Does Influencer Marketing Actually Work?

You’ve been reading about influencer marketing, and wondering if it was the right approach for your company. As one of the latest technologies out of the marketing box, it has a pretty good track record, but it has to be used properly to get the best results. If, by some chance you’re not familiar with influencer marketing it’s marketing that focuses on using key leaders (influencers) to drive your company’s brand message to a larger market. As opposed to marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead use “influencers” to promote the product for you. This is especially effective when used on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Tweeter, and others.

How does influencer marketing work?

There are four key elements to the system.

  • It identifies key brand or product influencers, either manually or through a platform.
  • Next it creates a marketing campaign directed at those influencers.
  • It also create a secondary marketing campaign for the influencers to drive greater awareness to a larger set of target consumers.
  • Finally, it tracks key metrics relating to reach, sales and brand awareness

Let’s take an example

You sell cosmetics. The name of the line is “Glamour Puss.” Your target market is teenage girls in the 13-19 year old age group. You look at your marketing options. TV? No, there’s no programming that relates to your target audience. And as anyone who doesn’t sell air time will tell you, no one looks at commercials anymore. Magazines? Gone the way of the dinosaurs. But social media? That’s where the action is! Plus, it’s interactive. When was the last time you saw a teenage girl who wasn’t using her cell phone – talking, looking at social media, texting, and checking out favorite websites and blogs. And if they’re not on their cells, they’re looking at their laptops or tablets. This is where your target market lives. This is where you need to reach them.

Enter influencer marketing

Your “influencer” will need to be able to command the respect and attention of your teenage girls’ market. Let’s say she’s called Snowflake, the latest pop music princess. You enter into an arrangement with Snowflake to promote Glamour Puss because she has a great online presence and rapport with her followers. Bingo, it begins.

  • On her own website she tells her followers how she uses Glamour Puss exclusively.
  • In her Tweets she casually mentions how much she likes the new color gloss Glamour Puss has just come out with.
  • When she responds to online questions about her favorite things, Glamour Puss gets mentioned.
  • And let’s not forget her blogs!

And it goes on and on. Those teenage girls hang on her every word. Since they want to emulate and be like her, the sales of Glamour Puss soar. That’s how influencer marketing works. It’s a dynamic soft sell targeted to the right audience, in the right media, at the right time.

Is this beginning to sound familiar?

It should. Years ago before the internet was born, when people watched commercials, and read magazines, this type of advertising thrived. It was called “celebrity endorsement advertising”. John Wayne smoked Camel cigarettes. Nicole Kidman wore Chanel #5, and today, Matthey McConaughey drives the point home for the Lincoln Motor Car Company. Everything old is indeed, new again! But today, with the internet and social media, the effect of influencer advertising has become one of, if not the, most powerful marketing persuaders of all time. Does it work? You bet it does.

What is the future of influencer marketing?

It’s thriving in all areas. Celebrities by the hundreds are promoting everything from cars, to hotels, to beauty products, to shoes, to diets, and a whole lot more. And in a celebrity obsessed culture like the USA, influencer marketing has a solid role to play in marketing agendas. Check it out!