What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one of its products or services. Some influencer marketing collaborations are less tangible than that – brands simply work with influencers to improve brand recognition.
An early example of influencer marketing involved YouTube celebrity PewDiePie. He teamed up with the makers of a horror film set in the French catacombs under Paris, creating a series of videos in which he underwent challenges in the catacombs. It was pitch-perfect content for PewDiePie’s 27 million subscribers and received nearly double the views as the movie’s trailer. Everybody won.
That’s a simple example. It’s easy to imagine a celebrity teaming with a company to pitch a product—even if the pitch is a series of 10-minute videos instead of a 30-second television ad.
But people wouldn’t be talking about influencer marketing—you wouldn’t be at a website called the Influencer Marketing Hub reading about it, either—if it didn’t have a much broader set of applications. And the key is in that word, influencer.
Influencers, unlike celebrities, can be anywhere. They can be anyone. What makes them influential is their large followings on the web and social media. An influencer can be a popular fashion photographer on Instagram, or a well-read cybersecurity blogger who tweets, or a respected marketing executive on LinkedIn. Within any industry, there are influential people—you just have to find them. Some will have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers. But many will seem more like ordinary people. They may only have 10,000 followers, less in some cases. Yet, they will have developed a reputation for being the experts in their field. They are the go-to people who provide the answers to people’s questions. Depending on their sphere of expertise, they are the people who make the most engaging social posts on their specialist topics. They share the best pictures, make the most entertaining videos, and run the most informative online discussions.
Influencer Marketing Statistics
- Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021.
- Businesses are making $5.78 ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
- There has been a 465% increase in searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” on Google alone since 2016.
- 90% of survey respondents believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.
- 67% of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing.
- 1360 Influencer marketing focused platforms and agencies entered the market in the last 5 years alone.
What works in Influencer Marketing
Carefully consider your approach to influencer marketing
- Be organized, put together a strategy, plan, and budget, spend time on research
- Decide on your approach to finding influencers – find them organically, subscribe to a platform, or work through an agency
- Be patient and be human – people talking to people, not companies talking to companies
Develop a schedule
- Does the influencer prefer monthly/quarterly/biannual calls or newsletters?
- Integrate with your PR schedule, product release schedule, etc.
- Send emails on behalf of key executives. Plan travel schedules for executives and arrange face-to-face meetings