Social Media Influencers: What They Are and Why You Need Them

An image of someone using Instagram on their iPhone which is a popular place for social media influencers to advertise products

It’s the digital marketing buzz-word for 2017, ‘social media influencers’ is being thrown around the marketing industry and is predicted to be the biggest trend for the next year.


So What Exactly Is It?

It’s only recently come into the mainstream, with big brands paying influencers with large followings on social media, such as Instagram and Youtube, to feature their products in their images and videos with the intention to increase sales and influence those who see the product.

It’s extremely effective and the potential outreach is phenomenal, with the majority of 13-30 years old using these platforms. It focusses the marketing on the social media influencers rather than the audience, indirectly targeting the appropriate audience. In return they receive targeted exposure, reaching the right consumers who will already be likely to be interested in, by choosing an influencer the audience are attracted to. It’s commonly used by beauty, lifestyle and travel brands and more recently the entertainment industry have begun using it, with product placements featuring in music videos and blockbuster films.

It was previously used to appear as a genuine testimonial, blurring the lines between product placement and review, however, the advertising standards agency recently changed the rules to make all influencers ensure they make it clear that it is an advert.

As you scroll through your Instagram now, you’ll see advert after advert, but won’t immediately notice them. Products and brand endorsements target the right influencer, so their aesthetic and story are still in line, to avoid looking too much like an obvious advert and could be mistaken for a review.


Why Should I Use It?

Word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth recommendations are on the rise, with business focussing strongly on reviews. Nothing drives sales more than a personal recommendation from a friend, someone who you have similar interests with. According to a recent study by McKinsey, word-of-mouth recommendations generate double the amount of sales that paid advertising generate.

Social media influencers present a golden opportunity for all brands to take advantage of the word-of-mouth sales by using personalities that consumers already follow to promote their products.

Social Media Future

It’s no secret that social media is the future. Salesforce recently reported that 70% of brands are increasing their social media spend. Traditional advertising isn’t as strong as it used to be, consumers are more intrigued by peers, recommendations, social media influencers and digital advertising. It’s quicker and easier for brands to connect with their audience through social media than it is than with print and billboards. If a brand targets the right influencer, you can target the ideal consumer and seduce their followers with a celebrity your audience is invested in.

Popularity

Like many trends, it’s important to catch it before it’s over. You don’t want to be that brand still doing the Harlem shake six months later when it’s already over. These things are time sensitive. If you’re using social media influencers at their peak popularity, you’ll reap the benefits and influence your market at just the right time. It’s the word on everyone’s lips, from world leaders to the leading marketing agencies to popular publishers, so try to jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late.

Price & Paid Ads

Although influencer marketing is booming and increasingly gaining popularity, it’s still a new trend in terms of marketing and many brands have yet to start investing in it. As it’s relatively new, prices are lower than what they will be in say a year’s time when it’s being used by every brand. Consumers are growing tired of paid ads, and the number of adblocker downloads has increased dramatically over the past year as proof that everyone is growing tired of them. So it’s actually easier to feature your product with a celebrity your consumer is already following than to pay for a separate ad on Instagram that divides their timeline up more.

If you’d like any further information on social media influencers or are looking to use one for your brand or product, then contact us today on 0161 979 0589 or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch ASAP to discuss your options.

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