Here at the Sociable Society we breathe influencer marketing every day. So much so, we sometimes forget that not everyone knows what it means. We’re often asked, “What is influencer marketing?” and “how can it benefit us?” Both excellent questions! So, let’s break it down for you with the Top 6 most common questions about Influencer Marketing:

1. What is Influencer Marketing?
First, influencer marketing is not new. It’s a method of marketing that uses public figures to promote a brand’s message to its audiences. What is new is the way that regular audiences consume news, updates, entertainment and everything in between online. Audiences no longer need to wait for content to come to them; they can go find what rocks their world themselves – fleeing mainstream media into juicy little niche communities online. 

Generally these communities of like-minded folk gravitate around a voice. A person who has created a story so compelling, they are read, watched and listened to by thousands sometimes millions of followers. Meet the Influencer. 

The ability of these Influencers to ‘reach’ such large audiences is only part of the story. Another trend driving the importance of Influencers for brands is that consumers are relying more on other consumers to inform their buying decisions. What makes influencers different to celebrities, is their accessibility. Influencers keep their audiences by communicating with them, regularly and personally. They know what their audiences like (and don’t like), so are able to champion brands to their followers with great success. 

2. What makes someone an Influencer?
In order to determine if someone can be labelled an “influencer”, we need to look at what power they have to influence others. It doesn’t necessarily mean because someone has thousands of followers online they will be an effective “influencer”. First, we look at:

Relevance – what kind of content are they producing and is it a niche that audiences are looking to follow?
Reach – how many people is the content reaching?
Resonance – how engaged is their audience with this content and are they actively participating in the online conversation?
If your “influencer” meets the criteria above, you can be confident that you’re looking at someone who has built a loyal and engaged following organically, shares frequent and creative content and their fans have a deep underlying trust in what they post. You’ve found a great “Influencer”!

3. What kind of platforms do Influencers work on? 
This really depends on who the influencer is and what vertical they’re working in. You’ll find Travel influencers very active on Instagram for images as well as personal blogs to journal about their adventures. Twitter is very popular in Gaming and Technology because of the speed and rate in which people consume information. YouTube is still the king of video sharing platforms and creators have spent years building huge followings on these platforms. In fact, many “YouTubers (YouTube Influencers…get it?!) are now being touted by entertainment exec’s to star in their own TV shows (that’s right…”crazy ex-Girlfriend”!). Influencers are developing across all verticals and all platforms, from Lifestyle and Parenting to Motorsports, Skateboarding, even Carpentry! If you’re looking for an expert in any particular field, you can bet there’s an influencer for that…probably an App too 😉 

4. How does a Brand partner with an Influencer?
First, the brand will look at which Influencers align with their industry, product or key messaging. The influencer will then be tasked with creating content for their platforms that promotes and positively showcases the brand to their audience. A brand must make sure there is a fluid and open communication with the influencer to ensure the content is on point. 
Here are a few great examples of sponsored campaigns done well:

The content is authentic for the influencer and speaks to a personal connection. The image captures the product without it being forced, and the caption includes the relevant messaging, hashtags and client tags. 

A unique core message that was creative in their alignment of a Health/Fitness influencer for an addiction recovery institute. This was a careful alignment that generated exceptional results from a targeted audience and authentic, personal message. 

A comedic entertainer, this influencer was selected to showcase a new mobile App. His creativity and clear brand promotion in the caption generated incredible viral results for the client!

Excellent use of comedy to promote the brand through video. This is a great example of how brands don’t need to take themselves so seriously with influencer marketing and even parody themselves. 

49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions (source), and influencer campaigns are proven to be effective for over 80% of marketers who have tried them (source)!

5. Why use Influencer Marketing?
We often get asked this question and the answer is simple … consumers trust recommendations from influencers. With so many different ways to consume media now, we are fortunate enough to be in a position to pick and choose how, where and who we get information from. When we follow an online personality, we do so on our terms. Right from the start there is an excitement, trust and interest that only grows with time. This will eventually translate to influence in purchasing decisions. Over 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference (source) because influencers build relationships with their audience that brands may not be able to.

6. What ROI can I expect from an Influencer Campaign?
Not only are influencer-consumer relations great for brand credibility – influencer campaigns can benefit overall business and marketing strategies. It’s been reported that businesses are generating $6.50 in revenue for each $1 spent on influencer marketing (source) – a whopping 650% return! Like all marketing, there is no magical formula that will yield results; it will always come down to creative strategy, maximizing the budgets and experience!

So lets talk! If you’ve got a question about influencer marketing we missed or want to learn more about what we do at The Sociable Society – we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at hello@thesociablesociety.com.

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