The importance of influencer marketing is all the rage nowadays. Discover how social media personalities pitch different products and services to their followers.
In 2010, only "celebrity"-status individuals were judged to be influential. A decade later, although celebrities still play a part, the term "influencer" can now refer to anyone with a large social media following who is deemed to have "influence" over their followers. A celebrity's post may reach a wide audience, but these individuals may not necessarily be engaged with your brand. Working with influencers who share your values and exemplify your brand can be more advantageous, as it is preferable to reach a smaller group of individuals who are more likely to purchase your product or engage with your brand, as opposed to thousands of individuals who do not fit your target audience.
To comprehend why influencer marketing is so crucial for organizations, it is essential to understand what it entails. Influencer marketing is, in its simplest form, when a social media influencer shares content with their followers about a company — this could be a service, a product, or a campaign. The objective is to collaborate with an influencer whose audience will likely relate to and be interested in your product/offering. Influencers' recommendations are frequently held in high respect by their followers, and associating with them will help your company acquire traction. Using social media influencer marketing may be quite advantageous because it enables you to access a niche, interested audience and enhance your brand's profile. Let’s take a closer look at the history and importance of influencer marketing.
The Oxford Dictionary describes an influencer as "a person who can influence prospective customers of a product or service by promoting or recommending it on social media." As a result, influencer marketing is a potent weapon for corporations, enabling them to utilize well-known, aspirational personalities to influence the purchasing decisions of others. In recent years, influencer marketing has significantly expanded as a concept. But as its popularity grows, so does controversy. The profession has been partly tarnished by the criticism that influencers promote unrealistic and impossible goals. During the Covid-19 pandemic-related shutdown, this issue became glaringly obvious.
While most of us simple people were staying at home, staying safe, and preventing the spread of the virus, a handful of "influencers" were jetting off to exotic locales and posting pictures of themselves sunbathing and enjoying life on social media! This type of conduct and open contempt for the epidemic did not endear them to their followers and drew substantial unfavorable attention. Influencer marketing will continue to produce a fantastic impact on businesses, regardless of your opinion. The goal is to utilize it in a way that aligns with your business's and brand's values and the reputation you desire. Here is the history of influencer marketing.
In the history of advertising, it is stated that both the Queen and the Pope advocated for the widespread use of medicine. They represent the earliest known influences. In the 1760s, King George III of the United Kingdom gave his royal seal of approval to the pottery of Josiah Wedgwood. Mr. Wedgwood utilized the King's endorsement to market and sell his wares and increase brand recognition.
In 1905, the Turkish cigarette business Murad Cigarettes employed the influencer marketing strategy of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Mr. Arbuckle was an actor in silent films. He is notable in the history of influencer marketing since his work has helped corporations recognize that celebrity endorsements are highly successful.
Coca-Cola's influencer marketing platform began in 1931 with the introduction of Santa Claus imagery in ads. Santa, with his white beard, grandfatherly figure, and red clothing, captivated consumers' attention and moved them emotionally. There is a common belief that Coca-Cola invented Santa Claus. Coca-Cola claims that they did not invent Santa Claus, but they were instrumental in creating the figure as we know him today.
The Marlboro Man was portrayed by a variety of actors to make smoking appear fashionable and macho. We could associate the word macho with the Marlboro Man. Despite the fact that Marlboro Man had numerous social and physical concerns, he was one of the most influential people at the time and promoted the Marlboro brand until 1999. It is attributed to Marlboro Man that cigarette sales increased from $5 million to $20 million.
In the 1970s, Quaker Oats' iconic commercial for Life cereal featured a fictional youngster named Mikey who was difficult to please. The commercial, which won a Clio in 1974, aired for 13 years. TV Guide ranked it as the 10th best commercial of all time in 1999.
Cindy Crawford has one of the most recognizable faces in the world, and during the 1992 Super Bowl, Pepsi launched a commercial featuring her. It is among the most memorable advertisements. Cindy Crawford repeated her Super Bowl ad participation in 2018 with a second appearance.
Old Spice produced one of their best commercial campaigns, Old Spice Man, a decade ago. Prior to the release of "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," Old Spice was perceived as a brand for older guys. The purpose of the campaign was to make the brand entertaining and relevant to younger guys, and it was a success. The 30-second advertisement featuring former NFL star Isaiah Mustafa aired a few days before and the day after the Super Bowl. It soon went viral. The sales of Old Spice doubled, while internet traffic increased by 300%.
