Influencer is a major buzzword that tends to generate a lot of eyerolls, but the power of influencer marketing is highly underestimated! There seems to be a stigma towards influencer marketing—the notion that it’s shallow product placement peddled by twenty-somethings with unattainably fancy #lewks and #lifestyles. But really, that’s only a small piece of the pie.
Sure, there are plenty of influencers out there who present a spotless, heavily filtered slice of life throughout their feeds. However, influencer marketing as a whole has tapped into one of the most valuable things brands want from their consumers: trust.
Putting a Face to the Brand
Sade Ogungbemi, one of our Marketing Managers at UpHouse, is excited by the possibilities offered by influencer marketing. Studies show that people are much more inclined to interact with content that features human faces—even more so if there’s a sense of authenticity and personal connection in the image. This is what makes influencers so powerful.
Influencers have built loyal followings because their audiences have gotten to know them and really believe in what they have to say. People value the opinions of their favourite influencers, and they want to hear what they have to say. If you can get an influencer on your side, one who genuinely believes in your product, then you’re tapping into a new audience that will believe in you, too.
It’s also worth noting: the presumption that influencer marketing costs truckloads of money is totally false. You don’t have to team up with Busy Phillips to get your product or service noticed. Micro-influencers are becoming increasingly popular, because while their audiences are smaller, their engagement rates are often significantly higher than that of bigger influencers.
Depending on your brand’s guidelines and overall aesthetic, it might not make sense to include this kind of content in your own social media feeds. But with influencer marketing, you’re taking that content and outsourcing it to individuals with different platforms and diverse audiences. And sometimes, all it costs is a bit of free product!
There’s an Influencer for Everything
It’s not just beauty products that influencers are promoting—there are so many niche markets out there. Sure, there’s the mommy bloggers, the pet rescuers, health and fitness gurus, coffee nuts, and so on—but keep digging, and you’ll find an endless well of voices with varied interests and audiences. It doesn’t matter if you sell bikes, or dog poop scoopers, or custom modified Furbies—there’s a market for everyone on social media!
Your influencer of choice may not even have any existing content relating to your product. Audi recently teamed up with one of the top ASMR YouTube artists to do a vehicle review video where she explains all the features of their new Audi QA in her signature soft spoken whisper voice, gently tapping on the steering wheel and making soft, wispy gestures. In just three weeks the video garnered over 500k+ views.
Low Stakes, High Reward
Of course, if an influencer doesn’t love your product, then that “micro-campaign” was a flop. But consider the limited size of your investment—there are hordes of influencers out there who will work for free product and a nominal fee. Compare that to an expensive TV ad that misses the mark—there’s a lot less at stake when you’re working with influencers, so there’s potential to get way more bang for your buck.
More agencies are starting to explore influencer marketing as a serious tactic, integrating it into their client packages and expanding their services. A recent study showed that 34% of marketing professionals have influencer marketing at the top of their list, and 46% plan to increase their investment. It’s become integral to their strategy.
There are even agencies and organizations who deal exclusively with connecting brands to influencers, or even just regular folks with decently sized audiences on their social media. Take BzzAgent for example: they have an open signup for anyone willing to review products on their personal pages. You can fill out an application describing your main interests and the kind of things you typically post about, and if you’re accepted, then BzzAgent sends you a product to review! One of our UpHouse writers just received a $40 lemon-scented micro-peel, and while she’s never been one for product reviews in the past, if it means getting a bunch more free swag, then she’s totally game.
This social media personality-centric approach to marketing is showing no signs of slowing down, and Sade and the team are definitely looking for opportunities to dip our toes into the influencer pool. It’s so much more than just another passing TikTok trend—it’s a whole new form of advertising, and it works.
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