What is Influencer marketing? It is when someone who is considered an ‘expert‘ in the field, has a high reputation market your product. These people may also be considered popular in certain markets and may then be seen as a knowledgeable source. Influencers typically have a sway over the things their followers buy. They influence by example, more so than using word of mouth to explain why someone should buy the product.

What does this all mean?

What does it mean to use influence over word of mouth? Well, it means that these people are not strictly saying “you have to try this”, “you’d like this”, “you need this”. Instead, they are simply showing off how they use the product. You may notice when certain celebrities or other people who have a large following to promote certain products or brands on social media. This is sort of like a celebrity endorsement. We’ve written an article to explain the difference between advocate, ambassador, influencer and relationship marketing, if you like to know more.

laptop and smartphone showing instagram

Who Is An Influencer?

As mentioned above, celebrities are big social influencers. They are not the only ones, though, bloggers, Instagrammers, Youtubers, and other social media stars can be very influential to people. These people are seen as having valuable opinions to their followers. Their influence is more genuine and authentic to their followers.

Influencers are usually specialists in a particular niche and have already earned a high level of trust with their followers, their fans trust their choice of endorsements and in fact someone will easily attract attention by using the products the influencers have endorsed. In many scenarios influencers do agree to a contact with the brand they tend to affiliate themselves with, but its not just a simple matter of signing an agreement contract. Influencers will affiliate themselves with brands that do reflect their own choices or opinion so as not to alienate their followers.

What Is the Purpose of Influencer Marketing?

With global ad fraud traffic on the rise, the pursuit and the demand for pure and true organic growth is always growing. We live in an age where people adore celebrities, media personalities and people of influence. Thanks to the internet and in particular social media, people have live updates and gets to follow their role models do what they do best. Their choice of brands, what they like to do, activities they do engage in and their opinion on different subject matters does matters a lot.

making business decisions

It’s here where influencer marketing comes in or let’s say its here where marketers or brand producers get to take advantage of this. Influencer marketing refers to the promotion of a product or an idea through the use of a person of influence. They can influence the decisions of hundreds and thousands of people.

The Foundation of Influencer Marketing

The very foundation of influencer marketing or where it draws its approach is this; it’s very easy to influence a person or group of people who are already influenced by a certain person. For example, lots of famous music celebrities have ton of followers on their social media platforms and if they get to endorse a certain brand it will surely have common ground among their followers.
Influencer marketing is identifying personalities who have potential influence or opinion over potential buyers and then goes on to orient marketing activities around such individuals. A good example of this is when various authors or book publishers took advantage of Oprah Winfrey’s celebrity status and the large viewership she enjoyed on her t.v shows and used her to promote their books and it wasn’t a surprise that their books were sold out.

How Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing uses key leaders to drive a brand’s message to the intended target market, and for this reason brands tend to associate themselves with personalities who lean most towards their objectives. Influencer campaigns are meant to tap into the existing market or community of engaged followers and you have probably seen this through famous bloggers and YouTubers who actively advertise market brands to their followers.

Influencer marketing conforms to a popular business law that states that the marketplace will always adhere to the opinion of an influencer without any rejection, a law that makes influencers be a prized assets among market brands. Influencers enjoy a solid following from social media platforms and they do make a notable impact in their online communities, these individuals play the role of journalists, content writers, entertainers and advisers and are normally connected to a network of other popular individuals who are also regarded as influential.

influencer posting on social media

Whenever an influencer posts an update it will most definitely be viewed and read by many people and it’s here where business benefits does lie. And if these personalities do speak on your brand or idea, then your brand will definitely reach out to the followers.

Influencers Are Not Limited

Unlike other traditional methods of advertising, influencer marketing is quite powerful and to a large extent, it does influence the purchasing decision of customers. But please note that influencer marketing is not just limited to celebrities or people of influence, it can also be done by a brand’s regular customers. After having an amazing experience of using a certain product, a customer can recommend it to his or her friends making the product a popular brand.

So Is There a Influencer Marketing Software That Aids the Whole Process?

There are influence marketing softwares that are designed to bridge the gap between brands and influencers, some of the popular platforms include TapInfluence and Famebit influencer marketing app. What these platforms do is to connect your brand with influencers who will then market the brand to their followers. These platforms and software analyze your brand, research on its niche and then link the brand up with an influencer who affiliates with that market niche, creating an amazing brand awareness approach.
business automation, growth, marketing, linking, social media

The Ups and Downs of Influencer Marketing

There are plenty of awesome things associated with this type of marketing. Some that you may think of right away is that it can be inexpensive. Really the only things you may spend money on is providing some sort of incentive to the influencer. Usually, this is a free product or discount. Or you may choose to supply the influencer with some inventory to give out to people.

For example, a makeup artist may receive a sample of makeup to show off in a tutorial, and they may receive a few other samples to give to their followers. Just as an athlete may receive some sports drinks to hand out to fans. Depending on how much product you give to the influencer, things could get expensive. But, overall, it’s a less expensive way to market your product in general.

makeup products

A downside could be the unpredictability of the influencers. Unlike traditional marketing, it’s hard to predict the actions of an influencer. If the influencer is going through some sort of hardship or has a downfall it may impact how potential customers view your product. A business must be prepared if damage control is needed after a negative fallout with an influencer.

In conclusion

Influencer marketing is one of the innovate approaches used to market various products and services and according to research, also just one of the many referral marketing strategies. The influencer marketing trend is set to become a $5 to $10 billion market in the next 5 years. What’s your game plan?

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Posted by Megan Mosley

Megan Mosley is a writer for Referral Rock. You can find her poking around online or tweeting about marketing, small businesses, SEO, or even sharing funny memes. She is addicted to coffee and uses it as a fuel to keep her going through the day.