THE LOWDOWN ON INFLUENCER MARKETING.
THE LOWDOWN ON INFLUENCER MARKETING.
Influencer marketing. It’s both a term and method that seemingly appeared overnight carrying with it the seismic shift that would ripple through the social media sphere.
I’m sure by now we’ve all seen our favourite influencers sporting sponsored posts on our Instagram feed, or the announcement of affiliate links in the description boxes of our favourite YouTube videos. Influencer marketing has become the new go to for franchises, start ups and everything in between but why is this the case? And how does it work?
Forbes has noted that "Millennial's are currently the largest consumer demographic with about $1.3 trillion in buying power as at the end of 2015." The under 25 demographic is the engine of the social media machine and as a result has caused great shifts in what and how brands advertise. Forbes goes on to say that "Millennial's in large part don’t watch TV and don’t care much what mainstream celebrities have to say about products or services. They trust their social media tribes and peer-to-peer advice the most." And this brings us to the coveted role of Influencers.
Influencers are widely defined as people who consistently post online within their chosen niche.Some operate on a full time basis and others on a part time basis but all remain doggedly consistent to the point of gathering a dedicated following.Many influencers utilise their following across multimedia platforms and treat each follower as if they were a friend, allowing each to peer into their lives through the windows of cyberspace in a way that grows rapport and a sense of community and arguably most importantly, trust. If you were to ask the average millennial how they viewed their favourite influencers, a vast majority would say
they saw them as friends, those they can watch or listen to, to pick them up when their down, those that share their world view and those they can relate to in a way simply unattainable when looking up a celebrity in comparison. Influencers are in a very unique position in the sense that they have the following of a traditional celebrity and so can generate the number of views to their content needed to sustain a consistent income. However, are slightly more detached from the constraints that come with being a celebrity and this freedom allows them to create a platform in which they can say or do anything and it is this that makes them so relatable and "real."
The 2018 Chatter Matters Word of Mouth report detailed "83% of participants stating that word of mouth recommendations influence their purchases." This is only amplified by nearly 20% of all purchases made being a result of a Word of Mouth recommendation. Word of Mouth has continued to be one of the leading forms of marketing and just as the digital age has taken off and the traditional forms of print marketing beginning to be laid to rest, it has nestled itself nicely in the very centre of the new digital era.
When you combine this with the power now held by the social media influencers it seems almost like a "no brainer" to cash in on this new form of marketing as it almost guarantees the boost of brand reach, recognition and sales.
So how does it work? A brand with a new product or service would begin to scout for an influencer with a following that shares the same interests as themselves and this can often be a lengthy task. Influencers at large, tend to come by the boatload meaning that sifting through endless search results for the influencer with the desired amount of followers and reputation can seem daunting. Despite all this however, the right choice has the potential to slingshot the sales and trajectory of a brand in a very short space of time. Negotiations between the brand and influencer would then begin resulting in an agreement as to how many posts are made, how often, what type of posts are created and for how much, would be reached. After this point the influencer is left to create and the brand left to reap the rewards.