Most studies show that the return rate from influencer marketing can be anywhere from two dollars for every dollar invested, up to 20 dollars return, with an average ROI of $6 to every dollar spent.
But what is influencer marketing and how is it different from other marketing strategies? To understand influencer marketing, we’ll have to go back to something similar, older and familiar: the celebrity endorsement. A celebrity is someone who has reached a level of fame and popularity, and he (or she) possesses certain admirable qualities that the public strongly perceives. Qualities that are important for marketers.
When a celebrity endorses a product or service, the aim is that the celebrity imparts his admirable qualities to the product or service. This is by virtue of association. An example: basketball great Michael Jordan made a name for himself as a champion sportsman which he could have surely achieved wearing any brand shoes. But when he was hired by Nike to endorse a new line of shoes (Nike Air), the shoemaker not only created a successful sub-brand (Air Jordan) but also greatly improved its image as the athletic shoe choice of champion athletes. The endorsement lends Nike great credibility, even creating a notion that their shoes give athletes a competitive advantage.
Employing celebrity endorsements figure prominently in traditional large scale marketing campaigns. But the shotgun approach of targeting the widest audience (through TV spots and print ads), the high production and operational costs, and of course, endorser’s talent fee, make this marketing strategy too expensive and available only for corporations with deep pockets.
Then came the internet. The internet has become the great equalizer of our age. Now anyone and everyone are equally capable of speaking to a wider audience. Celebrities, experts and media personalities do not have a monopoly on giving credible recommendations anymore. The sources of perceived credible opinion have widened so dramatically when simply being very likable became a qualifier. Think about how the Kardashians are famous for being famous.
It’s really when social media took the form we have today and when they have rooted themselves in our daily lives that created the perfect environment for marketing. Not only has our person-to-person networks exponentially expanded but our reasons for connections known. It’s a popularity contest at its most basic and social media made it quantifiable. Individuals that have the most following became people of influence and the data that shows why is available for all to take advantage of.
In this environment, the influencer is born. He is a combination of a self-styled marketer, endorser, agent and a bit of a role-model. Companies want their products and services preferred by the influencer because his (or her) preferences become the preferences of his millions of followers. It’s targeted marketing that’s far more accurate than any traditional methods can provide. An influencer can also be seen as a direct representative of a larger market, a market that’s easily identifiable thanks again to the data provided by social media.
How the influencer influences his followers’ buying behavior vary, from the outright endorsement of a sponsoring product to subtler techniques akin to product placement in an influencer’s life. For example, it’s no accident how a certain brand drinking water finds itself in the hands of Kylie Jenner when she was “caught” taking an early morning jog. Sometimes this is all it takes for a company to completely sell out its inventory in the shortest amount of time.
Influencer marketing is revolutionary in how it seems to skip the whole marketing and advertising machinery that’s usually required in doing traditional marketing through traditional channels. It’s also revolutionary how accurate its targeting is, how it produces comparably high-impact results, and how very cost-efficient it is. Also remarkable is how it can operate simpler requiring minimal administration and setup. Smaller independent firms and marketing organizations are now taking a larger share of clients from big advertising companies.
The influencer marketing will only continue to be more prevalent as internet access is fast becoming a necessity comparable to other basic utilities. It’s undeniable that influencers are the new shapers of public opinion.
Note: Top Coach Consulting is a leading online provider of online marketing solutions. Among the products and services offered are various marketing campaign packages utilizing influencer marketing combined with other online marketing techniques. For more details about Top Coach Consulting’s services, visit https://topcoachconsulting.com, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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