The Influencer Marketing Trend

Below is an excerpt from an article about the benefits of Influencer marketing, you can read the full article here. Below is just a portion and the benefits offered to advertisers.

When you think of world-class advertising, what comes to mind? A clever or funny 30-second spot during the Super Bowl? How about a full-page spread in Vogue’s September issue? Or is it a sexy commercial starring the most sought-after celebrity in Hollywood?

Times have changed, and so has the definition of effective advertising. When is the last time you even sat down and read a magazine cover to cover? And doesn’t everyone DVR their favorite shows now so that they can blow through the commercials, since they feel like an intrusion? And when you see a celebrity hawking a product, especially when it doesn’t seem like a natural fit, don’t you find yourself thinking more about why they need the extra cash than whether its something you want to buy?

The old model of advertising is broken. Why? Because it’s too crowded out there. As Tony explains at Business Mastery:

Ten years ago, on average, it took a person four exposures to an ad before they took action – meaning if they had an interest within four exposures, the average person would follow through, get the information, make the purchase, whatever. Today that number has multiplied by four. It now takes 16 exposures before the average person takes some form of action.

Now, when you think of the expensive marketing and the competitiveness of it, where is marketing today? It’s everywhere, it’s on people – it’s on their pants. It’s on bananas, is it true? It’s everywhere, and as a result, you ignore it. When you’re online and see those banner ads, do you even see it? No.

This is why influencer marketing has emerged so quickly. It falls into Tony’s idea of creating “raving fan customers” that will evangelize your brand and share the message with their followers. These individuals with enormous audiences can make you stand out from that crowded advertising space and bring massive value to your brand.

While it’s still in its nascent stages, influencer marketing quickly proving to be one of the most effective (cost- and conversion-wise) social strategies for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In fact, recent research found that 63% of marketing professionals with influencer strategies already in place are expanding their budgets this year. And 32% deemed influencer campaigns “essential” to their marketing strategies, while 41% said they have garnered more success in influencer campaigns than more traditional advertising tactics.

So just why is influencer marketing rising to the top? And how do you go about aligning yourself with an effective influencer? Here’s what you need to know to effectively leverage it for your brand.

Authenticity is a rare commodity. Think about it: When you see a commercial touting the “easiest weight-loss solution in the world,” is there a single bone in your body that believes them? Or what about an ad for a shampoo that makes your hair thick and shiny; how likely are you to buy into it? All the hyperbole and Photoshopping has made us increasingly wary, and with good reason. But this is precisely why influencer marketing has become so effective.

Influencer campaigns are inherently more organic than the more traditional advertisements, primarily because influencers are seen as thought leaders and even as role models. By investing time and energy into cultivating their audience and connecting with their following, these influencers have become trusted sources. In short, people listen. So when an influencer highlights a product or service, it comes across as a genuine recommendation. This level of sincerity is key for digital and mobile-minded marketers, especially when it comes to appealing to younger generations who don’t like to feel like they are being marketed to. Customers crave authenticity, and that’s what they get with influencer marketing.

There’s not one single standard pricing model when it comes to influencer marketing. Some influencers will collaborate with your brand simply because it helps them build their brand. A vanity url and some free product or experiences can be offered in lieu of a monetary payment. Other influencers will agree to performance-based pricing model, where the amount you pay is based on the number of clicks and amount of engagement (likes, shares, retweets). And still others will opt for a “flat rate” pricing, where you pay per post or per video.

While some may be confused by this wide variety of pricing, it’s nothing a little research can’t fix. And besides, this range allows you to find what you are most comfortable with, and what you think will be the best model for your brand.

But whichever you choose, it’s bound to be more affordable than traditional advertising. In fact, a recent survey of 100 U.S. marketing pros by Bloglovin’ found that on average, 36% spend less than $5k per campaign and 24% spend less than $10k. That means that more than 6 in 10 marketers are spending less than $10k per campaign; many media buys have a minimum of $25k+! Only 6% of influencer campaigns are in the $75k to $100k range, and those are likely for large national brands.

It’s 2017, so probably don’t need to explain the importance of social media marketing. As you know, social media can help drive massive traffic to your site, can create a stronger connection between you and your customers, can boost your site’s SEO, and can generate earned media coverage.

But even more than this, there is a certain kinetic energy that builds around your brand when you are buzzing through the veins of social media. Whatever platform it is – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat – when you are relevant in social media, you become relevant to the customer.

Influencers can help bolster this electricity around your brand. They can give you access to a more targeted demographic, grow your social media following, drive SEO value, and add a new breadth of content that ultimately gives more dimension to your brand.

Influencers are thought leaders, so when they tout your product or service, people listen and engage, which can also bring a sense of community to your brand – which can be difficult to do if you don’t have a strong regional, offline presence (e.g., brick-and-mortar stores, industry events). That feeling of community then allows everyone can collectively experience the vision you are trying to put forth, and in some cases, adopt it as their own so it becomes a shared vision.

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