With the arrival of the internet and social media, consumers became less sensitive to advertisements and commercials. Millennials especially are pretty wary. Studies show that consumers trust earned media, word-of-mouth, and recommendations from personal acquaintances more than branded advertisements or commercials. After all, someone you can relate to does seem more credible than an advertisement. Marketers can use this to their advantage by using Influencer Marketing as a marketing tool.
So What Exactly Is Influencer Marketing Again?
Influencer Marketing aims to reach the target audience through people with influence, by using the influencer’s reach and impact to appeal to a specific target audience, and influence them. Influencer Marketing really isn’t anything new. For decades, we’ve seen famous people appear in commercials promoting products and brands. But with the arrival of the internet and social media, influencer marketing has gone into quite a different direction.
Where it used to be influencers would be famous from tv, now, in the modern digital age, just about anyone can become an influencer through, for example, blogging or social media. Consumers generally think of online influencers as more genuine or authentic than a celebrity. Their followers often feel they can better identify with them, because influencers are not so different from them. Especially the younger target audiences can effectively be reached and affected this way.
When To Use Influencer Marketing?
When to use Influencer Marketing depends on your goal, target audience, and what you want to offer the target audience via the influencer. You can use influencer marketing to:
Create brand awareness;
Draw attention to the launch of a new product;
Promote social media channels.
1. Creating Brand Awareness
Influencer Marketing is very well suited for creating brand awareness and increasing reach with a specific target audience. Especially younger companies can use this to their advantage, since they haven’t yet built a fanbase of their own.
This wasn’t lost on chocolate-fudge brand Johnny Doodle, who used multiple food bloggers for their campaign. They sent their products to a number of Dutch food bloggers, who they knew had a large following of a particular kind of audience. Because the food bloggers were pleasantly surprised by the company’s tactics, they eagerly posted about it on their social media channels. Also, Johnny Doodle has cool looking packaging, which makes for great photos on, for example, Instagram.
2. Creating Engagement
Influencers don’t just reach a particular target group, they’re also very close to it, and have a lot of interaction. This makes Influencer Marketing a great tool for creating engagement. For example, Albert Heijn employed a number of different Dutch bloggers to inform different target audiences about the products they sell that can be used to easily put together a healthy meal.
The bloggers uploaded the salad they made for Albert Heijn on their social media channels, and asked their followers what their favorite salad was. In addition, Albert Heijn asked their followers to use the hashtags #ahsaladevierdaagse en #AHvers when sharing their favorite salads on instagram, cleverly making use of one of Instagram’s key features. This also allowed Albert Heijn to track how often their campaign was talked about, and to what extent their posts were responded to.
3. Drawing Attention To a Product Launch
When you’re launching a new product, it can be challenging to reach your target audience. Influencer Marketing can help introduce the product to the appropriate target audience.
A good example of this is the strategy home interior brand Mooi Goed employs with home interior blogger Lisanne van de Klift, having her use and experience new designs and products, to then discuss with her followers. She does this by not just describing the products, but also telling the product’s story, and providing information on the designer of the products.
4. Promoting Social Media Channels
Perhaps your brand already enjoys plenty of brand awareness, but the social media channels could do with some extra promotion instead. For example, you might just have created an Instagram account, but it doesn’t seem to have much reach yet. In this case, or in similar cases, Influencer Marketing could help increase reach and stimulate interaction.
Takeovers are a good example of this. The idea of a takeover is that the influencer ‘takes over’ a company’s or brand’s account for a period of time. Because, for that period of time, the influencer will be on your social media channel, many of their followers will start following you as well. The American clothing brand Wet Seal, targeting a teenage audience, had a young social media star take over their Snapchat account, which delivered the brand around 9.000 new followers within two weeks.
In order to activate the target audience, for example to buy your product, you’ll usually have to lure them to your website. Influencers can encourage the target audience to visit your website. In order to reach this goal with Influencer Marketing, it’s important to know where you can find your target audience.
You can promote your delicious chocolate on food blogs all you want, but followers of these blogs will still have to be interested in it. Loyal fans of a blog that promotes only healthy recipes might not be so interested in buying chocolate.
Additionally, it’s important to know via which channels influencers can best reach your target audience. Maybe an influencer has a huge following on Snapchat, but it could be possible your target audience doesn’t use this particular social medium. It’s advisable to look into this first (with or without the help of the influencer).