The Influence of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the trendiest topics in the world of digital marketing. It uses regular folks to sell regular products. It seems that the concept, at least the version that streams through the Internet, was born overnight. There are few marketing efforts that work better than word-of-mouth. Influencer marketing is a digital take on word-of-mouth, promoting products through positive recommendations to a way bigger and more engaged audience.

Where are the influencers?

There are three main platforms where influencer marketing is taking over: YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. According to their website, YouTube has more than 1 billion active users. The great thing about YouTube is that it’s a large entity full of niche markets. How-to videos, parodies, news coverage, video blogging, up-and-coming music sensations—you can find it all on YouTube. It’s a place to share opinions about anything and everything, and the communities that are built through the platform are very engaged. In addition to the niche markets and engaged viewers, YouTube is a data-collecting machine. The company can tell you how many people viewed your sponsored video, if they stayed to watch the entire thing, if your website was clicked through the description box, and so much more.

While YouTube may be the mother of influencer marketing, companies should not discount Instagram and Snapchat. Since these platforms are still growing in the industry, now is the perfect time to become a trendsetter. Instagram has more than 400 million active users each month, with an average of 80 million photos shared each day. It hosts a community of users who are always looking to learn more. People from around the world swap tips and tricks about products and share perfectly staged photos. It’s relatively cheap to sponsor posts through users with a lot of followers and it’s a dream for anyone trying to reach the millennial market.

For companies interested in a younger audience, Snapchat is rumored to have an average of 6 billion video views per day. Because the company is privately owned, there isn’t much information yet about what Snapchat can do. There’s no way to see how many followers a Snapchat star has, however, it’s a great way for a newer company (or one with a smaller marketing budget) to get their foot in the influencer marketing door. The interesting thing about Snapchat stars is that they have to work a lot harder to get noticed. Snapchat forces users to manually enter each users information, meaning a follower doesn’t happen on accident. Every user is going to be engaged. Learn more about Snapchat here.

Who should your influencer be?

Your influencer doesn’t have to be someone with earth-shattering fame (fun fact: Kendall Jenner requires a cool $200,000 for one single social media brand post).

The trick to is to consider who your customer is. What traits do they embody? What drives their everyday lives? The next step is to find someone through one of the platforms mentioned above. Choose a medium you think they’ll be on, and seek out the self-proclaimed experts in your industry. Once you find them, reach out to them. If you run a clothing store you could send free products to that person, and hope that they might post about it on their account.

Overall, it’s important for small businesses to keep in mind their marketing budget and who their customer is. Remember that average joes are more likely to fit in your marketing budget and in many cases, may be a lot easier to work with. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation that might represent your brand well!