There are two things that you need to be good at in order to have a successful marketing campaign – social media and SEO.
While it’s not hard to find great SEO experts ( just look at the SEO marketing experts at thesearchinitiative.com, Search Logistics, or SUSO Digital), with social media, the situation is slightly more complicated. People are an intelligent species, which is why they will easily be able to tell if a post they saw on their social media platform was written by someone genuinely interested and happy with the product, or by someone who was hired to do it.
You might be wondering – why are social media important for marketers? Well, social media play a crucial role in the everyday life of many individuals. A study conducted by IDC Research has discovered that more than 80% of people who own smartphones, check their devices within the first 15 minutes of waking up to see if they received any notifications while they were asleep.
People use social media every day, even by looking up answers on Quora, which happens more often than you might think. What’s more, many workplaces have their own, such as Slack or Facebook Workplace. The truth is that no matter how hard you try, escaping social media is almost impossible.
The invention of social media and the technological advancement that has been taking place in recent years has helped create a new group of ‘celebrities,’ known as social media influencers. You must have noticed them while you were, for example, scrolling through your Instagram feed – gorgeous pictures, and thousands of fans ready to show their support for their idols.
Social media influencers have made such an impact on the world that marketing specialists have started to frequently engage them in their campaigns by doing sponsored posts, as well as reviews and giveaways.” There are over 200 million people on Instagram right now viewing Instagram profiles for businesses every day and over 81% of people are using Instagram to make a purchase!” which is why it actually shouldn’t come as a shock that marketers would turn to the influencers for help in promoting their brand. Sometimes, one video filmed by a teen idol can sell more products in a week than a professionally made marketing campaign would in a month or so.
Influencer content marketing is definitely changing the game. However, how does it happen? And what exactly is influencer content marketing? Well, if you want to find out this and more, all you have to do is keep reading.
What is influencer marketing?
Before we dig deeper into it, we need to establish one thing, and that is what influencer marketing actually is. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one of its products or services. Some influencer marketing collaborations are less tangible than that – brands simply work with influencers to improve brand recognition.”
There are three types of influencers:
- nano-influencers – with less than 10.000 followers; such as Anna Ivanir or The Bristol Food Critic
- micro-influencers – with more than 10.000 but less than 100.000 followers; such as Lauren from Hunters & Heels
- macro-influencers – with more than 100.000 and less than 1.000.000 followers; usually those who earned their following via the internet; example – Jesse Driftwood, Lily Pebbles
- mega-influencers – with more than 1.000.000 followers; usually celebrities – TV stars, singers, models, etc.; example – Kylie Jenner, Will Smith, Selena Gomez
In another article, titled “Why Influencer Marketing is the New Content King,” experts from IMH claim that “It was way back in the stone age of the internet, well January 1996 at least, when Bill Gates wrote the first article claiming that “Content is King.” He began his article by stating that “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” Time has, of course, proven his statement to be very prophetic. Nearly 20 years later, in 2015, The Shelf created an infographic proclaiming that Influencer Marketing is the New King of Content.” Well, five years forward, and their statement couldn’t be more accurate.
One of the earliest examples of influencer marketing’s use would be PewDiePie and his collaboration with the makers of a horror movie. They created a number of short videos, on which the famous YouTuber faces several challenges in the Parisian catacombs. The videos uploaded by PewDiePie have gained twice more views than the trailer of the actual movie. Mind you, at that time, PewDiePie had 27 million subscribers, which, even though still impressive, cannot be compared with the 100 million that he has now.
How Influencer Content Marketing Is Changing The Game
One of the strategies that content marketers use when it comes to their partnerships with influencers is influencer content, which is nothing more but content created in collaboration with influencers. This can be anything – sponsored videos on YouTube reviews on blogs or stories on Instagram. Why would they do it?
Well, first of all, influencers are portrayed by their followers as someone they can trust – they believe that he or she is recommending the products because they are genuinely happy with it, and want to share it with their fans. This builds trust in the brand that is being promoted.
Also, by using influencer content marketing, companies are able to reach large audiences, and in particular, generation Z, whose representatives are obsessed with them.
As a survey performed on young Americans showed, almost 72% of people who took part in it admitted that they follow at least a few influencers on their social media, and half of them trust their recommendations. What’s more, 92% admitted that they’d rather trust a social media influencer than a celebrity. A huge role also plays the fact that influencers are relatable, at least to younger generations – Gen Zers are more likely to trust an influencer than a celebrity.
One of the most important advantages of influencer marketing is that it doesn’t suffer from ad blocking. According to an Adblock report prepared by PageFair in 2017, 11% of the global internet population is blocking ads on the web. However, they cannot really block an influencer’s post – unless they block the user altogether.
Influencer marketing increases the demand for creative content. After all, an influencer that is trying to show their genuine opinion about some product to his or her followers cannot copy and paste a caption under the post with it from the internet – not only it wouldn’t be believable, but the company’s reputation might be put at risk.
Believe it or not, but it’s actually not that difficult to tell the difference between a sponsored post and post about a product the influencer genuinely likes.
Influencers open the doors to new marketing platforms, such as Tik Tok. The app with short videos has more impact than you think. Look at Charlie D’Amelio, who is also known as ‘The Queen of Tik Tok,’ with over 70 million followers. Her videos get more or less 50 million views, and 6 million likes – and they are only a few seconds long! This creates huge content marketing opportunities.
According to an influencer marketing study performed by tomoson.com, “51% of marketers believe they acquire better customers through influencer marketing when asked to rate the average quality of customers acquired through the channel.” When asked about this result, the CEO of Tomoson replied that “Social media users tend to spend more money and are more likely to spread the word to friends and family.“
Last but not least, oftentimes the influencers would create content for free – as long as they believe that it’s actually good and can benefit their subscribers. If you have ever worked in marketing or was interested in it enough to get to know the numbers, then you know that a marketing campaign can be quite expensive, as it can cost anywhere between $5.000 and $250.000. If an influencer does not take money for sharing the product, the company is saving money that later on, they can devote to further advertisement and marketing.
The Bottom Line
If you have ever scrolled through your Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, or any other social media feed, you must have encountered an influencer promoting a product by, for example, making a short video about it. One of the most widely promoted products were the Sugar Bear Hair vitamins – there was a time when every major influencer has made at least one sponsored post for them (including the Kardashians).
All this is part of influencer content marketing, which, even though it is quite a new phenomenon, has been thriving ever since people started to use it in order to increase their sales. If you are a business owner or someone who is looking for influencers to start a collaboration with, you are in luck, as there are several websites available online, which bring together both influencers (even those micro-ones) and companies willing to start a partnership.
The truth is that no matter if you want it or not, social media influencers and their contribution to content marketing are just getting started, and are definitely here to stay – at least for the next few years.