Why The Rise Of Influencers Is Changing The Marketing Game
Forbes predicted that Influencer Marketing would “explode” in 2017 and they couldn’t have been more right. A grey area between an official testimony and subtle product mention, influencer marketing is simply highly-observed users announcing their approval or implementation of a brand or product into their lives, or at least their social media life. If you’re active on social media, you can’t miss it.
Just recently, the “Queen of Instagram” Selena Gomez announced her love for her newly designed @Coach "The Selena Grace" bag via an Instagram post accompanying her $400 bright-orange handbag. With over 4 million likes and over 47,000 comments from fans and handbag-lovers alike, it’s safe to say this marketing campaign was a success for the 11.1 billion dollar brand.
Influencer marketing isn’t just prominent amongst the rich and famous. Tiny niche thought leaders, too, have a major impact on the marketing industry. Small businesses and boutiques often times invest a portion of their social media budget towards an influencer in their market with a few thousand followers for audience exposure.
What’s truly happening with influencer marketing is a broader shift in the world of marketing, as more and more people are discovering the art of personal branding. Someone about to venture off on a safari expedition is more likely to purchase the travel backpack if it was suggested by his/her favorite, most influential Instagram travel user. Someone looking to find the right pair of shoes for his/her child is more likely to find credibility in a beloved mommy blogger endorsement.
Unlike your traditional marketing campaigns that are slowly becoming background noise, influencer marketing provides users with credibility and authenticity. A sponsored influencer marketing campaign isn’t apparent when scrolling through your newsfeed, and while your favorite influencer is subtly promoting high-paying brands, it's in human nature to stop and listen.
Jessica Killings, beauty/fashion/fitness influencer with over 1.7 million followers told the Huffington Post that influencer marketing has proved to be especially effective for brands since "personalities on social media tend to have more substantial relationships with their followers. It’s a community, not a billboard. Instagram, specifically, has opened up a whole new, less expensive way for big companies to advertise—and it’s also created a new platform for us as influencers to promote ourselves."
Social media influencers are prominent on major social platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even smaller platforms, like Musical.ly. Forbes calls them the modern-day child stars, as they're becoming more and more savvy about how to properly collaborate with brands of all sizes for their own creative campaigns.
Small businesses who have yet to incorporate influencer marketing in their social media strategy are missing out on one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience and drive serious business results. Marketing is no longer about buying ad space, but rather building credibility and trust, and that goes a long way.