Even if you haven’t heard the term, chances are, you’ve been exposed to influencer marketing. If you have a personal presence on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, it’s highly likely that you follower an influencer or two (or 50, who’s counting?).

Who are social media influencers? Essentially, they’re modern day celebrities. First there was reality TV, then YouTube stars were a thing, and now just about anyone can create a niche, produce awesome content, share it with the world via social media and become an internet personality. Whilst a large following and popularity are part of the influencer profile, alone they do not constitute influence. A true influencer has an impact on the perception, thinking and behaviour of their audience.

Influencers come in all different ages, styles, genres and varieties, and include actors, athletes, musicians, YouTube personalities, reality TV stars, bloggers, chefs, photographers, interior designers, academics, authors and parents…you name it, the sky is the limit. Using influencers in the world of marketing may seem a new term, but the concept has actually been around for years. We are finally coming to a point in this digital age where we recognise how truly powerful it is, and how it is changing the traditional marketing landscape. We don’t want to be “sold” to anymore using old-fashioned methods like heavy sales pitches, TV and radio commercials or print advertising.  We want to see “real” people whose opinions we value, using the coolest products and services.

Influencer marketing has been around a lot longer than people realise, and realistically has its roots in traditional advertising. Michael Jordan has been one of the faces of Nike since 1984, Tiger Woods started sporting Rolex as an ambassador in 2011, and nobody can think about acne treatment, ProActiv, without seeing Jessica Simpson’s (perfectly clear) smiley face. Why employ celebrities to be the face of a brand? Because even though most people know that buying Nikes won’t improve their athletic ability, owning the same pair as a professional basketball player makes you feel special. Like you’re buying the best.

The concept of influencer marketing is extremely similar, only you don’t have to be a professional athlete, celebrity or a musician. You just need an audience that trusts you, and values your opinion. People feel like they can purchase with confidence if an influencer has already tried it out first. Influencer marketing is also a whole lot cheaper than traditional advertising with big celebrity endorsements. What’s more, is that people don’t like being “advertised” to anymore, so the use of an influencer becomes a more subtle, socially acceptable approach. Influencer marketing is more like advocacy, and less like a heavy sales pitch.

In 2017, it was reported that the global marketing spend on influencers was $570 million, according to eMarketer. A separate study in the same year conducted by Linqia found that 39% of brands planned to increase their influencer budget for the following year, and 93% of marketers involved in the study said they will be spending more than $10,000 on their campaigns. Don’t be fooled by the numbers though, because influencer marketing can actually be super affordable.

Marketing is an ever-changing industry, and the evolution of influencer marketing is a fascinating journey to watch. At Kis Marketing, we know that influencer campaigns have great success rates in boosting sales and engagement for brands. If you’d like to know more about influencer marketing, feel free to give our team a call on 4934 4556.