What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing?

My definition is: ‘Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.’

Additionally, I would like to really define the word ‘Influence’ too.

‘Influence is the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If someone influences someone else, they are changing a person or thing in an indirect but important way. Influencers also understand the best connections between their audience and the brand’

Importantly, I believe when working with influencers, brands and companies must let go and allow influencers control of the narrative to preserve the authenticity of what is being communicated. ( Authenticity is KEY )

Influencers usually have a distinct voice, focused on their thought-leadership, experiences, tastes and lifestyles too. 

Here’s why I decided to write about Influencer Marketing. Simply because I have seen first hand, over the past twenty years how badly the traditional marketing channels, generally pushed by Multinational Advertising Agencies have been declining and getting disrupted by social media networks. And, the more prolific use of ad-blocking technologies, consumers bypassing and skipping ‘ad breakers’ entirely and how newspapers and Cable TV news networks have been engaged in Fake News – especially the last two years.

In fact, now the Internet has really disrupted the entire Advertising Industry and the days of having a very expensive Ad Agency based in Manhattan, which has fancy boardrooms, great views and a team of creative staff, PR folks, media producers and strategic teams is simply not needed in 2017 and beyond.

When you have a YouTuber or Instagram Social Influencer with some 20 million followers, 15 million, one million—that’s more powerful than any of the other traditional media outlets. And, more trusted too!

In fact, E-commerce giant Amazon has even quietly launched a “social influencer” program in hopes of recruiting stars and Influencers from: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to tout products on its site. Check it out here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/influencers

From my 25 years in the marketing and advertising industry, I firmly believe that 2016 was the first year in history, that Influencer Marketing truly went mainstream and dominant with the smartest and brightest marketers today. E.g. Nike, Amazon, Pepsi, IBM, P&G, etc. In fact, according to Adweek in 2015, about 84% of US Marketers were exploiting this strategy. But, today it’s even more dominant and growing.

 

I have long stated, ‘Consumers and people want to do business with you (an Influencer) because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you to help you get what you want.’

 

Over the past five years especially, whether you live on the East Coast or West Coast, I have watched well-intentioned customer relationship management (CRM) efforts that have been focusing on ‘internal processes’ and objectives have largely failed to serve the most important stakeholder – The customer.

Benefits Of Influencer Marketing today:

If these stats aren’t enough to persuade you or sway you about the importance of influencer marketing, take a look at how it can benefit your business now:

  • It’s the most cost-effective and efficient channel for marketing
  • It helps you gain access to a larger audience base
  • It’s an effective way to win over a new target audience
  • It’s more authentic than traditional advertising
  • It’s effective for building trust
  • Influencers spur greater social engagement rates for brands
  • According to McKinsey and Forbes, branded content through Influencers is known to increase conversions at twice the rate of paid advertising 
  • It builds brand awareness up to 40% higher too!

Customer experience (CX) leaders continue to drive an ‘outside-in’ focus into their efforts by defining the desired experience, understanding customers’ behaviors and needs, focusing on data rather than systems, and thus, trying to building a customer-centric culture.

I would just like to ensure what I mean by Influencer Marketing.

Today, people live in ‘social communities’. If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, you don’t have to be an 18-year male starting freshman year at University of Texas.

In fact, the social community of the Dallas Cowboys for example, is far broader and deeper than just young college age men. In fact, with todays databases and social media monitoring and listening tools, it is very easy to do a ‘deep dive’ into ‘passions and interests’ of all Dallas Cowboy fans and research the reach, relevance and popularity of multiple categories to highly target your ‘best’ segments.

For example, a simple report today can now produce information like: TV Shows and Music shows that Dallas Cowboys have huge demographics in. e.g. George Strait, Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, Eminem, etc.

If you are looking to expand and implement Influence Marketing or simply learn more, I suggest you explore these companies and learn more about the tools, results and best practice to start with.

I recommend you review these companies and advocates: SocialRank, Influence People, TopRank Marketing, Dynamic Signal, Influence & Co, Socialfly NY, The Mobile Media Lab and Viral Nation to name a few.

I recommend you check out their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Periscope and Vine media channels especially. Importantly, if your primary focus is ‘teenagers’ – Instagram is the most popular channel among trendsetting teens. BUT, YouTubers are a hugely powerful segment too.

One of my personal favorite Influencers in business today, is the extraordinary Brendon Burchard. Brendon’s personal development videos have now been viewed over 100,000,000+ times, primarily on Facebook and YouTube. Plus, more than 1.6 million+ folks have taken one of his online business courses or video series too! Check him out at: https://brendon.com/ 

Picture: Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach, a 3-time New York Times bestselling author and one of the most-watched & quoted Influencers today. Brendon even has over 100,000,000+ YouTube video views! 

Check these stats on why Influencer Marketing is a MUST:

  • Businesses are making $6.50 plus for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
  • Many successful YouTubers can earn millions from their videos
  • Leading Department store chains now partner with fashion bloggers to promote new trends, ranges and initiatives to publicize their stores
  • Engagement is the new impressions (Sorry TV). It matters as much, if not more, than someone’s reach.
  • The aim of Influencer Marketing for brands and companies needs to be – to identify the influencers in your niche and make them work for you by promoting your brand.
  • Research highlights, 75% of marketing and communications professionals say verified web traffic of an influencer is the most important criteria when selecting an influencer
  • FACT: The increase in influencer marketing 2014-2017 mirrors the decrease in print advertising
  • According to Google, 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities
  • Another sobering statistic from Google is that 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality
  • Over 70%+ of Influencers prefer to work directly with the brand as opposed to an Ad Agency or Network.
  • Companies that have more engaged employees using social media effectively have 5X higher shareholder returns over five years

 There are main types of influencers today:

  1. Talent or Celebrity Influencers
  2. Macro Influencers
  3. Micro Influencers
  4. Power Platformers

Approximately 80% of fashion micro-influencers prefer Instagram – with a massive engagement rate too!

88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned more about one of the fastest growing trends in marketing and advertising today. If you have a ‘tribe’ and want to be even more influential, I recommend you must show up daily and in life, take actions, values and principles that will be watched by the world. Teach your ‘tribe’ to think about problems and opportunities and stretch their knowledge, skills and abilities.

My research shows that ‘real life’ influencers are passionate about what they are recommending have significantly more buying conversations, and consumers are more likely to act on their recommendations.

Thanks for all your continued support, it sure means the world to me. Visit me now at: geoffdeweaver.com Win the day!

Geoff

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