Influencer Marketing

What Is Influencer Marketing?

By Misha Talavera

Think of influencer marketing as an extension of word-of-mouth

According to Google, the search volume for “influencer marketing” has grown by 5000% per month since 2015.

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  1. What is influencer marketing?
  2. How can it help you?
  3. How can you succeed with influencer marketing?

What is influencer marketing?

It’s is a marketing strategy, focusing on partnering with key individuals to promote your brand message to their online audiences. Rather than buying an ad to reach people, you instead sponsor an influencer to spread your message for you as an extension of word-of-mouth.

Take for example this YouTube video, sponsored by FanDuel. Jimmy Tatro — one of the top YouTube influencers reaching college-age males — created this comically relatable video featuring a high-flying NFL player, a frustrated commercial director, and the FanDuel app.

The result? Over 400K targeted organic views and a 5:1 Return On Investment for FanDuel. See the full case study here.

Influencer marketing has many applications. It can be leveraged by both B2C and B2B marketers across industry verticals. It can be used for product launches as well as long-term sponsorship strategies. It can include celebrities and celebrity influencers like Bethany Mota, King Bach, and Taylor Swift, as well as everyday fans of your brand, otherwise known as brand ambassadors.

A new marketing philosophy

Influencer marketing is not just a new marketing channel: it’s a new marketing philosophy.

It represents the shift from ad-powered marketing to people-powered marketing. As consumers shift their attention from TV to social media and are increasingly using adblockers, savvy brand marketers are scaling their influencer marketing to break through the noise, build trust, and generate better returns.

Influencer marketing is based on the fact that humans are hardwired to connect with and listen to people. By partnering with a trusted individual, who then shares her personal experience with your brand, you generate more and better attention. Nielsen found that 92% of consumers trust online word-of-mouth recommendations, while only 33% of them trust online banner ads”.

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How can you benefit from influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing offers 3 major benefits:

  1. Tremendous reach: Influencers command a powerful stage with audiences that rival the reach of national TV commercials.
  2. Fresh, creative content: By partnering with the right influencers, you can build a predictable pipeline of powerful social content.
  3. Consumer trust: Influencers have the reach of a celebrity while maintaining the intimacy of a best friend. They answer YouTube comments, exchange Snapchats with followers, and hold regular meetups to meet their followers in person. Partnering with the right influencers can generate the consumer trust and credibility you need to build a brand in the 21st century.

As a result, many brands are seeing notable, positive performance: according to Adweek, brands that invest in influencer marketing earn on average a 6.5x Return On Investment, measured on earned media value. Not surprisingly, some estimate that 84% of marketers plan to run influencer marketing programs within the next 12 months.

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How can you succeed in influencer marketing?

The biggest mistake we see marketers making is approaching influencer marketing like a short-term media buy. This flawed approach values transactions over relationships, scripted salesy content over authentic content, and broad reach over targeted engagement.

Instead, we recommend that you approach influencer marketing with the following 4 best practices:

  1. Focus on authentic relationships: Influencer relationships are at the heart of influencer marketing. When an influencer likes and trusts your brand, they will produce better content and yield better results.
  2. Give influencers creative freedom: Influencers know their followers better than you. Forcing a script on them risks making the program inauthentic and strained. Instead, let the influencer shape the creative process based on your brand guidelines.
  3. Select influencers based on fit, audience demographics, and engagement: Most marketers pick influencers using little to no data. Instead, we recommend that you pick influencers who are already talking about your brand or related topics, whose followers are in your target audience, and who have high engagement and growth (instead of reach).
  4. Run your influencer marketing in-house: Going through a third-party vendor will increase your fees and prevent you from building a direct line of communication. Run your influencer marketing in-house to earn the greatest ROI and establish your own relationships.

 

If you are interested in running influencer campaigns, schedule a demo of the NeoReach platform today.

This article was written by Misha Talavera

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