It is unknown who the first social media influencer was, but the emergence of social media has unquestionably altered influencer marketing. Currently, 60% of Instagram users credit the platform with product discovery. In social media influencer marketing, not only superstars support companies, but friends and other individuals also play a crucial role. In 2010, Amazon connected to Facebook so that users could see what their friends were purchasing.
Social media stories are another medium for influencer marketing in the modern era. For instance, according to a 2018 Instagram survey, 39% of respondents are more interested in a brand/product after viewing its Instagram story. In a world when "influence fatigue" abounds, stories save the day by being brief, genuine, and opening the door to a two-way conversation.
Understand the importance of influencer marketing strategy below:
One of the primary reasons why marketers utilize influencer strategies is to increase brand awareness. Due to their enormous following, influencers have the ability to improve brand exposure by reaching a wide audience with a single post. If their followers are genuine and they have a high engagement rate, it is likely that their followers will recognize and consider the recommendations and items they post. When brands collaborate with influencers, it can help them shine and attract new followers, allowing them to acquire greater awareness and traction.
Brands engage in an influencer marketing platform for many reasons, and each influencer campaign should have a unique purpose. According to a recent study conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, 37% of respondents utilize influencer marketing to boost brand awareness, making it the most popular objective. Adding a new demographic to your client database, increasing your audience, or just leveraging influencers to promote your brand are all excellent reasons to incorporate influencer marketing into your strategy.
Because influencers are viewed as a third-party, impartial source, consumers tend to trust their content and suggestions, which can have an impact on the number of people who purchase your products or services. This is the greatest power of influencers: the faith of their followers in their judgment. Collaboration with reputable and relevant influencers will bolster your brand's reputation and credibility. Therefore, when people share their opinions about your brand, it will be perceived as a genuine endorsement, allowing you to establish a loyal following of brand advocates.
It is crucial that any brand's social media channels contain engaging, diverse, and unique content in order to maintain their relevance and continue to build an engaged audience. Creating content for and about followers (user-generated content) is a developing trend that you should capitalize on if you work with influencers. According to research by Influencer Marketing Hub, 31% of marketers engage in influencer marketing because of this type of content. Utilizing the material produced by an influencer on your feed may be extremely useful as they give the ideal endorsement that you can publish on your own platforms as the perceived value of UGC increases.
Identifying and communicating with your target audience is a critical part of any marketing strategy. Influencer marketing is a terrific technique to reach your prospective clients. However, you must conduct sufficient research. Verify that they are relevant to your company, have real followers that are members of your target audience, and that their image aligns with your brand's. Choosing an influencer whose followers are part of your target audience enables your campaign/message or product to be viewed by those who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer and engage with you — which is, of course, the ultimate purpose of an influencer marketing strategy.
It might be difficult to increase the number of likes, comments, and shares on your social media posts, especially if your company is new to the market. Working with influencers may help you generate truly interesting and original content, which will result in greater channel engagement. When influencers share information about your brand on their accounts, their audience will engage with it, and if they believe the influencer they like also likes your goods, they may also engage with you.
If you desire to conduct a giveaway, partnering with influencers is an excellent method to increase your audience's engagement and expand your reach. A 2017 analysis of over 100,000 influencers indicated that engagement rates decline as the number of followers increases, which is why marketers should not disregard micro-influencers. On Instagram, influencers with less than 1,000 followers have an average engagement rate of 7.2%, while influencers with more than 100,000 followers have an engagement rate of just 1.1%. Consider this while selecting influencers to work with and weighing the rewards of partnering with them.
Collaboration with influencers can also improve your search engine rankings by expanding your audience. If an influencer posts a direct link to your website on their blog, this will likely increase your site's traffic and, consequently, your online rankings.
Especially if you are a new brand, it can be challenging to convince people to try your product or service and to acquire repeat customers who trust and value you. A 2018 survey titled The ROBO Economy revealed that 82% of smartphone users consult their devices before making in-store purchases, and 45% read reviews prior to making a purchase. Influencers can help drive more customers to your products and services since they have already earned the confidence of their following. If they are observed supporting your product, their audience is more inclined to purchase it. 22% of respondents, according to new data from the consumer intelligence research platform CivicScience, had made a purchase based on a social media influencer's recommendation.
The popularity of influencer marketing continues to rise, and this trend will not cease any time soon. In 2018, Google received 61 thousand searches for the term "influencer marketing," and it was discovered that 92% of individuals perceive influencer marketing to be effective. Collaboration with influencers can promote brand awareness, reputation, audience engagement, and conversion rates. Numerous brands have benefited from their assistance with their social media marketing strategies, which have helped them expand their audiences and achieve their business objectives.