Influencer marketing: What is it? Why is it important? How is it done?

Influencer marketing

The influencer marketing is increasingly taking place on social media. Find great space both in corporate strategies. Because it has a weight in directing people’s purchasing decisions.

At one time, there was talk of word of mouth and reviews. Users purchased a product or service and tell their experience to other acquaintances or on online platforms. Today, these dynamics have evolved, seeing the rise of a growing number of opinion leaders as bloggers, youtubers, brand ambassadors, but above all social influencers. All these, we repeat, influence the consumption habits of followers who follow them on their channels.

The definition of influencer marketing

We often hear of influencer marketing. If you have asked yourself several times what it is, you are in the right place. Now I’ll explain what it is. Influencer marketing is a phenomenon closely linked to the development of the digital world and, in particular, to the development of social networks. The latter, not surprisingly, represent the peak of connection and sharing with one’s audience, and significantly affect the visibility of a brand, the actions of its followers / fans and their purchase decisions.

The main actors of this strategy are of course the influencers who, paid or not by companies, create posts or graphic content to sponsor a product or service without being too invasive in the eyes of their followers. For this, the influencer marketing is conceived as a form of native advertising, integrating perfectly within the natural dynamics that govern communication on social networks.

But who is an influencer? He is generally an ordinary person who tells a story or shares his everyday life through social media. Opening Instagram or Facebook is an almost automatic action, which is repeated over and over again each day by each of us. And it is precisely in that time frame, in which we are more subject to influences, that the influencer is introduced with his stories.

Below, for example, you can find a short video explaining who is an influencer, what he does and how much he can earn in his promotional activity.

Because the influencer marketing works

Taking advantage of the credibility and reliability that influencers have created through the sharing of personal experiences and lifestyles, the strategy is particularly successful. In fact, it really manages to increase the visibility of a brand and generate leads from the target audience. In this sense, it even surpasses the classic advertising message, which has now lost its former effectiveness.

This is why companies are focusing many resources on this type of marketing, in an attempt to influence and involve the target market. They do this by introducing ad hoc plans in their business strategies. According to data processed by the social monitoring platform Talkwalker, which conducted a survey among marketers and digital professionals, the main objectives of the influencer marketing initiatives are visibility (in first place with 65.8% of votes) and lead generation (with 16.9%). Then comes the search for more creative campaigns (with 10.4% of preferences) and customer loyalty (which wins fourth place with 4.2% of the votes).

What are the influencer marketing channels?

The place where this type of marketing finds its natural habitat is definitely Instagram. In fact, in addition to registering an ever-increasing number of subscribers, this social platform integrates in its interior some commercial functions that are quite important for conversions. We are talking about shopping tags, which allow you to tag products by connecting them directly to the brand’s e-commerce platform, but also to the new checkout function, which will allow you to purchase without having to leave the application.

But Instagram is not the only effective tool for influencer marketing, also because the same influencers often also own a YouTube channel, other social profiles and a blog. And within these virtual spaces they implement different communication strategies.

How to choose the right influencers

If once the number of followers was the only parameter taken into consideration in the choice of influencers, today the reality is quite different. For a better return on investment, brands must analyze the targets, interests and identity of the followers targeted by influencers. Without these prerogatives, followers and likes cannot represent a guarantee to increase brand awareness or generate leads.

By using specific social monitoring tools, companies must profile influencers on the basis of their corporate values, the target they want to reach and the communication strategies to be implemented. Because the intent is to be able to create lasting collaborations with these influential people.

Do you also want to do influencer marketing for your company? To avoid mistakes, I advise you to follow the four rule to choose the right influencers to engage for your campaign.

  • Reach: The number of fans or followers cannot be the only requirement of choice because, the larger the influencer audience, the more it is possible for it to include users with different socio-demographic characteristics, and therefore potentially not interested in your brand.
  • Relevance: This is a fundamental factor, because it represents the importance that a given brand holds in a certain audience and, therefore, takes into consideration the relevance of the influencer in the same audience.
  • Resonance: Going hand in hand with relevance, resonance is the influencer’s ability to influence the behavior of their audience through the transmission of values, the evocation of emotions and feelings.
  • Relationship: Brands must always also consider the type of relationship they intend to establish with the influencer because, even on the availability or otherwise of the selected subject, the choice will be based.

Who deals with engaging influencers?

The figures in charge of managing influencer marketing projects are often the same in charge of carrying out digital PR activities. Not surprisingly, the collaboration with influencers is part of the tasks of a digital PR. In fact, the latter, in addition to managing social profiles and interfacing with bloggers, journalists and event organizers, is responsible for the involvement of influencers for the launch of a product, for the construction of a good web reputation and for the generation of new leads.

In fact, the same digital PR deals with identifying the right influencers and establishing a collaborative relationship with them. All based on the content to be promoted to a given audience.

What skills are needed for influencer marketing?

In companies where there are people employed in communication and branding both online and offline, the activity of influencer marketing can always find space. Specifically, an influencer marketing professional must be familiar with the dynamics of social networks and influencers, as well as storytelling, social monitoring and online reputation techniques, in order to manage any project to the fullest.

For this there are certifications offered by specialized schools, such as Digital Coach, which provides classroom, online and on-demand courses through which it is possible to acquire or improve the skills needed to manage these new forms of web marketing. Because traditional advertising is destined to convey more and more towards the Net and social media, taking advantage of the mediation of intermediaries with which it is necessary to know how to get in touch and negotiate.

And you, how do you see it? Did you already know the definition of influencer marketing and have you already used it for your business? With what results? More generally, do you think it is a marketing modality that can be adapted to the promotion needs of your company? Leave a comment below to share your opinion with us!