Influencer Marketing – Marketing Schools
Many people have grown cynical toward advertising. The say it shows up in every conceivable place, makes ridiculous claims, plays to our most base instincts, and crowds out things that are more interesting and essential. In a world that is saturated by advertising, it is hard for them to trust any of the claims that marketers make.
This cynicism is often eroded when recommendations for products come from friends or family members. A trusted recommendation comes with more credibility than an advertisement. That is why, according to Netpop research, 79% of social media users use these sites to find information and recommendations about products.
Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy. This market influence typically stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. Marketing to an audience of influencers is similar to word of mouth marketing, but it doesn’t rely strictly on explicit recommendations (See also Word-of-Mouth Marketing).
Influence can come from a wide range of places. Any person, group, brand, or place could potentially be an influencer. For example, celebrities are often used to market products because they are highly respected and highly visible. When a celebrity uses a product, the maker of that product gets exposure and the respect that comes from a celebrity endorsement (See also Marketing with Celebrities).
Bloggers have become important influencers because they are seen as authentic and have loyal followings. When a blogger recommends a product it seems more trustworthy than traditional advertising. By using influencers, companies can avoid much of the cynicism and skepticism that is directed at straight forward marketing messages.
This form of marketing is unique because it appeals to the needs of the influencer rather than the customer. Companies must give influencers respect and form open and organic relationships for the influencer to endorse a product. This might include giving the influencer access to a soon-to-be released product, or inviting the influencer to visit the company in person.
The only major drawback of influencer marketing is that it isn’t as controllable as traditional marketing. While some influencers only add to the positive image of a product, influencers who encounter legal trouble or fall out of the public light might negatively impact a product’s chance of success. Marketers must prepare to deal with negative fallout if the influencers they use misrepresent or reject their products.
According to the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (http://womma.org/), brands are mentioned 3.3 billion times every day in America. People talk about everything from snack foods to industrial machinery. Any business, regardless of the industry they are in, can benefit from creating a conversation around their products. (See also Buzz Marketing)
Small businesses might use inexpensive online strategies to connect with influencers. A new restaurant can encourage patrons to write reviews online. A landscaping company could set up a helpful gardening blog. Influence is just as powerful at the local level as it is on the national level.