycheck. If you hire an influencer based solely on their popularity and have no real connection to your brand, their posts will come off as inauthentic, which will hurt the trustworthiness of your brand and the influencer.
- Consider brand ambassadors: The role of an influencer in a marketing campaign is to post about your brand once or twice to boost awareness and drive sales. Influencers are undoubtedly a powerful tool, but you could also partner up with influencers and have them become a representative of your brand. The most significant benefit of hiring a brand ambassador is that they already love your brand, and by making them your partners, you can increase sales and boost engagement even more. If you are interested in knowing more about brand ambassadors, go to BrandChamp, a marketing software that helps you find the perfect brand ambassador for you.
How To Get Started With Influencer Marketing
- Build a relationship: Once you have decided on the perfect influencer for your campaign, build a relationship with them. Introduce yourself and your brand and tell them why they would be the ideal fit for your campaign. Building mutual trust with the influencers you work with is vital to creating a successful campaign.
- Set expectations: Before you make any commitments, make sure you set expectations for your influencers. Let them know what the campaign requires of them and that they will meet your expectations.
- Market to your influencer: When you reach out to an influencer with an offer, market yourself to them. Make this project an exciting opportunity rather than just another paycheck. This will reflect on the quality of their content and will leave the door open for another collaboration.
Influencer marketing has been around for centuries, but the digital world has given influencers more power than ever. People follow influencers because they value and trust their opinions almost as much as they trust a friend’s. Marketers know that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing, and influencers take word of mouth to a whole new level. No matter what industry you are in, using the right influencer to promote your brand will skyrocket your sales. It is an opportunity no business can afford to pass on.
Now that you know the importance of influencer marketing and getting started, go ahead and make some Power Moves!
For more tips, advice, and strategies on all things marketing and branding, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs.
Author: Julia Prieto