Modern marketing trend: influencer marketing

Most people working in marketing are aware of social marketing and even content marketing. What they may not know about is influencer marketing. Since it can be very beneficial to business, it’s worth learning about this new buzzword and the type of marketing some experts are calling “the next big thing.”

OK, what is it?

It used to be that keywords drove marketing. Today, it’s about key people – or influencers – that can drive your message. Instead of blindly reaching out to the masses in the larger market, you focus your brand message to influencers. These influences promote and share your valuable content so that you don’t have to rely so much on SEO to boost your rankings.
Of course, influencer marketing is not done in a bubble. These people need to hear about your offerings. Thus, content marketing and social media marketing are intertwined with influencer marketing. Often, influencer campaigns are tied to social media and their personal social connections via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, personal blogs, etc.

Why it’s important

When you create a brand with influencers in mind, your message can be amplified because it is done organically. Businesses know that organic traffic is favored over paid searches and advertising. Why? Because organic traffic equates to real people on the other end. This means the opportunity for conversion rates increases.
Additionally, websites that have real visitors become extremely valuable to Google. If you have organic traffic, your rankings go up on the number one search engine out there. This, in turn, adds more value to your site and your brand overall. Since everyone wants to have higher rankings, the ways companies attempt to get to the top can sometimes get you penalized. That’s not going to happen if your traffic is growing organically.

Hello, influencer?

The most important part of any marketing is having information and content that can be shared. You can get as many influencers as you want, but if you don’t have quality content that incluencers feel is worth pushing out to the masses, you are never going to be successful.
When you create content, make sure it is relevant to influencers. Take time to understand your audience, find out what they want and what they like to share. Research the topics, blogs and Tweets that your influencers follow and like. There are many people out there with their own YouTube channels. These social media stars can be your next big influencer.
Once you find those who would be a good contextual fit, make sure they have the reach you are seeking. You want to raise your brand awareness via social shares. Those who have many followers get you more visibility.
Reach out to these accounts, encourage them and their social media followers not to simply check out your site, but to read very specific information on your site that is vital to them. Tell them about pieces of content, not just your website overall.
Encourage influencers with blogs to write about you and your brand. Over time, you may establish a relationship where you can work with these influencers to gain a new perspective based on their following. Consider having the influencer come up with concepts that help your brand.

Challenges

Marketing of any type comes with challenges. With influencer marketing, research shows that identifying the correct type of influencer is often the hardest part. Defining how the influencer fits into the overall marketing mix and the uncertainty of the ROI also impacts influencer marketing.
There are definitely ways to take on these challenges and overcome them. For any campaign to be successful, it is often important to take time to develop and refine the strategy. Influencer marketing isn’t a shortcut to results, but it can deliver some great results over time.

How to track your influencer campaign success

Nearly 90% of businesses report that their influencer marketing efforts had just as good as or better ROI than their other marketing channels. That’s a powerful number, but how do you know if your influencers are worth the investment?
If you are measuring the sale of products, you should be giving your influencers their own individual tracking links or affiliate codes. This allows you to see the number of sales being generated by each influencer.
If you aren’t selling products but want to measure the visibility of your influencer’s post, you can ask them to add a hashtag to all of their promotional posts for your company. Then you can search that hashtag to see their activity.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book “100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.”
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Micro-Influencer Marketing at Scale

Micro-influencer marketing at scale now available to SMBs

We are happy to announce our partnership with Vendasta. SMBs across the United States and Canada can use Tempesta Media’s micro-influencer marketing solution: Simple Social Share. It is available through Vendasta’s marketplace.

Small business challenge

Small businesses struggle with word-of-mouth marketing. This is especially true with digital word-of-mouth marketing. First, available options are expensive. Second, they often require significant expertise. Finally, they demand big time commitments.

Also, it has been especially hard for small businesses to build up their social media following. Beyond newsletters and adding their social media links to all marketing materials, there are few cost-effective options available.

Driving visibility and engagement

Because of our partnership with Vendasta, we can now help small businesses drive visibility and engagement. As a result, by subscribing, customers can easily launch targeted micro-influencer marketing campaigns using just a few mouse clicks. Simple Social Share can be effective for marketing to both prospects and customers. Here’s more detail on our partnership with Vendasta.

Relationship overview

Vendasta, a leading company in digital sales solutions and marketing tools, has revamped their Social Marketing product. New features include an updated user interface, mobile-friendly capabilities, and new social platform integrations. Social Marketing, which provides easy to use social media management services to clients, has also added to its repertoire of social products. Social Marketing users now have access to social products such as Simple Social Share and GetSocial. Simple Social Share by Tempesta Media allows businesses to engage with local influencers who can promote a client’s brand or product through social media. GetSocial produces insightful analytics, allowing clients to get a read on their content performance. These additions to the Social Marketing suite will give clients the tools they need to further amplify their brand.
Find Vendasta’s full press release here.

