Influencer marketing is the biggest trend for 2017. Monalyse has noticed that customers want to know about their main influencers and what kind of reach they possess. Why are influencers doing so well in today's online landscape? How can your brand benefit by working with influencers? And, in particular: how can brands find relevant influencers?
The thing that distinguishes influencer marketing from traditional advertising is the dialogue influencers have with their community. Influencers create a bond and are seen as being reliable. Influencers give consumers a personal account about products, which often involves sharing their experiences – an element that is often missing in traditional online marketing, using e.g. online advertising. This personal touch creates more trust: 92% of consumers are more likely to believe these recommendations than adverts.
I buy your products
In word of mouth advertising, it is important for people to trust the person who is making the recommendation. Influencers must thus be credible in order to effectively recommend products or brands. The principle is: “I buy your products when I feel I know you” (de Lassus & Mercanti-Guerin, 2013). This is one of the failings of branded online content: it often involves experiences with a product, but misses the credibility that influencers have due to the bond with their followers. Branded content is thus less effective than influencer marketing.
Large brands have now also started using influencer marketing. For instance, Wehkamp started a campaign in September 2015 where they went looking for “Wehkamp’s next style vlogger”: an influencer who would help to expand their brand community. This was a smart approach by Wehkamp because it allowed them to kill two birds with one stone: they found an extra influencer for their brand and created a lot of free publicity value with the campaign.
The downside of trying to find a single influencer for your brand community, like Wehkamp did, is that people tend to find the person less genuine. And this decreases effectiveness. To prevent consumers thinking your message has been manipulated, it is best to use influencers with an existing network of followers. But please note: it might make sense to look for influencers with many followers, but it is more important to reach your target group. ‘Micro-influencers’ are ideal for this. They have fewer followers, but focus on a niche market and are thus more effective at approaching specific target groups. Micro-influencers also tend to be easier to reach and more likely to work with you.
“The end result of any good marketing effort is to identify, engage, and nurture the most qualified prospects.”Brown, D. & Hayes, N., 2008 Discover more about Engage