Influencer marketing involves the marketing of products and services to those who have the authority or selling power over the things other people buy. It can be “loosely defined as a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers.” (Forbes). Moreover, it is a marketing practice based on collaboration between brands and “social influencers across social platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to promote their products through branded content.” (Guardian).
Who are Influencers?
In this form of marking, rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, on its own, a company enlists others – influencers – to get out the word for it. These influencers do not commonly consist of existing customers of a brand, and instead, are influencers, such as bloggers or social media figures. As distinct from other forms of marketing, influencer marketing consists of influencers that are almost always paid in some way, either with money or free products. Brands “often look at number of followers that identity has on social platforms” when identifying “influencers.” (Forbes). Platforms like Instagram and YouTube, among others, have given rise to a new generation of influencers who maintain huge followings on niche subject matters such as fashion, beauty, and food. “One such example is Michelle Phan who started a series of YouTube videos featuring simple make-up demonstrations and tutorials. More important than her follower count is the personal brand she has been able to build. Michelle Phan has become a cosmetics authority that many consumers have come to trust” (Forbes). As a result, she is a commonly cited “influencer” in the beauty field.
What does Influencer Marketing Consist Of?
While traditional marketing tactics involved pushing out brand content with little focus on creating conversations, new campaigns tap influencers to engage with consumers and create brand loyalty among them. It opens up a new channel for brands to connect with consumers more directly, more organically, and at scale. By creating branded content with social media influencers, brands can amplify their message while seducing their target audience. (Adweek)
Influencer Marketing, as increasingly practiced in a commercial context, consist of four main activities:
Benefits of Influencer Marketing