What is an Influencer and what is Influencer Marketing?
It’s pretty straightforward really, someone who has influence. The most common mistake people make is thinking that everyone with a good follower count on a certain social media network is an influencer. You can usually spot one by looking at their engagement. What separates them from those of us with lots of friends or colleagues who often reply to our posts is that their followers couldn’t live without that person’s posts and will most likely remind them of that fact in response to anything they put out. Influencers can be in the position they’re in from succeeding in a number of different careers but the most commonly found ones are modelling and entertaining.
Influencer marketing is the art of tapping into the loyalty of the vast audiences these personalities have created to advertise your content or product, whether that involves featuring them in an advert you are creating and publishing yourself or paying for them to spread the word themselves.
Why does it work so well with millennials?
As mentioned above, influencers commonly earn their position at the top of the social community through the entertainment or modelling industry. Instantly that tends to render them incredibly relevant with a younger audience, but the best influencers are the ones who go the extra mile to ensure they are as in touch with their hordes of fans as they possibly can be. How do they do this? By being as relatable as they possibly can.
Millennials love to see themselves in their idols, it’s a fact. After all, if you’re travelling to school every day on a crowded public bus service, how are you supposed to be able to connect with someone who reminds you on a daily basis that they spend their time driving Ferraris to the nearest beach. You can’t.
The cleverest of influencers understand this and whilst they could live the life of luxury should they want to and may even secretly be doing so, they don’t shout about it, and those are the ones with the faces you want to be plastering all over your work. Those are the ones with the audience that might buy into something they don’t even want or need just because they were told to simply because of the great relationship they have with their fans.
This obviously excludes the more powerful celebrities. We don’t expect to relate to the Kardashians, so to see them with any less than 17 Lamborghinis and a diamond encrusted hot tub would actually be a surprise and probably quite unsettling. Needless to say, they still carry a huge deal of influence.
Always do your research…
Whilst it’s true, some influencers carry enough power to talk their audience into buying almost anything (within reason, obviously), that doesn’t mean just anyone with a large amount of fans is going to be the right person to help you reach a new audience. For example, if you’re selling clothes the chances are you’re going to be looking at models to get behind your brand, but for the most effective results, you’ll need to have a dig through their posts and see what they’re wearing frequently. Not what they’re paid to wear frequently, what they actually choose to wear without the need for a cheque. If the content they’re posting to advertise you can blend into the type of content they would happily be posting daily, not only will you see better results, but you’ll keep the influencer happy because they won’t be worried about annoying their audience with something horrendously irrelevant.
The real reason why research is important however has got to be because of the common misperception that ‘the worst thing that can happen is they say no’. This is not the case, it can get a lot worse very quickly. Always keep in mind that influencers continue to thrive from posting interesting and funny content, and do you know what makes funny content? A brand contacting them asking them to post something ridiculously unrelated to what they do, that’s what. Don’t be that brand.
*Samkingftw publicly embarrasses Sochoix who try to offer him a makeup box…*
They’re making HOW MUCH?!
Whilst most of us prep our Instagram posts, dreaming of the day we’ll finally see those names turn into numbers (which is now considerably easier given that a recent update changes names to numbers at 4 likes as opposed to 10!), these guys can be cashing cheques big enough to buy your house before they’ve even hit the share button.
In an article published by Elle it was stated that the most influential users on the popular photo-blogging app can command fees of up to $300,000 for a single post. Elle kindly then converted this into the currency of popular items showing that for one Instagram post they could afford 400 iPhone 6S Pluses, 12 houses in Detroit or 22,455 Uber rides!
Three examples of influencer marketing
Direct Line challenged Alfie Deyes, one of the UK’s most widely known vloggers, to get ready for his test and pass it in a week. He tweeted about the process several times and uploaded a video to his second channel which accumulated over 400,000 views.
— Alfie Deyes (@PointlessBlog) January 15, 2016
Alfie’s girlfriend Zoella has an even larger online following and All Things Hair decided to take advantage of this by partnering with her for a sponsored video. With over 3.6 million views it was clearly a good decision, although probably not a cheap one…