The Power of the Influencer

If you’re on any social media platform, you’ve more than likely heard the term “influencer”
mentioned, but you may not be sure what it means. And what does an influencer have to do
with social media marketing? Quite a bit as it turns out.

So, what is “Influencer Advertising”?

Basically, it’s a person that has accumulated a large social media following by posting content
that appeals to a specific audience, area of interest, or topic. Some have a great deal of
knowledge in their field, and some are just purely entertainers; nonetheless, they have a
powerful influence on their followers. Forming strong bonds with their followers, social
influencers typically have thousands (even millions) of followers who listen to their
recommendations on anything from what shave cream to use to the fashion designers and lipstick they
wear. The emotional bond between influencer and follower is more that of friend or peer; therefore, their opinion is highly regarded.

In short, influencers have the power to influence the buying habits of their followers and are
seen as mitigating the growing tendency of customers to ignore more traditional forms of marketing.

Keep in mind, influencers are not limited to the B2C arena; there are countless B2B influencers
as well.

What does it mean to marketers and brands?

Influencer Advertising is simply another form of social media marketing. Brands enroll the help
of influencers that have a strong following, large audience, and credibility to discuss, feature or
endorse products in their social media posts. As a peer-to-peer form of communication, it can
be pretty persuasive.

Frequently influencers can be seen as trendsetters or early adopters, significantly enhancing
their ability to influence followers

Brands reach a large audience base by using the influencer’s reputation and followers to
increase sales and brand awareness. Working with an influencer can have a significant effect
on a brand’s public perception. What’s impressive is that this type of advertising can wear
multiple hats.

It can take the form of an endorsement or sponsored post, a review by the influencer, or a
collaboration with the influencer. You could partner with an influencer to offer a discount or
affiliate code (use “Codexxx” for 10% off) or like competitions/giveaways where brands team up
with influencers to give away their products to the influencer’s followers. This is done via the
influencer creating a post about the giveaway, mentioning the brand sponsoring it, and providing
guidelines such as: “Like this post, follow me and @saidbrand, tag three of your friends in the
comments, share/ share to story.” The key here is engagement, as all of the participants in this
giveaway drive awareness to the brand and influencer—a win-win situation.

Nothing is free- the cost

Most influencers are paid before the campaign starts. Some smaller, less known, micro-
influencers may accept free products or services from you. There is no established fee
structure, and costs will vary based on your budget and the perceived value of the influencer.
Influencers with large followings can fetch as much as six-figure fees.

Due diligence before choosing an Influencer

The key is to find an influencer with followers that most aligns with your brand’s core customers.
If your customer is young women age 25-35, you’ll look for an influencer that holds sway over
that demographic.

Secondly, be sure the influencer is compatible with your brand’s beliefs and values.
Matching your influencer with your brand’s purpose and goals is critical. Poor compatibility can
send the wrong message to consumers.

Look for one that personifies your brand, feels authentic and has a good rapport with followers.
Choose an influencer that is established and has been around for a while. Check their
reputation in depth by going back and researching their past posts. Google them to get more
backstory. The last thing you want is to find out is that they’ve said something controversial in
the past that could damage your brand’s reputation.

So, what’s the verdict?

According to MediaKix, influencer marketing on Instagram is a billion dollar market in the US alone and poised to become a $5-10 billion market globally in a few years. So, it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future

In summary, influencer marketing could be a home run for your brand, or just a small complement to your marketing efforts. It’s a personal choice as to how it fits into your brand’s strategy and budget. But consider – if you’re not doing it, is your competitor?

Is this the strategy for you?

At James Ross Advertising Agency, we can help you create, tailor, and optimize an influencer campaign to meet your brand’s goals. Reach us here to help you with all of your social media marketing needs!