Many different reasons can lead a consumer to try a new product. It could be the flashy label, a friend’s recommendation, or just a gut feeling that they’ll benefit from it. When someone makes a purchase based off another’s recommendation, whether they know it or not, they’re engaging in influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
Forbes defined influencer marketing as “a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers.” This could range anywhere from a word-of-mouth campaign that spreads through a group of coworkers to a celebrity endorsement of a product through a TV commercial. Therefore, the cost of performing one of these activities has a wide range, and it can be as challenging and involved as you make it.
An effective influencer isn’t necessarily one with incredible public reach or a large number of followers, noted Forbes. After all, there are plenty of ways to add social media followers who don’t share your interests or, in some cases, aren’t even real people. Someone with a Twitter reach of thousands is meaningless to a brand if he or she isn’t knowledgeable or respected among followers. Plus, a friend could simply share a recommendation with a group of people and convince all of them to try a new product. It’s for these reasons that quality – not quantity – should be emphasized when considering a key influencer.
How is it best used?
Those in digital marketing jobs can use influencer marketing to their product’s benefit. Magazine editors and bloggers with high-traffic websites are often the target of professionals in public relations and marketing professions who want their brand to be seen by the right people. However, there’s a certain strategy to adopt when trying this yourself. Rather than throwing a product their way and hoping for a good recommendation to the influencer’s audience, reach out and try to make a personal connection, advised Big Eye Agency, a full-service advertising agency in Orlando. Oftentimes, the blogger or magazine editor receives so many similar products that they either can’t recommend them all, or the comments are so generic that they don’t stand out to your target consumer. Also, he or she may be required to include a line that explains it was an endorsement, which could lessen the effectiveness of his or her recommendation.
By reaching out and making him or her a part of the conversation, you can stand out from the rest of the crowd and make an impression on your influencer. Get his or her thoughts on how your product can improve to best meet the demands of your audience, explained Big Eye Agency. You may also benefit from giving him or her discounts or other promotions to share with the audience – that way, it’s not just another recommendation, but rather a value that he or she can present to readers.
Forbes explained that another way to use influencer marketing is by showing top of the line customer service and appreciation. By turning consumers into fans, you’re able to build a natural brand ambassador who can essentially promote your product for you. Providing discounts for loyal customers and being extremely responsive on social media are things that can build good will among your audience and increase their likelihood of sharing your brand. After all, Scott Cook, the founder and CEO of Intuit, was quoted by Forbes as saying that “a brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
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