Influencer Marketing: What Is It? How Can It Help Me?

In the past, your buyers relied on what companies told them and based their purchasing decisions to a high degree on that. Not anymore. Your consumers are looking more and more to their fellow consumers when they try to decide which product or service to buy.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

This trend is called influencer marketing, meaning buyers check with other buyers who have experience with a product or company, as well as the testimonials and input of famous personalities. According to Sean Burrows, there are actually four levels of influencers:

  • Celebrities
  • Publishers
  • Fans
  • Friends

Relying on the internet to research goods is a staple in most homes. This includes checking opinions on social media like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

This opens up a wide range of potential marketing strategies. It also marks the end of total reliance on print ads and television commercials for specific products and services. They still have their place, but the emphasis has shifted online to inbound marketing tactics.

The three essential parts of influencer marketing are:

  • making the most of consumer-to-consumer opinions and reviews
  • finding influencers like bloggers and top people in your social media networks related to your product
  • choosing celebrities who are a good fit for your market and your product

According to advertising leader McKinsey & Company, word of mouth is a major reason people choose to buy. Calling it a “consumer-driven world,” they note that word-of-mouth marketing results in double the number of sales as paid advertising does. Not only that, if you get a buyer from this method, his retention rate is 37% higher.

How Can You Make the Most of Influencer Marketing?

As the owner of one of the many business opportunities available, you want to get the most out of your marketing dollars. That means understanding how to use influencer channels to get your message across.

Influencer marketing is all about blogs and social media. Your potential buyers are researching online and finding other people who had experience with your type of product or with your company.

They believe what other people tell them, especially when they have hands-on experience. Use this to your advantage when you are deciding on the best opportunity marketing methods.

Make It Entertaining, Not Lecturing

Though they pay less attention to your print ads and commercials, your consumers still want to hear from you. But they now expect you to talk with them, not at them. This means using entertaining, useful content to get their attention and gain their trust.

When you present your message in an entertaining fashion, it doesn’t interrupt the experience of your consumer. Think about the groan that goes up when a television commercial comes on right in the middle of a tense stand off in a thriller. Called native advertising, influencer marketing is a gentler, online approach that is actually part of the enjoyment for your prospect, if it’s done right.

When you write practical, useful articles that help your buyer solve her problems, when you make a video that shows in an entertaining fashion how to use your service and when you post attractive photos and images, you serve your audience. This gives you greater credibility with them and helps to develop a relationship with them.

Celebrities Are Still Important

In the past, celebrities were paid to star in print and media campaigns for a brand. This is still part of the equation. A famous singer or athlete gets immediate attention in the noisy online world. He can convey a sense of trustworthiness and reliability that transfers it self to your product.

But you don’t have them stand up in front of a camera and say, “This is the product to buy.” Instead, do what Lord & Taylor did when it wanted to get people to buy their new line of dresses. It got 50 celebrities to wear the dress. On the same day, all 50 photos were posted on Instagram, garnering a huge amount of attention. The result: the entire stock was sold out within a week.

When you are able to connect your brand with an influencer, you subtly connect and convince prospective buyers that you have what they want and it is in demand.

Develop an Image for Your Influencer

To choose the best influencer for your product, whether a celebrity or a blogger, the marketing influencers at Kissmetrics suggest you tailor the image. Leave nothing to chance in your campaign, by making it suit each of these categories.

  • personality type: would your audience respond best to an activist, an authority, one who simply informs or an entertainer?
  • Niche: choose one or two of the best niches where your audience is found and put your efforts there; for example, marketing and small business
  • Topics: choose topics that spark a lot of interest on blogs in your niche

Know Your Audience

Both for word of mouth and for celebrity posting and ads, you need to know where your prospects are. It does no good to have entertaining content if you are presenting it to people who aren’t interested in what you are offering. Target your buyers. Find out where they hang out online and set up an account.

Investigate what their problems are, what topics they are interested in, what types of tweets they make and videos they watch. Then target your content to solving their problems, entertaining them and providing them with information they can use. When you do this often enough, they will start looking for your posts.

Over time, you develop a reputation for honesty and service. Your prospects come to trust you, seek you out and buy from you. They will spread the word about you and what you are offering. This can work for both domestic and international business opportunities.

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