Influencer Marketing – Part 2
Last week we explored some basic elements of online influencer marketing. To refresh your memories, here is SayItSocial’s definition of influencer marketing:
Influencer marketing leverages the audience and/or expertise of authoritative individuals or media outlets to increase brand awareness and authenticity through Word of Mouth (WOM).
This week, I would like to explore some influencer marketing mediums and platforms. Keep in mind that people with large social influence often times utilize more than one platform to publish content and engage their audiences, so influencer marketing more often then not involves utilizing multiple mediums. Additionally, the type of influencers that brands enlist depends greatly on both their brand dna and unique campaign goals. Check out this Soldsie Blog for ways to define social influencers for your brand. Now, let’s take a look at influencer marketing through some different platforms:
Remember “Mommy-Bloggers” ? These Female homemakers with large online followings that were paid to promote certain homewares, products, decorations, and baby products were some of the earliest online influencers. Household brands were able to generate both word of mouth and perceptions of authenticity because high profile homemakers were promoting their products.
While blog marketing (both brand and influencer driven) can be effective in establishing authenticity, the multitude of social networks at our disposals undoubtedly diminishes their amplification and influence potential. Blogs’ potential reach is diminished even further by the plethora of endemic media outlets that cover seemingly every segment of every industry. Nevertheless, Forbes reports that 33% of Millennials rely mostly on blogs before making a purchase.
If your brand and business model would benefit from influential blog marketing, it may be time to explore some digital PR tactics. For example- a common practice for companies that release new products is sending those products to endemic media outlets that typically compose “seasonal gear” or “product review” articles. If any influential authors or bloggers dominate the online discussions of your industry, work towards building mutually beneficial relationships them! If your product is one of quality, then they are sure to give it some love while they cover their passions through blogging. Just be sure to assess ROI for influencer blogging before prioritizing it over endemic media outlets and social media channels.
The evolution of social influencer marketing has led to a new frontier in advertising – particularly on Instagram, which is quickly becoming the platform of choice for millennials. There are a plethora of stats out on why Instagram is now a necessity for brand marketing (check out Simply Measured’s Q4 2014 Instagram Study for more details) and I see instances of influencer marketing on a daily basis when I check my personal Instagram feed. The appeal of Instagram is that its more personalized than any of the social networks that I actively use in that it isn’t overcrowded with ads or people that I don’t particularly care about (when I first got Facebook, I went on a “Friending Frenzy” and now have a pretty crowded newsfeed …. working to clean that up).
As an avid action sports fan, I consistently see the athletes and brands that I follow promoting various other athletes, photographers, brands, and products through in their post captions. The photos, however, remain authentic and do not seem promotional – a testament to how instagram influence marketing adds brand equity. Additionally, I often follow through to mentioned users as I seek to answer the question: “Could this user consistently post photos that I would want to see and info that I want to know about?”
The Fashion industry is rampant with Instagram Influencers, and undoubtedly Morgan Jones will undoubtedly be able to speak to this more than myself (future blog!). Fashion brands are aligning themselves with women who have large followings of fashionistas that consistently post photos of themselves dawning the latest apparel and accessories. “A trusted voice speaking to their personal audience, this is the most effective and organic exposure a brand can get,” said Eric Dahan chief executive of influencer marketing network Instabrand – a new firm specializing in pairing brands with online influencers. Be on the look out for some Insta-Influencers that could help authenticate your brand!
In addition to SnapChat’s new advertising capabilities, the messaging app provides ways for brands to market themselves through influencers. Even though “snaps” are ephemeral in nature, the SnapChat is arguably the most personal method of communication- as it allows for “real-time” updates that, due to their fleeting nature, don’t have to necessarily be entirely politically correct/directly on-brand/appropriate etc.
Many brands have handed over control of their snap chat accounts to celebrities and social influencers for specific events and activations to gain the attention of new audiences. These influencers add their own personal twist and novel creative elements to brand perceptions. Snapchat’s geotagging and “stories” features also provide opportunities for brands to associate themselves with events that have prominent social context.
360i reports that “Superstar Viners” (users who make viral videos using the vine app) are using their video creation skills and wide audiences for branded snapchat marketing. Check out how Jerome Jarre created a snap story to market Disney’s Frozen film:
His snap story is charming, entertaining, and has wide appeal – but also is sure to be viewed (and shared) by his loyal followers. Jarre’s snap story gives Frozen some additional exposure and an association to a “cool” personality in a manner completely different then traditional advertising. Can someone do the same for your brand?
Video engagement stats are on the rise, as consumers increasingly demand quick, multi-dimensional entertainment/info with social context. Although Facebook is quickly catching up in terms of view counts, Youtube still reigns supreme in terms of holding viewer attention. Tons of brands utilize Youtube sensations for influence marketing – but they give these influencers creative reign over how to promote their products to maintain authenticity. Brands don’t give these influencers scripts to follow, but rather embrace their unique creative appeal to enhance perception.
Similar to INstabrand, Famebit pairs up brand with relevant youtubers for maximum influence marketing effectiveness. Check out how StraightRazor.com teamed up with Youtube sensation “The Fu” a spin off of the hit single “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Niki MinaJ:
If you have the room and budget to experiment with your marketing communications strategy, why not give your brand some authenticity and exposure to loyal audiences through influencer marketing?
About Ian Western
Ian joins SayItSocial with an arsenal of brand, sports, and digital marketing experience. He feverishly devours all kinds of media - digital or otherwise - which adds to his unique perspective on millenial marketing. When unplugging, Ian can be found blasting house music while riding atop some type of bike, board, or boat. LinkedIn
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