See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.
The exponential growth of the influencer’s space
Influencer marketing has come a long way since the early days. When social media exploded across the globe and people began to realise that channels like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter gave them access to an audience of millions, the beauty, fashion and travel industries saw an amazing opportunity to tap into a vibrant, fast-moving and ever-changing culture. And people realised that they could monetise their passions by giving their audience a glimpse into their glamorous worlds.
As with all things, times change and the frivolous soon gave way to a more serious study of the effects of influencers – and the birth of a modern, professional and highly effective new industry.
A lot of people – businesspeople, marketers, brand managers, advertisers – still see influencer marketing as the ream of superficial and vacuous wannabe models trying to score a free lunch on a Mediterranean island, not something that would fit into their business models or goals.
This is far from the truth.
Agencies and brands are seeing the results of effective and expert influencer marketing. And the top shops around the world know that, whatever their industry, there is an important (some would say critical) place for influencer marketing in their comms.
The results speak for themselves. Genuine content creators are becoming ever more trusted. Their personal recommendations are more influential than traditional and often generic big brand ads. Their ability to speak honestly and directly to a receptive audience gives brands and messages a believability that is lacking in more traditional marketing that is trying to speak to the widest audience possible.
And that is invaluable.
But is there a place for influencer marketing in all industries? Surely, a good-looking world traveller has nothing to offer the mining sector? Can a home-schooling mom really have anything valuable to offer a pharmaceutical brand?
The answer to this is a resounding YES – and no. Yes, influencers can benefit every industry. No, a travel blogger probably wouldn’t add much value to the mining sector. This is where the influencer marketing industry is destroying the traditional marketing models, because when you find the RIGHT influencer for your market and your audience you unleash the power of personal, resonant and genuine engagement.
Take the mining industry for example. Beautiful photos of exotic destinations will not convince the audience that you know what you are doing. But a message from a mining expert, set in the context of the needs of the sector, and delivered to an audience that lives, works and breathes mining – that is powerful.
And that is influence.
Harnessing the power of influencer marketing relies on three important aspects:
- Finding the right influencer.
This is business, not a popularity contest. Fame is not what you need. A genuine understanding of your industry, expertise in what they are speaking about, and a tone of voice that reflects your purpose will make your influencer believable and relevant.
- Telling the right story.
The power of influencer marketing comes from the human touch. Our decisions – whether they are purchasing decisions, business decisions, political decisions or just what to wear today – come from an emotional reaction. By telling the right story an influencer engages the emotional response of the audience to become a trusted and persuasive voice.
- Working with the right experts.
Finding the right influencer to tell the right story does not magically happen. You need to have experts who know the when’s, where’s, why’s and who’s of successful influencer marketing. R-Squared, for example, have dedicated teams who know where to look for the perfect influencers, local and global. They also know when to engage a macro influencer and when to engage a micro influencer. Remember the travel blogger/mining industry example earlier? Imagine a travel blogger talking to the efforts a mining company is making to reduce their footprint in a specific area. A micro influencer for the mining sector with a macro influence on the appearance of the company around the world.
So, does my influence look big in this?
The effect of influencer marketing can make a significant difference in any sector and for any business. When you have a trusted voice speaking from a position of authority and expertise to an audience that is primed to receive your message you are able to create a literal bond between them and your brand/company/product/message.
All you need to do is find the real.