Influencer marketing isn’t limited to celebrities anymore. Thanks to the rise in popularity of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, anyone with a devoted following and curated community can hold influence.
But in a post-pandemic world, after so many people worldwide were forced to feed their social needs online … and everyone began evaluating digital ads for their authenticity … we’re left to redefine what influencers are. In the past, we knew them as public relation officers, brand ambassadors and blogger relations, but now we’ve finally landed on the term “influencers.” However, if you associate influence with people who have a staggering number of followers on social media, then you’re missing a big portion of the influencer marketing pie.
Jason Falls, author of Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, argues that a winning influencer strategy includes online influencers, but these strategies also will have to expand far beyond a digital space. Influencers can actually be anyone that can motivate an audience to take action.
And really, influencer marketing is kind of a misleading term. Rather than focusing on the individual influencer, companies should focus on having the greatest impact possible. Wherever it happens and with whomever it involves. And not just online.
Influencers could include a public speaker, a bartender, a political leader, a YouTuber, a minister, an activist, etc. In this day and age, marketers must reframe how we think about influencer marketing by removing the “r” and instead focusing solely on influence. That allows us to really see what we’re trying to accomplish: actually influencing a group of people and not just considering the person we consider to be an influencer.
So then, what makes influencer marketing so successful? Not only is it becoming one of the most effective ways to reach niche markets and audiences, but done well, these audiences can grow to trust your brand through authentic word-of-mouth marketing. One survey found that 38% of shoppers rely on influencer reviews when online shopping, while 30% said they’re open to hearing from influencers several times per day. Another survey showed that during the pandemic, consumers trusted influencers more than brands.
Keep in mind that identifying the right influencers to associate with your brand can make or break your influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing strategy must consider the prospective influencer’s follower demographic and how it aligns with your marketing goals. The only way to do that is to leverage influencer marketing tools. That’s why at Geile/Leon, we’ve partnered with Klear, an influencer discovery tool that allows us to really dive into metrics and follower demographics of potential influencers to ensure they’re the perfect fit for our clients.
The influencer marketing industry is set to increase by approximately $13.8 billion this year, which is why Geile/Leon has expanded their service offerings to include it. SocialPubli found 42% of marketers consider influencer marketing their top revenue-generating marketing tactic, and other surveys and statistics like these prove that digital marketing is headed in the influence direction, which means Geile/Leon is following suit.
What does that mean for you? Get in touch with us to find out how influencer marketing can benefit your brand.