Influencer Marketing: What is it and How does it Work?

Read about Influencer Marketing – what it is, how it works and how to become an influencer 

Whether your objective is to grow website traffic, build brand recognition, make sales, or something else, building an audience gets progressively harder as you become more successful. At some point, you’ve already caught the interest of a large enough group of people that increasing the size of that group is no easy task. How do you keep the momentum going? Turning to influencer marketing is one thing that can help.

What is Influencer Marketing?

The internet is a crowded place. There’s plenty of room for everyone, but as more brands and businesses establish an online presence, it’s harder to make sure that your own presence stands out. One way to amplify your own voice is by partnering with people who can inject some fresh new thought into your marketing efforts. These people are influencers. When you partner with an influencer, you get to present your existing audience with some exciting new content, and at the same time, introduce your brand to an entirely new audience.

There are three different types of influencer, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks.

#1 – Celebrity influencers

Celebrities tend to have huge audiences, but the level of engagement they have with their audience is typically low. It’s usually only very large and successful brands that can afford a celebrity influencer. Most brands will work with one of the other types.

The use of celebrity influencers is most apparent in the fashion world, with celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Irish model Vogue Williams, and models Gigi and Bella Hadid. All manner of brands —Givenchy, Tommy Hillfiger, Reebok, Nike, Citroen, Evian, and others—are using celebrity influencers to showcase their products to the public.

#2 – Micro-influencers

This group is typically comprised of bloggers and social media X who have fewer followers than the average celebrity influencer, but have a much higher level of engagement with their audience.

This means their audience is more likely to share content and make purchases based on the thoughts and opinions of the influencer. So, even though the potential audience is smaller, the higher level of engagement makes micro-influencers a good prospect.

These people can also make great brand ambassadors—people who love your products, who use them often, and who are willing to tell everyone about them. This kind of partnership is common in food and lifestyle blogging, and there are many examples of successful influencer relationships of this kind.

One example is Emily Leary, the food, parenting, and lifestyle blogger of A Mummy Too, who regularly partners with a wide range of brands, including Dunelm, Onken, Avios, and others.

 

#3 – Industry experts

These are people who work within your own industry, and who are established thought leaders with their own audiences. These experts usually have their own fairly specific industry niche within which they work, so it’s important to make sure you choose someone whose own niche is relevant to your brand.

Why does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing can be  successful when it’s well-executed. Here are two important reasons why it’s such an effective method.

A – Influencers have their own built-in audience

First is that influencers by definition already have their own substantial audience. And in particular, micro-influencers and industry experts tend to have audiences with a high engagement level. That means more likes and shares, and more exposure.

B- Customers respond to authenticity, not advertising

The second major reason that influencer marketing is such a great prospect is that all-important concept of authenticity. Audiences know the difference between advertising and genuine content, which means that authenticity and honesty are of prime important when you’re working with an influencer.

An influencer who genuinely loves your products and is willing to say so can be beneficial to your brand.

 

What’s the value of the influencer market?

According to a recent article on Yahoo! Finance Instagram’s influencer market is worth $1 billion but it has to be measured. Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, produced a useful cheatsheet on how to gauge return on investment.

 

How do you become an influencer?

There are 4 key steps and I think step 1 has the greatest impact.

 

#1 – Show passion or interest

You need to write about an area that you find really interesting!

 

#2 – Strong domain authority

If you have a blog, a strong domain authority (that’s a score based on the site’s age, popularity and size. Online tools, such as Moz, calculate which sites are of the highest quality and status) that’s at least 30 is key.

 

#3 – Be reliable

There is absolutely nothing worse than an influencer letting you down at the last minute or not sticking to the brief. So it is important to work with those who are going to deliver the goods. If we notice quality work, with back links, strong images and copy already on an influencer’s site, see a campaign that has worked really well that they’ve been involved with, or are simply informed they are a dream to collaborate with, we are more likely to contact them.

 

#4 – No typos

It’s boring but true, better grammar impacts our perspective about people. With tools such as Grammarly, there is no need for sloppy work, so it is far less likely an agency will reach out to an influencer whose platform is littered with misplaced apostrophes and spelling errors.

 

The evolution of influencer marketing

And in case you think that influencer marketing has just started or a new phenomenon, check out this infographic showing the evolution of influencer marketing. It mainly features well-known characters and celebrities and in the new tech-era addresses micro influencers too.

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