Influencer Marketing and Why You Just Gotta Do It In 2017

The "flat-lay" is a common practice among digital influencers. See how seamlessly your product can fit into an effortlessly chic yet also entirely #relatable still-life?
I know why you’re here. You’ve got some product to move but you’re noticing that the old tried and true ways of marketing to potential customers just aren’t working anymore.

You’re certainly not alone in this, which is why more marketing and advertising professionals are moving towards “influencer” campaigns.

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “influencer” but aren’t sure what it means? (I mean, if you’ve been living under a rock.) Tapfluence explains it pretty well: 
On a basic level, an influencer is a real, relatable person who has attracted a loyal following on their blog or social media channels. We call them “influencers” because by inspiring others to follow them, they’ve earned the power to move those followers to action.
Now that we don’t have as much cash to play around with, we’re being a little more frugal. It’s not that we’re not spending money– we just want to know it’s going toward something worthwhile. Getting celebrities to endorse products made sense a while ago but the advent of social media has sort of streamlined that process. Influencer marketing is intimate in a way that advertising has never been before. Instead of targeting the market as a whole and wasting precious time and resources, (read: money) you can find an influencer in a specific niche and tap into his or her entire following– since you already know what they like. Imagine being able to reach out to 10,000 warm leads at once. That’s influencer marketing in a nutshell. 

So why should you be considering it? I’ve got a few statistics you may find particularly titillating. Eighty-six percent of women turn to social media before making a purchase. Seventy-one percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product based on a social media reference. AND, if those didn’t get you, think about these numbers: for every $1 invested in influencer marketing, $6.50 is generated for the business. (Sources)

Even if your ROI isn’t instant, influencer marketing is a great long-term solution because it will increase brand awareness and recognition and begin building a sense of trust and community among consumers. If you want your product to become a household name, you have to get relatable people to get the word out. 

Take a look at Amber Fillerup Clark, AKA style and mommy blogger Barefoot Blonde. Who doesn’t want to be Amber? Her Instagram account gives an intimate look at her enviable life but in a very familiar way. Her “candid” photos and casual captions give followers some friend-like vibes, which makes her a perfect candidate for influencer campaigns. From the photo above, who wouldn’t want to buy a T3 Micro? You, too, can be just like Amber. See how she casually coifs her luscious locks while perched ever-so-daintily in an impeccably designed room? That could be you. (And with a tutorial and such a sweet promo attached, who could say no?)

See where I’m going here?

Amber is just one examples of the power of influencer marketing. Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific can move product like nobody’s business. Not too long ago, I was going through my reading list when this post showed up. I was instantly enamored by that little floral frock. After seeing that it was not only affordable, but available at one of my favorite online retailers, and in-stock, I saved it to my favorites to buy after I got done my shift. (Yes, I was checking blogs when I should have been working.) Not more than two hours later, I went to purchase the dress and saw that it had sold out in every size. Only two and a half hours after the post went live. 

In a world full of ad-blocking software and fickle consumers, weaving products into the stories of “normal people’s” (with hundreds of thousands of followers) daily stories seems like the only way to get a decent return on your investment.

What about these so-called micro-influencers?

If you don’t have the budget for an Aimee Song or a Julia Engel, you’re not SOL. As Curalate puts it, micro-influencers offer an even more targeted group. An influencer with 100,000 followers may offer a large number of impressions, but what about conversions? That number would certainly be somewhat diluted. What about 10 users with 10,000 followers each, though? That community would be far more focused. (It also helps that a smaller following amounts to a smaller price tag, especially now that influencer rates are skyrocketing.) On average, a smaller following also means a relatively higher percentage of engaged followers.

Now, how do you find ’em? We love Grin. Grin focuses on what they call power-middle influencers. (Those with 10k-100k followers we talked about earlier.) According to their data this segment drives a 2.5x higher engagement rate than social celebrities. Grin’s tool has indexed this entire, hard to reach segment, as part of the “recruitment” section of their platform. Pretty cool stuff, no?

Of course, there are some smart people predicting that this bubble is bound to pop, and some say it may be sooner rather than later. So… what do you do now? We like to think that geo-fencing will be the next frontier for influencer marketing. Consumer behaviors vary from region to region, so why not make your campaigns hyper-local? It seems that the way marketing is trending, the more specific, the better. If that seems like something you might be into, I highly recommend giving our platform a try.

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