Why influencer marketing is the next big trend in digital marketing

By Paige GrahamTempesta Media Senior Manager, Marketing and Strategic Alliances
First and foremost, it’s an incredibly exciting and compelling time to be a digital marketer. New trends are arising as tried-and-true methods are falling out of the marketing funnel. As social media continues to rise to increasing dominance, a new trend has arrived at the forefront of the digital marketing lexicon: influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing emphasizes the individual rather than the target market as a whole by identifying key influencers who hold clout over potential buyers. Rather than rely on companies as they did in the past, today’s ordinary consumers look to each other’s experiences to gauge the reliability of a product or service. In addition, consumers also look at the choices and habits of their favorite personalities, who have incredible followings on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.
For this reason, many believe that influencer marketing the next big trend in digital marketing. At its simplest, influencer marketing refers to promoting a product through an influential person. Its popularity continues to grow, with a 2015 Tomoson marketer survey showing it as the fastest growing marketing channel.

Influencer marketing is grounded in old theory

Although influencer marketing is still relatively new in the grand scheme of digital marketing, the concept is actually based on a relatively established theory of communication called the Two-step Flow of Communication. The theory suggests that media information, before reaching mass audiences, first passes through “opinion leaders” or “thought leaders,” who actively consume, interpret and disseminate media information.
Though this theory is decades old, influencer marketing is especially relevant today and an incredibly effective way to reach the average consumer.

Influencers help build authority

Collaborating with influential figures is one way of building awareness and authority. By leveraging an influencer’s clout and reputation, marketers can build their brand’s credibility, establishing themselves as reliable and worthy of their customers’ trust.
A simple brand or product mention by an influencer—especially if it is an organic mention—is powerful enough to generate thousands of clicks to that brand’s website.
This strategy is how Squarespace marketed the company online, using the influence of prominent YouTubers and YouTube channels such as Philip DeFranco, Unboxed Therapy and Screen Junkies, among many others.

Influencer marketing builds an audience

Because influencer marketing allows brands to tap an influencer’s followers, thereby establishing the brand’s authority, it also makes it easier for brands to rank on search engines like Google.
Although the methodology of how search engines calculate authority is one of the best-hidden secrets of the 21st century, it is generally understood that factors such as engagement, popularity and references from popular accounts (i.e. influencers) among others all come together as a primary signal for ranking websites.
In other words, building authority through influencer marketing is one of the fastest ways to improve a site’s rankings on Google and other search engines.

Influencer marketing appeals to human emotion

Many marketers tend to focus on quantitative metrics like web analytics, conversions and click-through rates to understand the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Though this numeric approach provides a compelling rationale for marketing campaigns, effective communication and marketing often boil down to human emotion. And influencer marketing cpaitalizes on this human emotion, appealing to a variety of feelings held by consumers.
Take ashion,for example. Fashion is an industry that is rooted in trendsetting as its bread and butter. When retailer Lord & Taylor collaborated with 50 fashion influencers on Instagram to post pictures wearing the same dress on the same day, this campaign promptly caused the dress to sell out that weekend.
The effect is simple: consumers listen to people that influence them and promptly follow their actions when possible. Perhaps one could chalk it up to a desire to be trendy or keep up. Nonetheless, the appeal is certainly there.

Influencer marketing looks organic

Although paid advertising continues to have its place in digital marketing, the reality is that ad blockers are making it increasingly more difficult to reach audiences through traditional ads. An Ad Blocking Report in 2015 commissioned by Adobe and PageFair found that more than 190 million internet users around the world use ad blocking software.
Simply put, the growing distrust of traditional ads is rendering many former marketing methods ineffective. Influencer marketing allows marketers to bypass this barrier through influencer and celebrity endorsements, all in a manner that appears organic. As the Lord & Taylor campaign showed, consumers trust people they consider influencers more than they do the company itself.

Conclusion

It is easy to understand how and why influencer marketing is quickly growing in popularity. As online users become overloaded by online ads, brands have to find alternative ways to push messages to their respective markets. Influencers offer a potential shortcut for this problem, one that, while effective, does not usually come cheap.
Influencer marketing, currently a complicated and often expensive proposition, involves a still-evolving branch of marketing research. It’s important to understand the ideal influencer that a company’s target audience will identify with the most; simply approaching random celebrities and paying them for an endorsement will only yield results if that influencer is someone your potential customers trust. Tempesta Media will soon be releasing its own targeted influencer marketing program that takes out much of the legwork for companies. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.

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