If you’re standing anywhere near the marketing industry, you know that the term “influencer” is the hottest thing since sliced bread. It’s the buzzword of all buzzwords. It’s the king of the jungle. It’s…well, you get it, it’s everywhere.
The word influencer might be a bit overused, but it’s got everybody’s attention. And that’s because it describes one of the most valuable strategies that you can have when building your brand in this connected world we live in.
So let’s back up a second.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the term “influencer” is used to describe someone on the Internet that has influence on an audience. Basically they have a significant amount of people that follow them somewhat regularly. For instance, celebrities are the most well known and widely used influencers. But they are reserved for the brands that can afford to pay them. The more valuable influencers – and more importantly, affordable – are the thousands, and even millions of people who have a small to medium size following on The Internet.
The reason they’re called influencers, is because if you can get them to mention a particular product or service to their audience, there’s a good chance that they will influence a large portion of their audience will buy into that idea.
Now the idea isn’t anything new. We seen it for decades with movie stars, musicians, athletes and anyone who holds the public’s attention. They endorse a product, and the public buys it. Why? Because we look up to them. We trust them to make decisions on what we should do and wear, so that we don’t have to.
The only difference nowadays is that the Internet has allowed anyone to become a celebrity. So now we have thousands of people that the public looks up to and pays attention to for advice and how they should live. A popular YouTuber could be a young girl who gives make up tutorials and has the attention of millions of other young girls across the world. If she were to endorse a product, you bet your top dollar that the product is going to sell to a good portion of her audience. Why? Because if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for her fans.
Why it works
This strategy works, it’s in the numbers. It’s no secret anymore and many brands are doing it. But there still a huge opportunity that everyone is missing. We’re all so busy looking at the biggest influencers, that we forget about the micro-influencers. We forget how much it matters to have somebody notice us and ask us for our expert opinion, or to use our talents to show the world great things. We forget that Susie, who is 17 years old, as 2000 Instagram followers, and wants to be a singer, is trying to get herself noticed. And if she’s contacted by a person or a brand giving her props on her chops(singing skills), that she will be pumped for the opportunity to engage with them. And Susie will be more than willing to get a free product from you and tell every single one of her friends how awesome it is, just to get a quick shout out from you.
Heck we could even go smaller. Joe could be a 31-year-old construction worker who posts crazy worksite photos and videos and has 800 people following him on Instagram. If you’re in the construction products business, give him a shout out and figure out some sort of collaboration you too can do together. You get a shout out to an audience of potential new customers, and Joe has fun with a brand that he might start buying from in the future. It’s a win-win.
Make it happen
The opportunities are endless, and are only restricted by your marketing team’s level of creativity. There’s a good reason that the term “influencers” is so hot right now, it’s an effective marketing strategy, but you need to realize that everyone’s an influencer.” Almost everyone has a circle of friends following them that are influenced by their posts comments and shares. If you’re witty and creative enough, your brand can be part of that conversation.