You may have heard the term ‘influencers’ being thrown around rather a lot over the last year – influencer marketing has been around for many years in various forms but, in my opinion, has become a prevalent term due to the rise in YouTube, Instagram and Vlogging. The likes of Zoella and Caspar Lee have put influencer marketing up there in the forefront on every marketer’s mind, and I don’t think it’ll be disappearing anytime soon.
Influencer Marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target audience as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential audiences, big and small, and uses various marketing activities to communicate with their audiences.
The Rise of the Influencer
The rise of influencer marketing isn’t just a coincidence, and it’s not just down to one factor either…
As a potential customer of any product or service, our buying behaviours are changing. We no longer trust brands, as the more traditional marketing channels are becoming less trusted. And we are now, whether some of us realise it or not, influenced by people we look to and trust.
The use of adblockers is growing – in 2016, adblocker usage increased by 36% with a total of 615 million devices blocking ads worldwide. One less channel with which to communicate to a potential audience. Influencer marketing allows you to communicate without ads, at a potentially lower cost.
Influencer marketing can be used to reach audiences of any age range, but the growth ‘may’ be caused by millennials and the upcoming generation Z. Studies have shown that 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.
Using Influencers for your Events…
Most people assume that influencers are purely celebrities, but this couldn’t be further from the truth…
Smaller and more niche areas and industries still have influencers – they may not be celebrities, but still have a following and can influence their audiences. These may be leading industry leaders or experts in their field.
As an audience, we are now savvy to some of these influencers. Many of these celebrity influencers have become false, accepting virtually any kind of advertisement and having large teams that run and manage their channels etc. The ‘smaller’ influencers are more respected within their areas, and may be generally cheaper, meaning a greater ROI. Additionally, their audiences will most likely be better engaged, with greater chances of conversion.
"Most people assume that influencers are purely celebrities, but this couldn’t be further from the truth…"
Originally, having a big name as an influencer was thought to be the best way to reach a larger, more widespread audience. Consumers have caught up, and are now aware that these renowned celebrities are largely inauthentic, with social media channels managed by teams with deceptive marketing techniques.
When creating a successful event, influencer marketing must be viewed as a potential element of the event marketing strategy. Many of our clients have put this in to practice with great reward.
For a product launch, the global motorcycle brand Triumph Motorcycles invited a wide range of influencers to the launch event of the Bonneville Bobber, ranging from global celebrities to expert riders (with a smaller but highly engaged audience). With awareness being the main objective for the event, influencer marketing meant the new motorcycle would be seen by a far greater global audience than through more traditional channels, which would come at a much higher cost.
And to leave you with a little tip…
If influencer marketing is the route to take to meet your marketing objectives – not just any influencer will do. Make sure they align with your brand’s image and ethos to ensure you get authentic and successful results.
By David Lewis - Marketing & Social Media Executive