At one time, social media served as nothing more than a digital meeting place.
Today, however, many people earn their living on Facebook and Instagram thanks to their enormous audiences.
This trend has given birth to "influencer marketing." If you haven't taken advantage of, or aren't familiar with influencer marketing yet, consider jumping on the bandwagon to benefit from influencers' impressive reach.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencers have perfected the art of helping to sell their clients' products while
still maintaining positive relationships with their followers.
While some influencers can claim the celebrity title, most are normal people who have found a way to entertain and educate their audiences. They often have their own brands and exhibit unique voices. More importantly, they have the power to influence how their followers spend their cash. If an influencer recommends a product today, the manufacturer might see tremendous sales increases by tomorrow.
For instance, David Griner of AdWeek reports that a Lord & Taylor dress sold out by the end of the weekend when 50 Instagram influencers posted photographs of themselves wearing the dress and captions that called it the "must-have" clothing item of the season. Influencers have perfected the art of helping sell their clients' products while still maintaining positive relationships with their followers.
How does influencer marketing relate to inbound marketing?
Influencer marketing has the same objective as inbound marketing: It is designed to attract customers to the business by gaining trust, establishing rapport, and building a relationship. When a brand uses influencers to advertise products and services, it can capitalize on a relationship that already exists.
Since influencers have earned their followers' trust, they can recommend products or services without facing much skepticism. It's more like a personal suggestion from a friend than a commercial initiative. Consumers are taking advice from names and faces they believe instead of from faceless corporations.
Imagine that your best friend whispers a secret about a fantastic new product in your ear.
How do you respond? You probably buy it.
What can you gain from influencer marketing?
If you pursue influencer marketing today, you'll stay on top of the competition. According to Tech.co, 65 percent of respondents to one survey reported the desire to increase spending on influencer marketing in 2016. If you fail to take advantage of new trend, you could miss out on profits that your competition will eagerly snap up.
It's not just about the competition, though. Many consumers are isolating themselves from traditional advertising and marketing exposure. They don't want phone calls or pop-up ads, but they will continue to follow people online. Through influencer marketing, you can target consumers who have otherwise checked out of the marketing game.
Influencer marketing isn't as widespread as display advertising or some of the other popular options, but it's become one of the fastest-growing avenues for marketers to communicate their messages and interact with their audiences.
By combining an influencer marketing strategy with content creation, social media marketing, and other inbound efforts, you can launch successful campaigns that attract and engage your customers. Learn more about building effective inbound marketing campaigns by downloading our free B2B Guide to Inbound Marketing.
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