What Is Influencer Marketing?
To sum it up as simply as possible, in Influencer marketing, a business pays or simply inspires SPECIFIC people to INFLUENCE other people to buy a product or service. It is a well-known fact among marketing circles that people highly value the opinions of those they trust and respect. Instead of marketing directly to potential customers, influencer marketing focuses on recruitment of LEADERS, who are KEY figures with a large social following. The leaders use their influence over their fans and followers to drive sales.
Let’s look at a simple example to understand influencer marketing better. Imagine a town full of car lovers. The people of this town are die-hard petrol heads; they can’t stop raving about their Mopars, Hemis, Mustangs, Camaros, V8 motors blah blah blah. They believe that Priuses and other electrics are lame cars driven by losers.
NOW – here’s where Influencer Marketing Comes into Play.
You’re a businessperson who sells electric cars. So how do you get the people of this V8 Gasoline loving town to buy your product?
Well, there are a few things you can do:
First, You can approach them directly and try to convince them that electric motors are better – they accelerate very fast from a stand-still due to instant torque and cause very little harm to the environment. You can also explain that these engines are cleaner, more fuel efficient and less expensive to run than conventional gas or diesel engines.
But even with the savviest sales pitch, how can you get the people in this town to trust you? They’re bound to think that you’re extolling the virtues of electric motors just because you want their money (which is probably true). There is also the peer pressure of sticking to hemis and big block engines. Nobody wants to be perceived as a loser, after all!
Due to the aforementioned challenges, you’ll probably have a very hard time getting people to buy your product. However, you can overcome this problem with just a little bit of resourcefulness and tact.
You can go up to the local racing hero (let’s call him Bob) and lend him an electric car for free for a year in exchange for his help in reaching out to new customers. Suddenly, people see Bob driving an electric – this takes off the pressure to stick to a V8 Hemi. If Bob can drive an electric, maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all! You can have Bob organize tailgating parties where he shares his positive experiences about owning and driving an electric car. He can praise the instantaneous acceleration, low costs, environmental benefits and so.
Thanks to Bob’s influence in this town of car lovers, people begin to lose their inhibitions about electric cars. They like and trust Bob and they now see electric motors as cool, desirable and futuristic. Consequently, your profits soar through the roof! Instead of having to convince 1000s of people, you just had to convince one KEY INFLUENCER – Bob, who used his popularity to help you achieve your business goals. You can now repeat the same process in other towns.
The hardworking marketer pitches to thousands of people and generates a couple hundred sales. The smart marketer pitches to just a few key influencers and generates hundreds of thousands of sales. An important point to consider in influencer marketing is that the leader(s) should be very relevant to your product and to the potential customer base.
Here are examples of good leaders – common person with the same problem/interests as those of your target audience, scientists, teachers, researchers, fans, aficionados and so on. Strive to recruit people with authority or those who have a deep interest in your niche.
That’s Great Jeff, but what about Using Influencer Marketing Online?
I’m glad you asked! Influencer marketing is highly powerful, especially when it is used online. The internet helps to reduce costs and social media platforms make it very easy for influencers to reach out to millions of people within a matter of minutes. Influencer marketing is not yet very popular among marketers.
It’s an arbitrage in the sense that not many marketers know about it. Even newbie marketers can make a crap load of money if they can set up a half-decent influencer marketing campaign!
If you’re new to marketing or an experienced marketer working on a new project – you know that the initial days are the hardest. It is very difficult to gather momentum – you need to spend a lot of money on advertising or you have to slog it out for several weeks (months?? Years???) before the profits begin to trickle in. However, you can make money with influencer marketing even if you have no money and no patience.
Let me illustrate with the help of an example:
Let’s say you’re an online marketer whose product is kitchen utensils such as knives, pans, cooking pots etc. You’ll probably list the products on amazon and then wait for the ratings and reviews to build up. You might try facebook and google advertising too – both of which are good but take time to learn and can be quite costly at first.
So here’s a strategy to generate massive amounts of sales within a very short time frame:
Contact Youtubers who have cooking channels. Here’s why this works:
- These people have millions of followers and yet they make very little money.
- They are passionate about cooking, they have charisma and they know how to educate and entertain an audience.
- However, most of them are not very good marketers.
- They probably began their channel as a hobby and their prime source of income is google ads.
You can contact a handful of Youtubers and ask them if they’d be willing to accept a free shipment of your product(s). They can keep the products if they like them or they can simply return them.
Now – you just filter out the ones who DON’T like your product and keep talking with the ones who do. Ask them if they’d be willing to market the products to their viewers in exchange for a commission.
They can recommend the product in their videos with a link in the description.
Even if you can strike a good deal with one high profile Youtuber, you’ll gain exposure to millions of potential customers! Imagine what’ll happen when you have a handful of influencers working for you.
Ask them if they’d be willing to market the products to their viewers in exchange for a commission or even a one-time payment to them. They can recommend the product in their videos with a link in the description. Even if you can strike a good deal with one high profile Youtuber, you’ll gain exposure to millions of potential customers! Imagine what’ll happen when you have a handful of influencers working for you.
The same principles apply to other niches as well. As I said earlier, not many people know about influencer marketing – so there’s no dearth of influencers both online and offline. If you have a good product, you can make loads of cash within just a week or two. This literally works like magic!
Influencer marketing is highly effectively since it draws wisdom from several forms of marketing such as social media marketing, affiliate marketing, word of mouth marketing, celebrity endorsements etc. You know that the world is addicted to social media. Just look at a teenager or young adult –it’s highly probable they’re staring at a screen.
Influencer marketing taps into this growing popularity of social media and helps the sales funnel to stay more organic and less manipulative and intrusive.
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One final thing – like/tweet this page if you learned something. Thanks! 🙂