Influencer Marketing has gained a lot of steam recently, and we’ve seen a lot of Keyhole clients use the tool for measuring them recently. It can often also be called Advocate Marketing, depending on who plays the role of influencers.
The impact of influencers can be considerably huge for brands, to the point that sometime it becomes a lifeline to their survival of brands. So exactly what is influencer marketing, and why should you make use of it as well as manage it effectively?
Influencer Marketing – The Basics
Influencer marketing is causal term from the word “influence”, which the oxford dictionary defines as this:
“The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.”
In marketing context, one could take this as the capacity to have an effect on an individual about a set of competing brands, and transform the brand’s share of debate into share of market.
Influencers can mean a lot of things depending on the situation.
A person can influence others just because he or she admires a brand and often talks about it through his or her owned medium (e.g. blog). Many times, influencers are people with authority within a particular group of people who share common interest.
Thus, a brand can use influencer marketing to reach its target audience and equally impact them through these important individuals.
Why Use Influencer Marketing?
There are several reasons why you may want to consider influencer marketing over other marketing and advertising channels.
Whereas advertisements sometimes put people off and thus make it difficult for brands to reach their audience, influencers often command high attention from their audiences. [If we had inserted a banner ads on the right side of this blog, would you have noticed them? Likely not. But when someone you know recommends a product personally, you’re more likely to be influenced by this information. According to a McKinsey study, “word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.”
Like other channels, there are costs associated with influencer marketing — often an endorsement fee is paid to the influencer to promote or write a review about a product. This cost is often comparatively cheaper than other forms of advertising. Influencer marketing also allows brands to reach narrow niches they’re looking to target, unlike broad channels like TV and radio, which adds to the efficiency and effectiveness of campaigns.
Finally, influence is determined by several factors, and contextual influence is often more important than simply the overall reach of a person. If you’re a marketer looking for influencers, be sure to pay attention to an influencer’s relevance before partnering with them in your marketing efforts.
The Social Media Professor
- Aurora Meyer, University of Missouri Adjunct Professor
The Multimedia Journalist
- Samya Ayish, CNN Reporter and Social Media Producer
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