Is online influencer marketing still a powerful tool in 2019?

Mar 29, 2019

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Is online influencer marketing still a powerful tool in 2019?

Influencer marketing was the next generation evolvement of celebrity marketing. In fact, the technique of influencer marketing is actually much older than the majority of 2019’s most sought after online influencers!

Obviously, this form of promotion did not start as perfect Instagram posts, or highly polished YouTube reviews, but it was more in the form of celebrity endorsements. We all still link some of the longest running and successful brand relationships such as Gary Linekar and Walkers crisps, Jamie Oliver and Sainsburys in the UK, and Michael Jordan with Nike was a global phenomenon. 

Are people still listening?

But after years of collaborations and endorsements – and over the past decade the rise of the bloggers and vloggers making their fame and money as key influencers. Becoming an influencer is the 21st century equivalent of becoming a Hollywood celebrity, especially among members of younger generations.

But is this marketing trend starting to wane?

There have been the recent issues raised surrounding the lack of transparency, trust and authenticity within this arena, compounded by poor influencer selection by some brands. Wannabe influencers have resorted to publishing fake sponsored posts on behalf of brands that they are not actually working with and the issue with fake accounts and followers have been big news in the media.

Consumers are becoming more savvy and the role of the influencers is changing.


The different levels of influencers

As this marketing channel has developed and matured, four types of influencers have emerged on social media:

Mega-influencers – celebrities who are famous in the ‘real’ world and have more than a million followers

Macro-influencers – influencers with between 100,000 and 1 million followers

Micro-influencers - someone who has between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. This level of influencer is powerful to SMEs as, while their following may be smaller, their authenticity is high and they are listened to

Nano-influencers – somebody with fewer than 1,000 followers who has immense influence with a comparatively narrow market. For instance, a nano-influencer may be the person with the most credibility in a particular neighbourhood


Making the most of what you’ve got

Most businesses do not have the budget to attract the attentions of the mega or macro influencers – there is so much competition that the influencers themselves can cherry pick the brands they want to work with.

But do not underestimate the power of the nano-influencers – they are often the best people to extol a brand’s virtues to a narrow or specific niche. If a business builds a relationship with a nano-influencer, then most viewers consider it authentic and genuine.

User generated content is still one of the most sought-after social assets for businesses – using your own consumers as brand ambassadors can really tap into peer to peer influencer marketing and engage with your customers.


Tools to help with measurement

Twitter were one of the first platforms to identify that verified users wanted to quality control their timelines and manage their brand. And now Instagram have followed.

In response to the continual development of this area of social media they have recently been trialling ‘Creator Accounts’. These accounts allow top tier creators to access more in-depth insights and analytics on their followers as well as customising contact features on the app.

They have now have access to a range of tools useful for a large-scale active Instagram user which include growth insights such as data around follows and unfollows, direct messaging tools that allow users to filter notes from relevant people and flexible labels that allow users to designate their preferred method of contact. 


Video is still king

When Instagram introduced their ‘stories’, it was accused of a piggy-backing on the popularity of Snapchat but the new element has proved a huge success.

This is due to the power and engagement of stories and story-telling by video - viewing time on the video sharing platform YouTube had a 50% growth year on year in 2018.

And now the surge in popularity of Tik Tok (formerly substantiates this. The app, which is a video-sharing platform that allows users to create and share 15-second videos on any topic, was, in October 2018, the most-downloaded photo and video app in the Apple store globally. Tik Tok reportedly has now amassed over 500 million monthly active users.


Making Influencer Marketing work for your business

And interestingly, to bring this round in a full circle, it’s huge growth in popularity was predominantly a result of influencers and celebrity endorsements – Jimmy Fallon championed Tik Tok on his chat show running challenges that were based on the video platform and the company have focused on celebrity partnerships in Japan, Thailand India to drive geographical expansion.

The success of an influencer marketing campaign is not always dependent on budget. It can work for smaller business too. It is all based on how well you do your research into your target consumers and the amount of effort you put into creating the right content.

You need to identify influencers that suit your business so that you’ll be able to reach the audience that they already have.

To be successful and reap the rewards, it is always worth spending enough time, effort and money on creating worthwhile content that can be shared and promoted by your influencers.


Category: social media tips

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