The hottest marketing trend of 2017, which is set to continue to increase in popularity next year and beyond, is influencer marketing. In basic terms, it means getting a popular person to promote a product or service via their seemingly casual mentioning of it via social media, television or radio interviews or other such media that reaches a large number of people.
It is those people (usually fans) who are influenced by the influencer (popular person) who are the true target of influencer marketing.
A good – if exceptionally blatant – example of this type of marketing is professional famous person Kylie Jenner, who last year posted an Instagram picture of herself wearing a pair of Fashion Nova jeans alongside a message revealing how much she was ‘obsessed’ with them (and also, handily, where you too could buy them).
It caused something of a stir at the time as the Fashion Nova brand were a rival of her equally famous sister’s own brand of jeans. Ultimately the controversy, which was mainly confined to the celebrity gossip websites and magazines, brought plenty of welcome attention to both brands.
Influencer marketing doesn’t always have to be so contrived though. A former footballer who has become a brand in himself, David Beckham, will often be pictured seemingly minding his own business in the front row of a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game, though note how prominent the watch he is wearing will appear in most of the pictures. That’s a Tudor watch, for which Beckham officially became a brand ambassador for earlier this year.
Not all influencer marketing involves professional famous people like Jenner and Beckham. There are other ways other than hiring ‘brand ambassadors’ or starting celebrity feuds between so-called rival denim manufacturers. The common denominator though is that it always involves using people who have influence over a significant number of the demographic the product or service is targeting.
A company selling protein shakes, for example, might only need to send a few free samples of their products to a bodybuilder who has a few thousand followers on their social media pages. The bodybuilder then simply mentions that they have enjoyed or even just tried/used the company’s product, and that product is instantly and directly exposed to thousands of interested people.
Using specific types of people for specific types of products is a much more efficient means of advertising as the company knows the people who are being advertised to are already interested in the product.
It can be very cost effective too because aside from your Jenners and Beckhams, whose market influence is so large they can demand huge sums for their endorsement, (Jenner’s jeans post currently has over 2.6m likes), the influencers will not usually put the company’s finances in danger in return for a passing comment or even a direct recommendation.
It is easy to identify a popular famous person and see the value of their endorsement, but it is a more intricate affair to identify those more focused individuals who perhaps don’t have the mainstream fame of a major celebrity, but do have enough of a social media presence that their words will have a significant impact on the demographic a company wants to target.
It is important to not only identify people whose following is focused around the subject matter of the service or product the company wants to promote, but also to ensure that person’s following is legitimate and includes plenty of genuine engagement.
Someone might have thousands of followers, but are those followers transferring into views, likes and comments? Are they on the right social media platforms that best suit the company’s customers?
These are all important variables when identifying which influencers can help a company target their specific customer demographic.
If you require expertise on how to identify market influencers or help with other kinds of PR and digital marketing, then contact Tailor Made Media who can provide the ideal solutions your company needs.