Influence in Marketing.. What is it and why does it work?

The debate about whether influencer marketing works is over. Have you caught up with the trend is the better question! If you don't know what it is or how it works, let's take a short primer.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Marketers are always looking for new ways to approach the ongoing problems of lead generation, customer conversion and outreach scaling. Influencer marketing has the ability to touch all of these issues holistically, providing long term solutions rather than temporary bandages over and over again.

Precisely defined, influencer marketing is the use of an online pitchman to advertise a product. This "pitchman" is not the infomercial guy from the 80s, though - far from it. He or she is usually a content creator who incorporates use of the product naturally into the content. This inbound marketing gives the product credibility and context, allowing the audience members to make a decision about the use of the product without pressure.

Influencer marketing is not limited to social media, but a great deal of its popularity comes from visual content creators. Popular channels on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are among the most popular influencer marketers in the world. They combine visual content with the salesmanship and indirect content that marketers are all pining for. The major platforms also keep great analytics on channel audiences - data that can be leveraged for more precise marketing activities.

How Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing works so well because it provides more benefits for the cost when compared to traditional marketing - sometimes exponentially more. Online content creators do not charge Hollywood prices for their services. However, the media that content creators post on major social media websites has a much longer shelf life than a traditional TV or radio ad. It is indefinite, in fact. Unless the entire channel closes down, the content continues to generate opportunity for a marketer literally forever.

Influencer marketing is an especially important construct for international markets. For instance, many companies in NZ owe their expansion efforts to outreach going into the United States, Canada and many other English speaking countries. Marketing to those countries is easier than ever, with less cost than ever. Combined with the reduced overhead of modern digital distribution, the advantages of doing business with influencer marketing are just too good for any business to pass up.

Lucy ColumbusComment