The first widespread use of influence in marketing can be dated back to the late 1800s where the influence of popular celebrities are leveraged to market cigarettes and home goods services. And from then on, the influence of prominent personalities and the biggest names in different industries are used to market products and services.
Two centuries after, in 2004, blogging became popular. In 2006, social media networks became mainstream. Slowly, bloggers, YouTube vloggers, and other people gained their influence in their own social networks.
Now, their influences are being used by different brands to market their products and services to wider audiences.
How Social Media Influencers Benefit Brands and Businesses
Together with the boom of the different social networking platforms, more and more marketers are collaborating with a variety of influential social media users to build a bigger audience for their brands and businesses. These social media influencers help brands increase their brand trust and awareness, engagement, and sales.
Let’s determine who an “influencer” is first. Anyone who has an authority and a measurable level of influence within a specific niche or his/her respective audience is, whether online or offline.
On the other hand, a social media influencer is anyone who has a considerable amount of influence across the different social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and various blogs.
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What is it with these social media influencers that marketers are tapping on them for marketing?
· With social media influencers, you can tap different sets of audiences across different the social platforms, thus, increase your scope and attract more people to your brand which can convert to actual sales. They have varying and unique sets of followers, which is a good, plus in collaborating with them in marketing your brand, products, or services.
But, numbers aren’t everything when it comes to influencer marketing, engagement is. Sometimes, an influencer with a small community is more effective than an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. Micro-influencers are great in engagement. For better results, build relationships with influencers with different levels of influence instead.
· After developing strong relationships with influencers, having them to market your brand becomes more personal, authentic, seamless, and effective. Influencers marketing your products or services will appear more like personal recommendations which are more hit with consumers. The majority of consumers trust peer recommendations than ads.
Different brands today invite a variety of social media influencers to their events, product launches, etc. To build relationships with them. Because of this, these influencers treat them more like friends than business partners. In return, they give more personal and genuine posts about the experiences they have with the brand’s products or services.
· Last but not the least, influencers’ huge amount of influence over their audience can be passed on to you. When you find the right influencer for your brand, you’ll notice a significant increase in your following, and eventually, sales – most especially when your product or service is easily shared through recommendations or word of mouth.
In 2015, a budding Filipina entertainment personality referred to by fans as “Yaya Dub,” made one of MAC’s lipsticks sold-out. The huge influence she has over her followers made them rush to the nearest MAC stores after discovering the lipstick she’s using. Take note; she’s not even an official endorser of MAC. Truly, influence benefits marketing.
To reap the full benefits and success of marketing through social media influencers, you must first figure out how to select the right influencers that fit your brand. You are more than just finding a suitable influencer to market your brand; you are also choosing someone to build a relationship with.