A trendy person with big glasses and lines coming from their head. The lines are a gradient pattern from purple to orange to pink.

Rise of the Influencer

In simpler times when you wanted your product or service to get some notoriety, you found a celebrity or athlete that fit your brand. Think Michael Jordan. Of course, celebrity endorsements still work for monster brands that can afford them, but now you can recruit a Tweeter, YouTuber, or Instagrammer and get a lot more bang for your buck.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Traditional media has popularized the notion that it is simply celebs sitting around in their luxurious bathrobes posting about something. While in part this can be true, the reality is far more sophisticated. So-called influencers are individuals online that have amassed an active and passionate following, established themselves as an authority, or cultivated relationships with their audience. This means influencers can range from a Mega-Influencer and have mass appeal or speak directly to a small niche audience as a Nano-Influencer. There are also Macro, Mid-tier, and Micro-influencers.

The marketing comes in the form of some type of collaboration with the influencer. A YouTuber might partner with a VPN service, or fashion lines could send their newest designs to an influencer before they are available to the general public. Product reviews are extremely popular. A company may choose to send products to an influencer to review, but to be effective the company will have to relinquish control of the narrative to the influencer, so it is truly authentic.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

  • According to Google, 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities.
  • 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family. – BrightLocal
  • 60% of Instagram users say they have learned about a product or service on Instagram – Instagram Business
  • About 86% of the top 200 beauty videos on YouTube were made by creators rather than professionals or brands.

Finding your Influencer

The top three most effective content formats are Instagram Posts (78%), Instagram Stories (73%) in a close second, and YouTube Videos (56%). But how do you choose an influencer to try to collaborate with? If you choose the wrong influencer, your campaign is sure to fail. The majority of marketers say this is the biggest challenge. A little due diligence can a long way. Planning your campaign before searching for the right influencer can make it easy to narrow down quality candidates rather than trying to find the influencer first.

What to Expect When you’re Expecting… Results

Measuring the ROI of an influencer campaign can be difficult. What you’re really trying to do is influence micro-influencers. A staggering 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by friends in social media. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, for every $1 that brands spend on influencers, they are getting an ROI of $5.78. Be sure to include affiliate links and social tags to get as much data as possible. You may want to share these numbers with the influencer as well. If they can see positive activity from their audience, they’ll be more likely to continue to promote your brand.

Welcome to the Future

Influencer Marketing budgets are predicted to increase year over year. Now is the time to get on board if you haven’t already. New trends continue to emerge in this arena including, CGI Influencers. Yes, in the search for the perfect influencer, some brands have turned to crafting their own computer-generated versions. This may seem strange, but it’s gaining popularity, particularly with fashion brands. It’s essentially the department store mannequins coming to life and start posting on Instagram. Unlike typical campaigns, the brand controls every post, every image, and every comment thread.

Some brands, such as Red Bull are influencers in and of themselves. Decades of lifestyle marketing and huge budgets certainly make this more obtainable, but there is an opportunity for all in influencer marketing. Talk to Peabody about how we can get you trending.