Influencer marketing has become an extremely popular and effective method of marketing, along with the rise of social media such as TikTok and Instagram. This strategy is considered to a more digestible form of advertising for consumers, and is renowned for influencing high engagement rate, increasing sales, and enhancing brand awareness and reputation. To clarify understanding of influencer marketing, the Spotlight Recruitment team are sharing our guide to influencer marketing strategy and how it works.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is defined by The Influencer Marketing Hub as “a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one if its products or services”. Influencer marketing can be witnessed in many forms, including sponsored content, discount/affiliate links or codes, contests and giveaways, and brand ambassadorship. Although many of these approaches are for short-term partnerships, brand ambassadorships involve an extended relationship between the brand and influencer and is part of a longer-term strategy.
How It Works
The ultimate aim of this online marketing strategy is to improve brand awareness by reaching specific target audiences. Influencer marketing relies upon influencer reputation as well as their relationships with their community to reach a receptive audience and influence buying decisions. Brands typically aim to collaborate with those who appear authentic and trustworthy to their audience, so a positive association can be made with the brand’s own reputation.
Typically, how influencer marketing works is that the influencer promotes the brand or product on their social media channels i.e., Instagram. Then, the influencers share a discount code or affiliate link with their followers, so the brand can track purchases made through the influencer. The result of this is increased sales or followers for the brand, and the influencer tends to receive a certain percentage of each sale. Alternatively, some influencers with very high follower count can command a fixed rate (often in the thousands mark) for a single Instagram post.
Influencer marketing is a considerably flexible strategy, as there are many different types of influencers (e.g., fashion, travel, or food) with different audience and follower sizes. This means that brand and influencer partnerships can be tailored to the brand’s sector or easily target a desired audience to reach. Furthermore, many consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions, so influencer marketing is a great way to reach your target market at this customer touchpoint.
One reason why influencer marketing is so effective is because it provides social proof for audiences. Unlike celebrities, influencers are perceived as relatable people with relatable lives, providing a more authentic perception. Seeing other people recommend products or services emotionally engages audiences through storytelling and relatable customer journeys, which is extremely persuasive in converting new customers and building trust.
As effective as influencer marketing can be, like social media and content marketing generally, it’s a slow and gradual approach and is not a method to gain quick results. Building a brand’s authenticity and credibility takes time as consumer trust is to be earned. In addition to this, although trust takes time to build, it can take only seconds to destroy; influencers do work independently, creating their own content, so they are partially in control of the brand’s message.
A high level of trust is required between both parties, as the brand’s reputation is essentially in their hands. Therefore, choosing the influencer to work with is an extremely important process and should not be taken lightly, as any negative association would be detrimental for brand reputation.
Overall, influencer marketing is a great strategy that can be used by any business or brand to build brand awareness and target specific audiences. It is a powerful tool for marketers which can bring many rewards to both the brand and influencer, but the influencer that represents the brand should be selected carefully.
Spotlight Recruitment have been hiring standout marketing, digital, design and communications candidates for clients in all sectors since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find out more how we work. If you would like to discuss hiring plans, new roles or need market-relevant insight, you can reach us on 020 3008 4254 or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.