You want to know what is influencer marketing? You must have heard of this term already many times. It represents a fundamental form of marketing, in particular, online marketing. Though, many people do not seem to understand this concept. Therefore, the question “What is influencer marketing, and how does it work?” often comes up.
Influencer marketing often aligns with social media and content marketing and connects therefore new and traditional marketing tools. Influencer Marketing takes the idea of celebrity support and advocacy and places it into the modern content-driven online marketing world. The landscape of marketing has changed significantly over time. Brands are no longer the centre of attention and conversations nowadays, but consumers do. Influencer marketing can help to enforce a brand’s message and image with the help of influencers. Influencers hereby represent people who can advocate brands and products and are considered experts in a specific niche. They are considered experts within a niche.
Influencer marketing works due to the high level of trust between influencers and their audiences. As well, brand or product endorsement leads to a form of social proof for brands. Consequently, brands can improve credibility towards their brand and products with influencer marketing.
What is an influencer?
Influencer marketing would not work without influencers. Everything turns around them. Yet, many of them would probably not refer to them as celebrities. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, an influencer is a personality that can change purchasing decisions of their audiences. This they can do through their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship towards their followers and audience. Their followers and audience are usually part of a specific niche and actively discuss and engage with the influencer. Depending on the topic and niche, the size of the follower and audience base can vary. In fact, there are considered to be 4 different types of influencers.
To answer “what is influencer marketing and how does it work”, first understand a fundamental aspect: Influencers should not be mistaken. They represent a chance to collaborate with a brand to reach marketing goals.
The question “what is an influencer” goes much deeper in the understanding of what an influencer represents for its audience. Influencers are people who can inspire and build up an enthusiastic audience. The audience is willing to be engaged and also wants to engage with the influencer. The audience does not follow the brand, but the influencer. In fact, some people might not even care at all about a brand. They only care about the opinions of the influencers there are given on a brand. That is why it is also vital to understand that influencers are the centre of influencer marketing. A brand cannot simply force the influencer to adapt to their practices. The influencer knows best which practices to take and can disappear at any time. Then, they will take their precious audience and followers with them.
The evolution of influencer marketing
The concept of influencer marketing leads far back into the past, as ASPIREIQ mentions, even back to the 18th century. People always relied on what they saw and heard in print ads, the radio, and television. Therefore, even then, marketers figured out that using influential people in their ads could change the purchasing decisions of consumers.
Fictional characters represent one of the earliest stages in the evolution of influencer marketing. They were parts of ads that would express the qualities of the brand and its products. After that, the usage of real people, celebrities, came to life. Celebrities were able to convince consumers to try products which they advocated due to their fame and status. Then, Reality TV arrived. Reality TV stars appear more authentic and alike than celebrities, and therefore create a closer connection towards their audiences.
With the emergence of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter arrived the concept of influencer marketing. Everyone started sharing information and extracts of their everyday life. Not only celebrities and reality TV stars, but also “ordinary” people started gathering a high follower base online. These “ordinary” people became influencers.
Compared to celebrities or reality TV stars, influencers are more similar and therefore more authentic, credible, and close to us. They post information about content people can relate to. They express their opinions, if good or bad, even about all unpleasant aspects of their lives. As influencers became more relevant, brands also started making usage of the concept of this type of marketing. They started for example to send free samples to influencers to promote them in front of their audiences.
The current state of influencer marketing
Today, influencer marketing is all around us. Digital communities and e-commerce rule the world and influencers are always involved.
People consider influencers as one of their most important sources for recommendations and trust apart from their friends and family. As well, the trust is higher towards influencers than celebrities. For product recommendations and to discover products, people go online, especially on social media, to gather information. Influencers at this point are the centre of it all.
You want to learn more about the effectiveness of influencer marketing and how it work? Then, have a look on this article from us!