I recently read an interesting article on Marketing Week about whether influencers need to be more transparent. This got me thinking about how influencer marketing has evolved and whether this is something that all good marketing strategies should now include.
It wasn’t too long ago that influencers seemed to be a rarity. You would see the occasional influencer promoting a brand across social media, in a magazine or a tv ad. This would usually be some kind of celebrity. With the growth of Instagram this seems to have accelerated at top speed turning it from a niche tool in to a necessity, with all kinds of people promoting all kinds of brands. We even see ‘regular’ people leaving their full time jobs to do this on a full time basis and making an income from it.
What was once a free way of promoting a brand, where companies would receive a few emails from people wanting to try their products, has now turned in to a big part of a marketing strategy with budgets set aside specifically for this.
With social media continuing to grow I think that influencer marketing will only get bigger. I personally think it is a great way for brands to reach a wider audience that they might not necessarily reach. However, brands need to be sure that influencers are talking about the brand in the right way so as to not dilute the brand or cause damage.
Influencer marketing is a way for brands to promote themselves without having to pay the price for an A-list celebrity. Many influencers that you see have a huge following, and although they may not have the 115M following that Kim Kardashian has, they are still gaining exposure to a huge target audience who may not otherwise know of or use a specific brand. Influencers are real people, many with normal 9-5 day jobs and a busy family life that we as consumers can relate to.
What do you think? If a brand doesn’t use influencer marketing are they falling behind? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Next week I will look at examples of how my favourite brand of all time uses influencer marketer. Yes, it is running related!