Every few years, a new marketing tactic hits the business world. Most recently, influencer marketing has taken up that title. The practice is defined by using respected and trusted people who will act as promoters of a brand or product, in some capacity. Sometimes, these influencers are paid and sometimes other reciprocal arrangements are worked out.
The question is: does it work? The answer is yes. It’s powerful, it's affordable, and, perhaps most importantly, it works really well.
The Golden Age of the Micro-Influencer
The use of micro-influencers will be the biggest trend in influencer marketing in the coming years. Experticity recently conducted a study on micro-influencers. According to the study, 82% of consumers surveyed were far more likely to take a recommendation from a micro-influencer than from those with larger, less personal followings. Obviously, getting relationships with a few micro-influencers is far more effective than a single macro-influencer.
Simply put, micro-influencers are the best. They may have only around 10,000 followers, but they are easier to approach, their following is more intimate, and they are trusted by that following. They can be far more influential than the other types, and they are perceived as being far more “authentic.”
Finding and Securing Micro-Influencers
Start with a strong customer persona. From there you can identify niches that they frequent. For example, if your product is moderately-priced jewelry for female millennials, you'll want to look for micro-influencers that market to the same demographic.
These influencers are approachable, because they don’t have “agents” or a lot of gatekeepers. They may be clothiers, shoe retailers, or any other smaller niche. Identify as many as possible and send samples of your product to them and ask for a review and mention. Offer to do the same in return so both of you benefit from the transaction. But remember:
It Takes Time
Understand that this is not a quick process. You have to identify potential influencers, court them, and figure out what value you can offer them in return. You are looking for long-term relationships, because you don’t want them partnering up with a competitor. In the long term, however, these relationships will bring far greater revenue rewards at far less cost than any paid advertising.
It’s About Trust
Micro-influencer marketing is a huge trend. Why? Because intimate and personal relationships are what will drive the new online consumer to make a purchase – not the latest media celebrity.
A Few Stats
To understand the importance of influencer marketing, it is a good idea to look at some recent statistics:
- In a recent survey of content marketers 81% found it effective.
- Adblock software is becoming more widely used by consumers, and this figure will continue to grow.
- 84% of online consumers seek out and trust recommendations from peers as opposed to direct brand marketing.
- Consumers use social media as a source of product and service reviews – over 70% actually
- ROI from influencer marketer, as much as it can currently be tracked, is probably about 6X the cost, if there is a cost.
- Millennials, now the largest online purchasing demographic, seeks reviews and peer recommendations before making purchasing decisions.
Clearly, traditional advertising, even on the web, is facing demise. There is just so much digital advertising out there, that people are irritated with the disruptions and annoyed by the pop-ups, the banners. They use ad blocking software to get a cleaner, less noisy experience.
Consumers want to know what other real people are saying about a product. And this is why influencer marketing has become so important to any web-based enterprise.