Seems like every few years there is this genius, trendy marketing strategy that takes a hold of businesses to either make or break them. Well, in 2019, the influencer is the gatekeeper. The word has been sprinkled into modern social media terminology and if you have a business or in the process of creating one, the word probably isn’t new to you. Social media has changed the landscape of, not just marketing, but also how we interact and the images we see daily. We get our news, fashion, gossip etc. from posts on social media platforms. So, naturally, monetizing it was inevitable. Businesses are now relying on these influencers to promote their products to the masses.
What is an influencer? The technical definition reads as follows: “An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience” (IMH). These individuals, often times, rise in popularity and can be equated to celebrity status because their visibility and power are that great. Influencers are very knowledgeable on certain topics, or niche markets, creating a dedicated group of followers who depend on their reviews to make purchasing decisions. These reviews are often posted on social media pages or they may have a Youtube channel. They are not only marketing tools, but they also have a trusting relationship with the customer you want to reach. That relationship is worth way more than just one buying experience but can lead to persuading a whole other demographic that hasn’t tried your products yet. It’s not unusual to see an influencer on television, possibly being a correspondent or promoting his or her own brand. Instagram is a hotbed for influencers, who you will often see promoting different products using a visual aid that is familiar to their followers. Some will promote your brand for free, while others may have set prices depending on the duration of advertising. Being aware of who is catching everyone’s attention on these platforms will elevate your understanding of how to utilize them. Generation Z has created its own method of consuming information, not through the television or radio of yesteryear, but direct interaction via social media. Over three billion people use social media, so if you are not taking advantage of the market, then you are neglecting a large number of potential customers.
PR Daily has provided some tips on what influencer marketing will look like in 2019. A picture is worth a thousand words, so Instagram will be your go-to for starting your personal branding off right. A visual representation always puts things into a different perspective. You know that song that you really didn’t like when you first heard it, but once you saw the video it changed how you viewed the song? Well, that’s kind of how Instagram works to provide an easier way to digest material that words can’t do, like on Twitter. “Instagram was the source of 93 percent of influencer marketing campaigns in 2018”, so making it apart of your business plan is a no brainer. Another important take is to make sure that influencers are apart of your overall marketing strategy. Promoting products is not an easy job, so having these people on your team will only make your brand stronger and ahead of the curve. Fostering relationships with influencers will be more beneficial than just using them as a third party outlet to reach their followers, which goes into the next tip. “Influencers, to succeed, need to convey a consistent message and grow their audience with a brand, as opposed to, one-off sponsorships”. If you want to create a more linear marketing strategy, it’s better to create a solid foundation with select influencers who produce quality content, than dispersing your brand to whomever.
This new wave of influencer marketing has developed into a mainstay that will continue to grow and evolve. These strategies are elevating brands to new heights that we have not seen, as more and more people are adopting the entrepreneurial route due to greater access to resources. Influencers are creating their own lane and anybody developing their personal brand will have to take notice.