What is Influencer Marketing and Is It Effective?

The concept of influencer marketing is not particularly new – it’s actually been around for quite a while. It essentially breaks down to business promotion through targeted individuals. This used to happen through tv shows like “You Gotta Eat Here” that would promote restaurants by featuring them on the show. This was always generally a massive undertaking for businesses and would be a costly adventure too. Now though, this can be done on a micro level through influencer marketing.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing focuses on finding relevant individuals on social media who have large followings and having them promote your business. This can be simple product endorsements, restaurant reviews, or even travel vlogs. With these social media influencers your business can reach thousands of interested and relevant people on social media, without having to have thousands of your own followers. It allows companies to expand their reach and grow their brand reputation – increasing leads and driving business.

For example, a popular travel vlogger on YouTube who has accumulated an invested following may be asked, or hired, to travel to a local resort to promote it. They would document their stay and show off the onsite restaurant, amenities, and rooms to their followers. This would then drive interest in the followers and lead to seek out the same resort. Often, these influencers are seen by their following as celebrities. They trust what these people say because they are genuine and produce good content. This trust between influencer and follower is the backbone of influencer marketing.

Why Is Influencer Marketing Important for Today’s Businesses?

The world has been steadily changing over the past decade. Since the invention of the smartphone people are consuming more media than they ever have. People don’t pay attention to radio or television anymore, they watch YouTube or follow accounts on Instagram. This means that these will be the dominant platforms for advertisers for the foreseeable future.

As a result, we must look for new and innovative ways to reach our audiences through social media. Often, we look to advertising to get exposure, but businesses need to keep their options open and explore all avenues. Influencer marketing provides targeted audiences, with a trusted promoter. This is a winning combination.

What To Look Out For

Companies need to be cautious when trusting influencers with promoting their products. One of the main reasons for this is because of fake followers. A lot of people are trying to jump onto the influencer marketing bandwagon and make some quick money. These people will pay online companies to build up their followers with fake accounts, making it look like they have a large following. For this reason, promotions should often be paid for by post engagement. Influencers with fake followers will have low post engagement, as the fake accounts won’t like or share any of the content.

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