What comes to mind when someone says “influencer” or “influencer marketing”? At first, the concept may sound frivolous, but it’s become a serious business. Years ago, it was limited to celebrities or well-known people, but today’s market is highly saturated with prospects.
If you’re thinking about what it means to be an influencer, wonder no more. Quite simply, it’s someone who can influence others by collaborating on endorsements and product mentions. It’s an interesting concept, considering the psychological effects.
Influencer marketing works because people trust other people, especially if they can see/prove something.
What’s the Value?
Most of us know that Instagram is a popular platform for influencer marketing. Rightfully so, as 71 percent of U.S. companies use it for marketing. Influencer marketing is so big that Business Insider has projected it will reach $15 billion in worth by the year 2022.
Influencers have many ways of appealing to their targeted audience.
Using their expertise in a variety of industries like fashion, clothing, travel, and fitness (to name a few), they influence followers by showcasing, reviewing, or displaying their sponsored products or equipment.
But it’s not all up to Instagram. Other networks like Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok have different sets of rules, influencers, and appeal to different demographics. What does all of this mean for your business and its bottom line? One survey says that 89 percent of marketers noticed an ROI increase of 11 times due to influencer marketing.
Here’s What’s Trending
Given that video is how many of us receive information and ads nowadays, Snapchat is leveraging that movement. Although the platform faces competition from Instagram, it’s “Discover” channels section is reaching audiences in the millions, on average, each month.
Instagram also has big plans for this year. Aware of Snapchat’s potential, the company’s IGTV platform is working on ways to promote influencer and original content better. Smart marketers have already noticed IGTV’s potential as an extension of Instagram’s sheer reach and power.
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How to Capitalize
Snapchat is bound to announce a revamp of its Discover platform at some stage. That could also mean a new slate of shows and potential work with prominent influencers to create new types of content. The changes are a clue to companies looking to increase their presence and ROI by merely leveraging partnerships with influencers on the rising platform.
As some may have noticed, Instagram has already been doing experiments to its IGTV platform, making it appear more like its competition. If you’re planning on using Insta or its rising platform, be sure to have a strategy, research the types of influencers for your niche, and set aside an appropriate budget.
The process of building a strategy for influencer marketing must be thought out. Research is the first step. Start with a single network that matches your target demographics, then expand into another channel later if results are suitable. It’s important to note that your company or brand should already have a familiar presence on the network of choice.
After finding what fits best, the phase should move into goals and messaging. That includes monetary goals and budgeting. If proper funds aren’t planned, it can be a time-waster to discover that their services are out of your range once it’s time to launch.
Be sure to develop a timetable as well, since influencers are likely working with other brands and projects.
As with any campaign, constant contact and goal refinement should be a priority. It’s unlikely that an influencer will have access to your data, so finding an efficient way to track it and interpret it for viewing is critical. Setting up specific hashtags or keywords is an effective way to measure views, interactions, and other engagement metrics.
Why it Matters
Knowing the power of today’s most popular networks and the impact it could have on brands, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing is taking over. Although some call it unconventional, influencer marketing is here to stay.
As platforms and networks change, it won’t be surprising to see tactics within influencer marketing vary also. Are you keeping up?