The new way of “Advertising”
Influence. Marketing. The Kardashians. Wait, what? You may not think that any of those things go together, but in my book, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Kardashian family hard a large hand in making influencer marketing what it is today. For better or for worse, they created jobs out of pushing products and cultivating their brand personas in the media, online, and particularly on social media. People love to hate them, but I personally think they are incredibly smart businesswomen.
If you consider that traditional forms of advertising, like TV, Radio and Print are less and less effective because people are spending more and more time on their phones, surfing the web, looking at social media and engaging online, it makes sense.
Influencer marketing is the new “advertising”. Rather than buying TV spots or print insertions and looking at ratings or distribution numbers, you are buying spots or insertions on someone’s feed and looking at engagement numbers. It also allows advertisers to be more targeted as with most digital media.
Also, you have many may options out there. Being an influencer is now a bonafide career. Think about it. How many people now think they can become #instafamous? And try. Lots. Lots and lots. And it happens. I think if you work harder than anyone else at something, you will probably succeed. I think people think becoming an influencer is easy. It is not easy.
So how do you know what a good influencer is?
A good influencer knows their brand. They know their lane and they stay in it. How can you have influence on people if you are a promoter of everything that pays? There is a difference between influencer marketing and paying people to promote your product. You might even call one person an influencer and one a brand spokesperson or promoter. There is nothing wrong with an obvious paid promotion, but usually the consumer can see through it. Come on, people are not stupid. An influencer has influence. That is what makes it valuable.
Back to The Kardashians. Kim Kardashian. She has carefully cultivated her brand. Obviously. Anyone who knows of her pretty much knows what she stands for. (Good time to check out our thoughts on Brand DNA.) She represents style and beauty. She has a LOT of influence in that area. If she is pushing a beauty product, she may be getting paid for it, but she knows what she is talking about in that world. Those that follow her will believe what she is saying and probably purchase that product. It might not be the same if she were to push lawn care equipment. (Maybe it would, but that is my hunch.)
Also, the biggest bonus to the advertiser is that you then get to use that content (if you negotiate that into the terms- which we do). You can repost, put on your website, etc. That is what is great about digital media. You never pay for something for a single use as long as you are skilled enough to bake all those other uses into your strategy for other platforms.
How much does it cost?
So do you pay for it? Sometimes you pay in kind and sometimes you pay in actual dollars, but usually there is some cost involved. That is OK. Done well, influencer marketing can be a strong element to your marketing campaign. It is advertising, it is SEO, and it is branding. We want to know what other people think of the things we want to do, buy and use. With the millions of options out there, it helps us decide where we should put our hard earned money.
One thing you should know about influencer marketing is that it is time consuming. It takes a lot of time to research those that would make a good influencer for your brand, reach out to them, and then negotiate the deal. And still, then you have to make sure the post is completed and possibly promote it yourself through your own channels as well. I don’t believe in doing anything in marketing for a one-time use. Your money is limited and you want to use it efficiently. You can negotiate to use the imagery and/or video on your own social accounts and possibly even on your website.
If you want to get started with an influencer campaign first, know your brand, second, know your investment limits (I am talking time and money), and third find other ways to use the promotion so your investment (time and money) will go a little further. And lastly, let some things go. (I know this is hard, I am a control freak too.) This is an influencer who is agreeing to talk about your brand. Try not to control everything about what they are doing. If it looks too scripted or styled, it loses its effectiveness. So get started and have fun. Let me know how it goes. 🙂