Over recent years, you may have heard the term ‘influencer marketing’, used more frequently or perhaps your brand is even using influencer marketing to drive sales and boost brand trust. Considering influencer marketing as part of your strategy can be beneficial in reaching audiences previously unavailable to your brand or building brand presence within different groups of people and establishing brand advocates.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on building partnerships and relationships with influential people, typically online or in the celebrity-sphere. Instead of trying to target a market as a whole, marketers will instead work closely with several influencers within their desired demographic and utilise their fan-bases and following to distribute their messaging to build a presence.

These individuals will have considerable influence over their followers and have the power to create potential buyers. Some influencers end up working for specific brands, working as designated brand ambassadors, evolving from short-term campaigns to long-term relationships. This moves them beyond influencers to spokespeople for the brand and often involves them being paid on a retained basis rather than per campaign.

Why is it effective?

Influencer marketing can result in considerable revenue generation, with small investments sometimes generating around 600% in ROI. Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular and fastest growing methods of marketing, even excelling beyond strategies such as affiliates, PPC and display.

Influencer marketing can offer brands the opportunity to attract higher quality customers, utilising social media channels to reach affluent users who are more likely to post about their purchases and influence family and friends to make similar purchases. A recent study demonstrated that the average business could generate around 600 times the revenue they invest in influencer marketing.

How does influencer marketing shape up against other marketing channels?

Blogs and Facebook have been recognised as driving the best results, with brands boosting the budgets that they apply to influencer marketing, spending time on reaching deals with individual influencers before they become too busy or become loyal to rival brands.

Finally, not only is influencer marketing highly successful at driving sales, but it is also cost-effective, with many marketers pegging it as the most cost-effective channel for customer acquisition. Alongside channels such as email and organic search, which are also considered similarly as effective, other marketing channels such as paid search, display and affiliate networks are considered overall less influential in the customer acquisition cycle, for the cost.

There are also different options when it comes to influencers; these are called macro and micro influencers. Macro influencers are typically more costly and often take the shape of celebrities of those who have a considerable number of followers across online platforms. Micro influencers are often industry experts, bloggers or vloggers and more niche market personalities. Both of these types of influencers can have a considerable impact on your business and offer different skill sets and opportunities for your brand.

Often brands will find that working with micro influencers can be more beneficial than working with celebrities, with 3% of people noting that they would be swayed to buy a product endorsed by a celebrity, in comparison to 30% of people who would be more likely to purchase a product that comes highly recommended by non-celebrity influencers, such as bloggers. If reach is your core goal the celebrity influencer will always be the much more efficient method, however, micro influencers are often more likely to convert.