Marketing and advertising have changed quite dramatically over the last 15 years. Ever since social media and the internet started playing big parts in many people’s lives, marketers have had to change the way campaigns are devised and run.
The aim of any marketing campaign today is the same as it was decades ago, to improve awareness and increase sales. Whether a business is using print media or digital marketing techniques for higher conversion rates, the aim is always the same.
One area of marketing that has become very big is the use of influencers. Celebrity endorsements are nothing new, but influencers can have a huge effect on a brand’s success or failure.
Are influencers the best way to market brands and products today, or are they a trend that will disappear like other techniques before?
What on earth are influencers?
Unless you have been avoiding social media, blogs, YouTube, and the internet in general, you probably have a fair idea of what an influencer does. However, it can be a little misunderstood by some people.
An influencer is someone whose opinions and ideas are followed by a loyal, and often vast, fan base. They will usually use a form of social media – Instagram is popular – and they can influence an audience’s decision on whether to use a particular service or product.
There are many areas that these influencers work in, and health & beauty, and fitness, are popular niches. SlotLady and Brian Christopher Slots are well-known influencers in the world of casino games. The latter streams himself playing slot machines and has over 400,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.
However, Brian pales in comparison to the biggest influencers who have millions of followers and can charge large sums to post on Instagram.
Why would a business use an influencer?
An influencer with a large following has something that a brand cannot buy, and that is trust.
While consumers do indeed often show loyalty to specific brands, an influencer can sway their audience towards a particular product through trust. Influencers are followed, sometimes almost religiously, by their fans, and many aspire to be like their heroes.
A business such as a casinó can invite an influencer to play their games, and stream it or post about them online. Many followers do not associate influencers with marketing or advertising and therefore will trust these posts more than traditional adverts.
What about traditional advertising campaigns?
A traditional advertising campaign using print just won’t cut it these days. The reason for this is that so much business is conducted online and brands need consumers to click through to landing pages.
Attention spans seem to have dropped compared with audiences of the past, and advertisers need to grab the attention of their potential customers and get them to convert quickly.
Today, other advertising techniques have been found to be more effective than traditional campaigns. Guerilla marketing and influencers can be relatively inexpensive and very effective.
Are influencers worth the money?
The truth is that some influencers can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for one post, and there have been reports that Kylie Jenner made over $1 million per post on Instagram.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many success stories where influencers and bloggers have been used to drive sales conversions that cost relatively little.
Banza grew their company from one product, chickpea pasta, by sending free samples to influencers. The majority posted online that they loved the product and their company grew. Another huge success that came from using influencers is the Instant Pot.
The makers of Instant Pot decided against a huge marketing campaign and instead sent out 200 of their cookers to influencers and bloggers. The product is now in the homes of millions of Americans today.
The use of micro-influencers
Companies such as Nike, Pepsi, and MGM have huge marketing budgets. Nike might partner up with an influencer who costs a lot of money but has a huge following.
In the case of MGM and other casino companies, they will use local radio and TV for land-based gaming rooms, and other techniques for online sites. They may use geolocation advertising for a nettikasinot to make sure the potential players are in the right regions.
However, micro-influencers are becoming increasingly useful for a wide range of markets. Large companies such as Michelob and Adidas have sponsored micro-influencers with very small followings. Part of the reason for this is that they can often be more knowledgeable than their celebrity counterparts.
Not everyone trusts celebrities, and micro-influencers with smaller followings will often have the time to properly engage and discuss with their audiences. The value to a big brand, or a small business, is that they can gain new customers from a very small outlay.
How does an influencer gain their following?
For an influencer to be useful as part of a marketing campaign, they must have a genuine, active audience.
Many tools and websites promise to grow followers, but many of these are bots and can lead to accounts being ghosted. Anyone looking to gain Instagram followers quickly and for free needs to do so organically.
A good account holder will look to engage with other interested parties, follow relevant accounts, and post quality content. If followers aren’t gained organically, they will not be invested in the influencer and will fall away over time.
Similarly, if influencers post infrequently, or with irrelevant content, they will lose their audience. Trust is only built through them recommending good products. If they are seen to be taking payments to advertise any product regardless of its appeal to their followers then again they will lose followers.
A good influencer, whether they have a large or small audience, can connect with their followers in a way that a brand cannot. Brands pay for advertising but they cannot buy trust. They can however sponsor an influencer and gain the use of their loyal following.
With ecommerce being worth so much today, being able to have a product recommended through an influencer with millions of followers, can lead to a quick sales conversion. In a way that many traditional marketing methods cannot.