A few months ago I started a new job at Acorn: The Influence Company after working with their social listening provider.
I was familiar with the process of measuring campaign results, but if you had asked me how to do influencer marketing, I would have been a poor replacement for Google.
Months later, with several articles under my belt, I still get blank looks from peers when I tell them what Acorn does. The term ‘influencer marketing’, even in the marketing world, is not mainstream. Does that mean it’s unsuccessful? Research suggests otherwise.
Google Trends shows how influencer marketing is closing the gap with video advertising, and has already surpassed print advertising, in searches.
Studies conducted on the efficacy of influencer marketing all come to the same conclusion: “59% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2016.” (Tomoson)
‘Influencer marketing’ might not be a mainstream term, but it’s proving to be an effective solution for brands around the world.
How Does Influencer Marketing Reach The Right Audience?
Influencer Expertise Grows A Niche Audience
Most influencers are not celebrities who can attract global attention for anything they do. Micro influencers, for example, specialize in particular topics, which attract a likeminded, targeted audience.
Influencers of all audience sizes generally pick campaigns that fit within their topics of expertise such as Cooking, Tech, Fitness, or Parenting.
The content they produce needs to continue the authentic experience they have always delivered to their audience. In turn, the audience closely follows, and engages with the influencer’s content.
So, if a trusted influencer suggests a product, the endorsement alone has a better chance of creating a new customer for your brand, than any other advertisement.
Content Without The Catch
In the past, brands employed devious tactics to trick consumers into clicking on their ads. This failed to encourage sales, and destroyed consumer trust.
Influencers organically grow their audience with valuable, thought-provoking, content – without the catch. Whether it’s a recipe, home improvement ideas or mere entertainment, their audience gets something each time they interact with an influencer.
Thanks to the new FTC guidelines, influencers must disclose when their content is sponsored by a brand, leaving no reader in doubt of its status.
Sponsored Influencer Content Is Acceptable
Consumers accept sponsored content because there is a level of trust between the influencer, and the consumer. Unlike ads, which are paid for by big (and often impersonal) companies, sponsored influencer content is published by someone who is relatable – a real person.
Next Steps: How To Find The Right Influencers For Your Next Marketing Campaign
I frequently write about how to identify, and recruit, the right influencers for your next campaign. The process is time-consuming, and complex, but not impossible if your brand is willing to assign a few team members to the task.
Most brands have the budget to run an influencer campaign but not as part of their in-house marketing team. That’s where influencer agencies come into play.