In the 1940s, a political communications study called the “Multistep flow model” claimed that people are influenced by opinion leaders and secondhand information.
It’s safe to assume that the same claim goes for marketing, and this is backed by evidence later in this article.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencers on social media have become an increasingly ubiquitous marketing tool. Though these individuals are often an easy target for internet laughs and skepticism, projected spending on influencer marketing shows they’re here to stay.
While “influencer” has only recently entered the general lexicon, this form of marketing has existed for years. Previously, brands would target celebrities and top-tier bloggers to showcase their products. These well-known names had social following and trust, which helped brands gain social capital.
Now, however, people are seeking a more authentic, relatable pathway to products they might love. Influencers now refer to anyone with enough of a trusted following on social media who can bring companies to their audience’s attention.
Influencers market products by offering endorsements, mentions, reviews, and other forms of engagement with a product. Some even have a million or more followers, while “micro-influencers” can have as few as 1,000.
Though influencers need to have some level of a trusted and niche following, they must also feel relatable. This means that casual poses, limited editing, and everyday images are welcome. Depending on the circumstance, if the production level is too high, the influencer can then seem out of reach with a brand’s customer base. Authenticity and accessibility are key themes here, which will change depending on the target demographic.
Moving forward, let us have a look at the benefits of influencer marketing.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Almost any type of product — beauty, fashion, home goods, electronics, and more — can benefit from influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing agency Mediakix surveyed marketers in 2019 and found that 89 percent of respondents felt that return on investment from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. Nearly two-thirds were increasing their influencer marketing budgets.
One undeniable benefit of influencer marketing is that brand trust and awareness can be built quickly. With changes in social media behavior, potential customers trust certain people and personalities, which builds trust in your product. This strategy aligns with inbound marketing principles, focusing on organic marketing over traditional, interruptive digital strategies.
Simplilearn has previously written on the science behind influencer marketing and why it’s effective from a psychological perspective. Using these strategies, influencer marketing allows bigger penetration into specific markets where a brand isn’t fully embraced or doesn’t have awareness.
Another benefit of influencer marketing is that influencers can fill the gaps in your content strategy. Since the influencer is tasked with creating content that fits their page while also marketing your product, your brand can create engaging content with less work on its side.
That was all about the Benefits of Influencer Marketing, next let us see what are the Potential obstacles of influencer marketing.
Potential Obstacles of Influencer Marketing
On paper, influencer marketing seems like a dream come true — influencers create content, and the brand reaches more people than it ever could on its own.
However, this doesn’t mean less work for the company. In the Mediakix survey, for example, 61% of marketers agreed that it’s difficult to find the right influencers. Marketers also need to watch out for influencers who falsely inflate their followers, reach, and engagement numbers. Measuring and improving ROI is also cited as a challenge.
These concerns mean that a company must still practice due diligence to select appropriate influencers and cultivate a strategy with measurable goals.
Successful Examples of Influencer Marketing
Our Place, a best-selling cookware brand, has become a household name for anyone scrolling Instagram. Their best-selling Always Pan claims to replace kitchen necessities with its numerous built-in features, including a steamer basket, spoon rest, and more. Our Place pitches their product as a gorgeous, must-have kitchen essential.
Our Place believes in “connections made across the kitchen table,” and they were able to convey this mission and value effectively through influencers, who would create content highlighting how the elegant ceramic pan looks beautiful on the stove top and at the center of a meal.
By creating buzz on Instagram, numerous bloggers and food reviewers also caught wind of this product and published reviews and testimonials. They even witnessed this success during the pandemic, as they leveraged the world’s rising interest in at-home cooking.
La Croix leverages micro-influencing to bring a younger demographic into their customer base. While competitors like Perrier and Poland Springs typically focus on traditional advertising, La Croix has successfully targeted younger generations by working with bloggers and influencers with as few as 7,000-8,000 followers. The beverage brand also teams up with micro-influencers who use their product in cocktail recipes.
Influencer Marketing Can Be a Powerful Tool
Despite the jokes and jabs at influencers, this form of marketing is a powerful tool for building engagement with niche demographics and fueling brand awareness. Marketers looking to tap into the benefits of influencer marketing should practice vigilance on their ROI and partnerships when pursuing the tactic.
Depending on your product, investigate the landscape of the existing influencer market, research best practices, and develop a strategy that aligns with your goals. When done effectively, influencer marketing can launch your product to the top of your customers’ mind.
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