Influencer Marketing: Not Just Another Buzz Word

If you are part of the 3.8 billion people worldwide who use social media, you’ve likely heard of influencer marketing before. But what is it? Does it have staying power? Or is it just the latest marketing buzz word?

With social distancing measures in place throughout the country, more and more people are turning to social media as a way to stay connected to not only their friends and family, but also to the brands they’ve come to love. As our consumption of social media increases, so does the value of an influencer and an influencer marketing program. As we adapt to our new normal, we wonder how to keep it “business as usual” while also incorporating new tactics to allow our businesses to succeed and flourish.

In the coming weeks, BAERING will offer a comprehensive guide to the down and dirty of influencer marketing. Throughout the series we will introduce you to what influencer marketing is, the various types of influencers, and help you determine whether influencer marketing is a match for your brand. We will elaborate on how to engage influencers without breaking your budget, and how influencer marketing can work for your B2B company.

Influencer marketing is, simply put, a form of social media marketing that is similar to the old-fashioned product endorsements (think Gatorade’s ‘Be Like Mike’ campaign from the early 1990s). On a deeper level, it’s a marketing tool where brands partner with influencers – people who have a large social presence and are considered experts on a specific topic – to promote their brand or product. Due to the amount of trust an influencer has earned from their followers, they are seen as a valued and trusted source to deliver product recommendations and have a high level of social proof – the idea that people will follow the masses on social media.

First gaining steam on Instagram in 2014, influencer marketing has turned into a full-fledged career with AdWeek estimating the industry’s worth at about $10 billion in 2020. Millennials are now the most populous generation in America and as they are now leading corporations and dominating spending power, the market must shift to where they’re consuming their content and news, and that’s on social media. If you’re trying to reach anyone under 40, your brand needs a presence across the various social platforms, or you’ll get overlooked for a competitor that has their social and influencer marketing strategy fully in place.

In 2018, the medium hit a roadblock of sorts as people questioned influencer marketing’s trust barometer. Many believed that consumers were onto the tactic and as such, were questioning the authenticity of a social post from an influencer. So, the industry evolved. Rather than utilizing only those with a million-plus followers and celebrity status, micro and nano influencers were born, and influencer marketing experienced a rebirth of sorts. More on that next week…

Mediakix conducted a survey of marketers in late 2018 to gauge the success of their influencer marketing campaigns. Some key takeaways from the results include:

  • 80% of marketers find influencer marketing to be effective
  • More than 70% of marketers rate the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing as better than other marketing sources
  • Almost 90% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI is as good or better than other marketing channels
  • 65% of marketers plan to up their influencer marketing budgets next year

Ultimately, influencer marketing can be used to achieve a variety of goals including increased brand awareness, build trust among consumers, impact buying decisions and reach a more engaged audience.

Now that you know what influencer marketing is and some of the ways it can positively impact business and increase ROI, we hope you’ll come back next week to learn about the different types of influencers and what they can do for you.

If you’d like more information or have specific questions on influencer marketing and if it’s a fit for you, please contact us at: esmith@baeringgroup.com

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