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If you are older than 30 or do not spend a lot of time on the Internet, there is a good chance that you have no idea what ‘influencer marketing’ even means.
However, if you intend to sell products to the under-30 market, especially to consumers in their teens or early 20s, then you better learn about this booming industry fast.
Let’s take a quick look at what influencer marketing right is, and then see if it is the right approach for selling your product.
The rise of influencer marketing is the result of the enormous growth in small-scale and relatively low budget online content empowered by modern communications technologies and social platforms. These days practically anyone can create popular online content, mostly in the form of short to medium length videos, with very basic and low-cost equipment.
This means that anyone can be catapulted from total obscurity to online celebrity status overnight, especially if their content is touching on the latest trends or topics that most younger audiences are interested in.
These overnight celebrities are your ‘influencers’: home-made online personas with potentially enormous followings. Some of the hottest influencers can rival the current movie and sports stars that traditional media produce.
So what’s the difference between an influencer and a traditional celebrity?
An influencer is generally their own boss and producer, so they decide what content to produce and how the public perceives them, and their continued popularity is largely a matter of their own ability to feel out their fans.
Therefore, instead of just being able to continue to do what they do best and cut for a commercial break, influencers need to incorporate their marketing directly into their content.
Think of a cooking show host.
Traditionally they would have their cooking show and then cut to commercial breaks for advertisers, perhaps including separate ads for their own products. However, an influencer would incorporate their sponsor’s product directly into the show, and the influencer’s fans would buy the product due to the influence of having seen it featured in the content of someone they like and admire.
Influencer marketing blurs the old lines between ‘content’ and ‘advertising’ and ‘promoter’ and ‘celebrity’, creating a seamless experience that has an enormous power to sway viewers, particularly younger generations.
The key to effective influencer marketing is this sense of seamlessness.
If a product and its related content stray too far from the influencer’s original popular themes, then the audience will quickly tune out and move on to the next hot thing.
Good influencer marketing relies heavily on the judgment of the influencer in terms of what their audience wants and which products can be successfully incorporated into the existing content without seeming too forced or contrived.
Not every product will fit every influencer, and even some products that seem appropriate given an influencer’s main audience may still not be able to be integrated seamlessly into the existing content.
Therefore, not every product is appropriate for influencer marketing, and even products that may seem appropriate in general terms may not be able to establish the necessary partnership with a popular influencer simply due to chance and circumstance.
The only way to know for sure whether or not influencer marketing is the right direction for you and your product is to try.
Digital marketing agencies now have departments dedicated to working with both clients and influencers to establish effective and long-lasting partnerships. These agencies have the knowledge and experience to place your product with the right influencer and collaborate to develop related content that is satisfying for both parties.
The creation and management of a client-influencer relationship is tricky business, and only years of professional experience allow digital marketing agencies to successfully maximize the enormous potential benefits of this powerful new form of advertising.
Look at your product range and see if any of your products seem like they might benefit from a partnership with an influencer.
Not all influencer marketing needs to appeal to younger generations, but they are the ones who spend by far the most time online watching digital content, such as videos. The key to a good partnership for influencer marketing is a product that lends itself well to exciting, entertaining and participatory video content.
If you think you have one or more products that fit this bill, then contact your digital marketing company today to get started in this latest frontier of advertising.