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There’s a new digital marketing strategy in town, and it’s taking the internet by storm. It’s called influencer marketing, and some may consider it a modern-day celebrity endorsement—but in many cases, the endorsement coming from a non-celebrity who happens to have a massive social media following. Influencer marketing is becoming a go-to strategy for companies looking for new ways to connect with and sell to their readers.
In the digital age, companies have come to understand that often an ordinary person with large social reach can dramatically impact the sales and reputation of its product. Therefore, companies now seek out these influencers in the hope of getting them to promote their product to the influencer’s many readers.
Why influencer marketing works
The followers of the influencer have come to trust him, so if he says the best product on the market is the one produced by company XYZ, his followers are likely to at least sample the product.
The closer in topic the influencer’s social media empire is to the product’s target audience, the more effective the campaign. For example, a gardening influencer’s endorsement of a gardening tool is likely to have more effect than the same endorsement from an influencer who posts outdoor grilling tips and recipes.
Though we often group gardening and outdoor grilling in the same general category of seasonal backyard activities, the connection between the two wouldn’t be strong enough to expect good marketing results.
How influencer marketing works
These relationships between companies and influencers are generally not secretive arrangements. Companies openly invite top influencers to try their products with the hope that the products will be featured in a positive way on the influencer’s social media accounts. Depending on what a company is hoping to sell, an influencer might be gifted a physical product to try or they might be invited to eat for free at a restaurant or stay for free at a hotel or party all night at a nightclub.
It’s important to note that not all relationships between companies and influencers involve gifts or cash. Generally, using influencer marketing instead of a traditional advertising or public relations campaign can prove to be a money saver.
It can also increase the company’s positive image and credibility. But sooner or later everyone wants to know if it also increases the company’s bottom line. According to research from Burst Media, the return on investment for each dollar spent on influencer marketing is $6.85. Now that’s a good influence.
Have you tried influencer marketing for your business? Do you have any tips or ideas you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.