What are influencers?

With an abundance of “influencers” on social media nowadays, how should brands be adapting their tactics to reach their audience better? 

The term influencer by the Webster’s Dictionary is illustrated as “One who exerts influence: a person who inspires or guides the actions of others”. 

A closer look
Influencers shine a bright light on what is happening in the social realm and demonstrates the buying power that even a singular person can have over a mass audience. Social media has produced an assemblage of millennial males and females, who have thousands to even millions of followers who they interact with and can recommend products to with the click of a button.

With a powerful following and a brand look they have constructed for themselves, these influencers can “sway” their robust audience with sponsored posting. They get paid and they promote a brand, product or clothing, usually followed by the hashtags #sponsoredpost or #paidpromotion.

Although influencers are more inclined to the look and feel of Instagram, they can still hold their own on other social platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and the up and coming Tik Tok, that is seeking to replace the Vine-sized hole in everyone’s hearts. 

Changing strategies
Only a few years ago, when influencer seeds were just starting out on YouTube, most brands were still using older digital strategies, such as adverts or reaching out to bloggers. These days, to stay on top of trends and keep their content relevant, marketers are seeking out influencers with enough compelling characteristics to influence their audience to buy a product.

The Internet Advertising Bureau UK’s Ad Tech and standards manager Tina Lakhani explains; “Influencer marketing has proven so scalable because each of these personalities could open the doors to an entirely new and highly engaged audience. It’s interesting to note the trend of marketers working directly with influencers. According to our latest report, as many as 53% of marketers report that they still collaborate one-to-one with influencers, however with 37% encountering difficulty with finding the right influencer, it will be interesting to see how the industry evolves to counteract this.”

The science makes sense, as marketers are beginning to realise that a single sponsored post going out to over a million followers, pays off better that digital adverts or an older medium such a radio or TV promotions. With a niche demographic they could not otherwise tap into, the facts seem painfully easy.

The facts are straight
As it turns out, 86% of companies are using influencers in their marketing, with that rate rising each year. Social media has advanced so much that it is allowing people to engage an audience with a brand of their own, followed by stimulating content and pictures. People are the brand themselves and with a loud voice to match. Millennials and teens are even trusting these influencers over more traditional celebrities, as they can seem more relatable. It is giving the “power back to the people” and allowing word of mouth to stay top ranked as the most trusted and most advantageous form of advertising. Research has shown that at least 4 in 10 millennial followers/subscribers say that they think their favorite influencer understands them better than their own friends. That is monumental potential to a marketer!

Celebrity influencers 
What occurs when you match an influencer with celebrity hold? It is a powerful combination, as demonstrated by the likes of The Kardashian/Jenner family and especially so when it comes to the #KylieJenner effect. Known for her charming looks and big lips, the younger sister of Kim Kardashian can brag over 145M followers on Instagram. It goes to prove, that when you have a whole viral challenge happen over shaping your lips to look as voluptuously large as possible with random objects such as a hoover, you have the power over an audience to boast and the aptitude to stay on top. Given her looks that most would deem “perfect”, she is unstoppable. The magnitude of force will stay around long after her lip kits are discontinued. In fact, she is the second highest paid celebrity according to Forbes, right after Taylor Swift and before Kanye West. Talk about family dinners!

Her celebrity status, although separating her from the crowd, still gives her an edge that most other influencers could not purchase with all of the money in the world. Yet she still furnishes her 145M followers with a feeling of relatability, which is the dynamic key to sponsored partnership between company and influencer, functioning properly.

Female consumers
A staggering 86% of females actually rely on social media to make purchasing decisions, even in a display store. Brand presence on platforms like Instagram or Facebook is absolutely crucial to an ever-changing digital market, especially as 45% of women claim to be more active on social platforms than 2 years ago. Content should be genuine yet engaging and always include photos that are aesthetically pleasing. Every brand should be aware of this marketing capability and use social media to their advantage, female target audience or not.

The marketing phenomenon 
If that isn’t enough to turn any company onto social media or influencer movement, research has shown that influencer marketing campaigns earn approx. £5.30 for every £1 spent. “With 59% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets, this area of marketing is becoming the fastest growing channel for brands beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.” With such an influx of ROI, the influencers seem to be having their way. In essence, go where the people are going, social media.

Research & Stats by https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-gb/blog/20-influencer-marketing-statistics-that-will-surprise-you