“Anyone can be an influencer, but not everyone has the ability to influence. Knowing the difference is the key to success or failure” – You Tube
Influencer marketing is a loose term you may hear being thrown around, not just in the media and entertainment industry, but across all business sectors. In today’s world the influencer landscape is unrecognisable in comparison to a decade ago. Previously, only businesses with a respectable marketing budget allocated a percentage of their sales and marketing spend towards influencer marketing.
In theory, it makes perfect sense. If we can get human beings to carry our marketing water on behalf of the company, not only do costs go down, but persuasiveness goes up simultaneously.
Here at Bubble Agency, we have observed numerous brands within the media and entertainment industry tap into the power of influence as a proven string in their bow- particularly in the cinematography industry. Some of these forward thinking and modern organisations include Canon, Atomos, Cooke, Sony and Arri… to name a few.
So, what is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who has the capability to affect their followers’ thinking and therefore purchasing decisions, because of their authority.
With platforms such as Instagram and YouTube rapidly gaining users every day, it’s no surprise that more brands are turning to this more accessible form of marketing. It is a common misconception that this method of marketing only has a place in B2C models, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, if your business serves in the VFX sector, there are figures of authority, and renowned VFX artists who could pose as evangelists for your B2B brand.
More often than not you will know who a potential influencer may be for your business, but thinking linear can be a trap. Using certain social listening tools could highlight potential influencers for you to investigate further that you may not have originally explored.
How to work with an influencer
There are various strategies to consider when deciding on the best approach when working with an influencer. These include:
- Gifting – give products to an influencer for free in exchange for a review post
- Sponsored content – a business can pay for its brand to be featured in a post or blog piece
- Giveaways – run a competition and ask the influencer to share it, or gift a product as one of the prizes
- Brand ambassadors – work with an influencer for a longer period of time to give their audience a chance to appreciate the brand and become familiar with it
- Affiliates – provide an influencer to give their followers a discount code to encourage purchases – some business will then give the influencers a percentage of the profit
Levels of influence
There are at least four levels of influencers that are categorised by the number of followers:
- Nano – 10,000 followers or less
- Micro – 10,000 – 100,000 followers
- Macro – 100,000 – 1 million followers
- Mega – 1 million + followers
To really benefit from influencer marketing, it is worth using a range of these different levels. This also depends on what a business wants to achieve, what contacts they have access to, and of course – the budget at hand!
Playing devil’s advocate
Sometimes brands do not always achieve their desired ROI from using influencers. This could be for many reasons. Was the messaging and objective clear enough? Was the ability to track and measure effectively in place? Did the company really work well with the influencer and was that relationship managed appropriately? Was the influencer overpaid, or underpaid? Was the agreement in place exclusive?
Working with the wrong influencer can do more harm than good. It is a high risk, high reward method. Using ambassadors may be an established form of marketing, however the social media aspect of it is relatively new.
There is ample opportunity to use influencer marketing to accelerate brand growth, as long as businesses select the right influencer/s, nurture the relationship, measure as best possible, and have a clear plan in place in order to truly experience it flourish.
The right objective, matched with the right influencer could see your business reap rewards in a way that cannot be achieved through other methods, or even as fast as more traditional marketing tactics. Ultimately, if this is a practice your business would like to build into your marketing strategy, just ensure you have done your homework to ensure your brand is seen and talked about by the right people, in the right place.