At our company, United Digital, our major focus is strengthening internet presence for our clients that results in awareness and sales. There are a number of ways to accomplish these results – social media marketing, video production and promotion, website design & development, Search Engine Optimization, branding — just to name a few. Today we’re going to talk more about influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing focuses on specific key individuals rather than the market as a whole. These individuals have influence over potential audience, and the campaign strategy arranges its activities around them. This theory is based on the multistep flow model, that claims a majority of people are influenced by secondhand information and opinion leaders.
The first step is to identify influencers. Influencers are specific to discrete market segments, and are used as conduits to the entire target segment.
- Activists: influencers who get involved with their communities, political movements, charities, etc.
- Connected: influencers have large social media networks
- Authoritative: influencers are admired and are trusted by others
- Active minds: influencers have many and diverse interests
- Trendsetters: influencers tend to be early adopters in markets
- Educators – Find success on helpfulness and insightfulness
- Coaches – Find success on helpfulness and engagement
- Entertainers – Find success on engagement and inspiration
- Charismatics – Find success on insightfulness and inspiration
Influencer content may be positioned as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential consumer themselves; or they may be a third party either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or a “value-added influencer” (such as known journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, etc).
Mentioned in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: Science and Practice, “influence” is less about argument and coercion to a particular point of view, and more about loose interactions between various parties in a community. Influence is often equated to advocacy, but may also be negative, and is therefore related to concepts of both promoters and detractors.
Some brands use influencer marketing to establish credibility in the market, others to create social conversations around their brand, and yet a third popular use is as an implement to drive sales – whether online or in-store.
The value that influencer marketing creates can be measured in multiple ways. Earned Media Value (EMV), track impressions, track Cost Per Action (CPA).
Influencer marketing derives its value from 3 sources:
- Consumer trust: Influencers maintain strong relationships with their audience, who have a certain level of trust in the influencer’s opinions.
- Social reach: Influencers are able to reach millions of consumers through their social channels and blogs.
- Original content: Influencers produce original, and often times effective, marketing content for the brand.
Influencer Marketing comprises of four main activities:
- Identifying influencers, and ranking them in order of importance.
- Marketing to influencers, to increase awareness of the brand within the influencer community
- Marketing through influencers, using influencers to increase market awareness of the brand amongst target markets
- Marketing with influencers, turning influencers into advocates of the brand.
Regardless of context (whether retail or B2B) and the medium of messaging (online or offline, or both) business is working harder and paying more to pursue people who are trying to watch and listen less to its messages. Targeting influencers is seen as a means of amplifying marketing messaging, in order to counteract the growing tendency of prospective customers to ignore marketing.
Let’s talk about your marketing needs. Find me at Joe@UD-a.com.