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Influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing channel and it’s cost-effective too. Most people discuss purchases with friends or family before making them, asking for opinions. Influencer marketing works by substituting the source of that advice from a known expert or person of influence in the field – hence the name.

Isn’t that just a paid-for ad?

It shouldn’t be. The key difference between influencer marketing and sponsorship or paid-for editorials is that there should be some honesty. The influencer should be speaking their own mind, advocating your product or service because they genuinely believe in it. Consumers have become increasingly distrustful of advertising, and if they sense that there is not an authentic relationship with the product, the marketing simply won’t work.

Who are the influencers?

They can be anyone, as long as their social media following is large enough. To make an effective influencer campaign, you need to think about accounts which your target customer might be following and reach out to them through that. When Naked Juice wanted to appeal to a more fashion conscious market, they reached out to Instagram influencers and had their juices included in high fashion content. GAP reached out to some social media leaders, and their Styld.by campaign emerged from those influencers sharing how they incorporated GAP clothing in their wardrobes.

Isn’t it risky?

Like any campaign involving individual personalities, there are risks. If you become associated with an influencer who does or says something that brings them negative attention, that could reflect badly on you, too. You also want to avoid having too many bloggers, or other influncers talking about you, or it can take on the hallmarks of a paid opinion. What seems certain is that influencer marketing works, when done right. It has the power of word-of-mouth recommendation, with the reach of an expensive social media campaign. If you’re looking for more sales, or to move your product or service into a new market, then an influencer campaign is worth thinking about. Just choose the people you approach with care.

For expert advice on your digital marketing, contact us today.

Author: Paul Mayne Managing Director

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