What is Influencer Marketing?

August 23, 2018
photo by @flowerhitsthebigtime


One of the toughest challenges that brands face is figuring out how to capture the attention of today's consumer, whose focus is constantly being pulled in several directions.  In the past, brands have relied on traditional advertising such as TV, billboards, and magazine ads to attract potential buyers. Millennials, however, are increasingly uninterested in traditional advertising.  In fact, many young adults avoid ads altogether. 47% of Millennials report using ad blockers online.  Instead of regular television, they opt for ad-free streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, or they record shows and fast-forward through commercials. This means that the majority of ad content created by brands is not being seen by a huge portion of the population. The question for brands, then, becomes how do we connect with buyerss who have tuned out traditional advertising?

Influencer Marketing is the answer to brands looking to reach todays tech-focused audiences.  It is an innovative marketing strategy that meets the social media generation where they are by connecting to them through social media influencers.  Influencers are everyday people with large followings on social media whose audiences trust them and aspire to emulate them.  Unlike traditional celebrities, the influencer lifestyle is attainable and relatable. Their followers feel a personal connection to them, often because they interact with them directly online.  Influencers are likable, authentic, and- most importantly- trusted. In fact 49% of consumers now rely on influencers when making purchasing decisions.  In other words, the audiences lost through online ads can be regained through influencer marketing.        



Influencers cover a wide spectrum of interests, aesthetics, and audience sizes.  When first starting out with influencer marketing, many brands initially focus on larger influencers, in the hopes of reaching as many potential customers as possible.  This strategy is similar to that used with traditional television ads. However, over time many companies find that campaigns are most successful when working with micro influencers.

A micro influencer is someone with less than 100K followers on social media.  These are people who in their everyday lives are artists, musicians, chefs, parents, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and embody every walk of life imaginable.  They treat social media as a side-hustle, rather than their primary focus, but they are very good at it. They do not promote products that are not relevant to them and which they sincerely like, and their followers know this.  Consequently, they are perceived as more trustworthy than celebrities. In fact, non-celebrity bloggers are 10x more likely to influence purchases than celebrities.

Micro Influencers do not see their partnerships with brands as business transactions, but rather collaborations. They desire real relationships with the brands, often through exclusive event invitations (which they can then post about) and perks such as free products. Despite often working for product alone, these influencers generate gorgeous, unique, and personal content for brands. Additionally, their content is conversational.  Audiences do not simply see influencer ads, they engage with them.

Because working with micro influencers is so inexpensive as compared to creating traditional advertisements with professional models, designers, and photographers, these campaigns offer a huge return on investment.  A recent study found that for every $1.00 spent on influencer marketing, brands earned an estimated $6.50 in media value.

Today's shoppers have a high expectation for authenticity in advertising and brands must rise to meet this challenge by collaborating with individuals who can share their message creatively and personally.  By engaging in influencer marketing, brands can connect with modern buyers, save money, and get great results.

To find out more about running an influencer marketing campaign, contact Obviously.


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