Forget TV commercials and magazine ads; the newest trend in modern advertising is influencer marketing, and it packs a serious punch. As social media continues to rise in popularity, consumers are looking less to traditional forms of advertisement and more and more to fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions.
People pack their social network newsfeeds with their favorite Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat personalities. These people offer insight, and their opinions are valued by the tens of thousands. And brands are taking note; businesses are creating and fostering relationships with these social influencers, working together in what has become a powerful marketing solution for brands.
A social influencer is someone with an established and loyal following that can help your brand’s potential customers make a buying decision through social networking. These individuals can be bloggers, product reviewers, industry experts, or an otherwise trusted source of information unique to your industry and target demographic. These social influences have built up their personal brand and audience through regularly posting quality content, resulting in a highly engaged and loyal audience. They also best represent the values of the brands themselves.
When brands partner with these social influencers for promotional purposes, they are engaging in influencer marketing. Partnerships vary, but often brands will gift a product or other form of compensation to an influencer, who in turn will share their opinion of that product to their social channels. With the right influencer, it can be an extremely cost-effective way to grow your customer base.
It’s simple – consumers trust the opinion of their peers more than they trust a company advertisement. When a user sees his or her favorite blogger recommend a product, they are more likely to buy that product because the recommendation comes from a source they trust. In contrast to traditional advertising, which interrupts the consumer experience, influencer marketing feels more organic.
When looking for influencers to work with, you want someone whose audience is similar to your target demographic. Find individuals who have an enthusiastic and engaged audience and start engaging with their content, cultivating that relationship. Take the time and effort to determine who the best influencers are for your brand and put a plan in place that ensures all involved parties will benefit from the relationship. The more authentic your relationship with the influencer, the more successful your partnership will be.