Do Influencers Really Make a Marketing Difference - Part 1
You might be tired of hearing the term “influencer” by now, but it's a legitimate career for many people who have built up a large or not so large following in social media and often opens doors to celebrity reality shows and other media appearances. Influencer marketing isn't a new concept; it's the same basic idea as word-of-mouth marketing, but with a virtual megaphone. What does set influencer marketing apart is the fact that people are actively paying attention to these people and what they promote.
If you stood in the street and yelled at all your neighbours to use a particular brand of dishwasher tablet they'd think you were mad and probably wouldn't pay attention, having not asked you for any information on dishwasher tablets.If you're Mrs Hinch and you did the same thing online to your followers it becomes a message people want to hear. That's the crucial difference between word-of-mouth marketing and influencer marketing – the receptiveness of the audience.If you wanted to tell a friend about a nice restaurant you went to, you'd wait for the topic to come up in conversation, or make the effort to make contact. Influencers don't have to go anywhere or wait for the right moment to make a recommendation – their followers are always receptive to their message.
Not all influencers are your Love Island, Kardashian family, beauty product and weight loss tea variety.There is a growing number of “micro-influencers” who have a smaller following, but who operate within a much more niche market.Here, it's not about volume of followers, it's about why people follow them, what they get from it and the status the influencer holds within that niche.There are influencers in the medical market (i.e. people living with long term health conditions) who promote things which might actually help a symptom or a condition, there are influencers in the cleaning arena, in DIY and in pretty much any niche scene you can think of. It's the internet, so the chances are if you've thought of it there's probably someone already making money doing it.
With the right angle influencer marketing can make a huge difference to a brand or a product even in the B2B marketplace.People are starting to become wary of online reviews after recent revelations that paying for positive reviews is pretty commonplace, but a personal recommendation still holds water even when it is clear it's a promotional activity. If someone you hold in high regard, and whose judgement you trust, recommends something to you then you'll look at that product or service from a positive viewpoint even if you had never heard of the brand before – influencers lend some of their credibility to the product or service.
Finding the right people to be your influencers can even start within your own company. Is there anyone who is particularly passionate about their work, or who has a good reputation within the industry? They might already be influencing people's opinions online and if they have a decent following then half the work is already done.
Join us next time for more insight into influencer marketing and how to manage this channel.
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