Not too long ago, a survey into digital campaigns found that about 84% of marketers are planning on using influencers in their strategies at least once during the next 12 months. In other words, almost everyone is excited about the concept of influencer marketing – but how many companies actually know what it means?
Influencer marketing exists somewhere in the grey space between a subtle mention of a product, and an official testimonial from a celebrity, or someone with “influence”. At its core, it’s all about helping brands to engage with their customers, and develop relationships with people who have gone online to try and find some guidance about a product or service.
Defining Influencer Marketing
If you’re having a little trouble pinpointing the fundamentals of influencer marketing, the best way to imagine it would be to travel back in time to your high school days. If you were in school, and one of the most popular girls in your class exclaimed that she loved her new branded bracelet, you’d be far more likely to run home to your parents and beg for one of your own.
In simple terms, influencer marketing takes advantage of our inherent desire to be part of the “in crowd”. It focuses on getting people who matter to your customers, to convince them that your product is the best around.
Importantly, the people who matter don’t necessarily have to be celebrities. They might be authors of popular books, industry experts, or even YouTube stars. The key to making your influencer relationships work is producing the right content. When you work with a credible influencer to produce content that appeals to your target market, you boost your authority and credibility as a brand instantly.
It’s like borrowing the fame and respect that your influencer has already earned, and applying it to your brand.
Why Influencers Are So Beneficial to Content Marketing
Today’s customers are becoming increasingly more sick and tired of the “traditional” marketing efforts. As your consumers work harder to ignore typical advertising solutions, their trust in the information that they get from social peers, celebrities, and networks has increased. That means that the older solutions for advertising are dead, and today’s brands need to focus more heavily on amplifying their social presence.
By collaborating with established influencers in your industry, you can benefit from a range of fantastic benefits, including:
- A stronger relationship with your customers thanks to their respect for your chosen influencer.
- The ability to reach new communities through niche influencers.
- The option to design more effective and high-quality content for your customers.
- The chance to increase brand awareness and thought leadership through your connections to influencers.
Influencer Content Solutions and Services
Including influencer marketing in your digital strategy can be an effective and cost-efficient way to improve your credibility as a brand, without having to spend years building up trust through various platforms and mediums.
As customers become more focused on developing relationships with the brands they do business with, the collaborations between big brands and influencers will only grow more important. With 47% of online consumers already using ad-blockers, today’s brands can’t afford to ignore the trend.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.