As more and more people turn to online reviews, videos, and blogs to help them make purchasing decisions, influencer marketing has been on the rise. Influencer marketing is a relatively easy way to extend your brand’s reach, disseminate information, and casually market yourself, your company, or your company’s products and services. Influencing often includes an individual advocating for a company, product, or service; however, it is rarely fully promotional or advertorial, which is why it differs from traditional marketing or advertising.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing, also known as influence marketing, is a marketing strategy that involves targeting specific individuals rather than an entire target audience. Individuals who are considered influencers are those who tend to have influence over potential buyers, users, or clients within your business’ market.

A clothing company, for example, might choose to use a popular YouTube fashion vlogger as an influencer. If this influencer has 5,000+ YouTube followers and talks about, showcases, or wears the company’s clothing in one of his or her videos, then one influencer has been used to potentially reach thousands of people. Influencing others, in this instance, is less about persuading and coercing and more about simple, informal interactions within communities (usually online communities) or markets.

Why is it useful?

  1. It adds credibility. 90% of consumers make their purchasing decisions based on online reviews they have read. The more people who are talking about and advocating for your service or product, the more credibility your brand gains.
  2. It increases awareness. Influencer marketing takes advantage of the ease at which information can be shared online. Through content marketing and social media use, influencer marketing can grow and strengthen a brand’s awareness by increasing the chances of social conversations that take place about a brand.
  3. It helps sales. Buyers and users have been leaningaway from the hard sale in recent years. Consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates twice as many sales as paid advertising. Influencer marketing allows brands to keep up. Influencers play a major role in helping sales because they are often viewed as a trusted source of information rather than a company shoving information and advertisements in consumers’ faces. Influencers help increase sales by building relationships.

Influencer marketing not only allows brands to market themselves in a cost-effective, unassuming, and compelling manner; it is relatively simple to integrate into your organization’s marketing strategy. In a couple of weeks, we’ll discuss best practices for getting the attention and support of influencers.