You may be wondering exactly what influencer marketing is. Well, it is marketing that concentrates on particular people rather than the entire target market for that particular brand. Influencers are extremely important and have a tremendous impact on business in the United States as well as around the world. Influencer marketing can be thought of as highly customized marketing.
The prevalence of influencer marketing in today’s business environment
Influencer marketing has become much more prevalent and popular over the last several years. Some of the people who are subscribing to that approach are doing it well and are achieving positive results and others are not doing it well and are not getting the results that they are hoping to achieve. The fact is that influencers have achieved their status by gaining experience and knowledge in their particular niche. However, it is not safe to assume that all of the advice that every influencer hands out is necessarily perfect advice for everyone else.
If any of the influencers whom you are following make promises that your logic tells you won’t happen (or can’t happen), you should listen to your gut. It probably will not end up the way that the influencer tells you that it will. With that in mind, it is important for you to keep in mind that there is a lot of false and/or useless information floating around and it is your job to figure out what information is valuable and what information should be disregarded because it won’t benefit you in any way.
- If a person is popular, it follows that he or she is an influencer: That is not necessarily the case. It is a good thing for a person to be popular but that is never necessarily connected to his or her being an influencer. To achieve influencer status takes time and a lot of hard work. On the other hand, a person can be popular based on charm and charisma. That has nothing to do with that person’s knowledge or experience. As always, it is much more sensible to choose quality over quantity. In this world, with so much competition and information coming at you from so many angles, it is critical that you are able to flush out the valuable information from the useless information. In fact, it is critical to the success of your business.
- Influencers will not agree to work with you unless you pay them: That is not necessarily true either. Of course, every business person is ultimately in business to make money. Nobody wants to do it for free. However, that doesn’t mean that money is the driver every single time. It really depends on what you are offering and on what the influencer hopes to get out of the relationship with you and your business. Not everyone expects to get paid for their opinion. In the business world, it is quite common to barter. The chances are very good that you have something that the influencer finds valuable and you may very well be able to strike a deal with him or her.
- Cultivating relationships between brands and influencers is next to impossible: Whether you are starting something new or you are adding influencers down the line to your content marketing strategy, you need to understand that you will always be able to accomplish that. However, it is important for you to understand that every relationship takes work and the relationship with your influencer(s) is no different. You must grow and nurture the relationship. After a short time, you will probably start to see results. The more effort you put into the relationship, the stronger it will be.
- The return on investment ends your relationship with the influencer: That could not be any further from the truth. In fact, that is just the beginning of the relationship. You should set your objectives at the very beginning of the relationship (in other words, determine what you hope to get out of the relationship) and work toward and achieve those goals with the influencer. What you really want is to have an enduring relationship with the influencer. That influencer (and any other influencers whom you relate to) will help you to bring your business to the next level, which is exactly what you want to happen.
- Influencer marketing cancels out other established forms of marketing: There is no way that this is true. Just like inbound and outbound marketing, influencer marketing is most effective if it works in tandem with other types of marketing. The point is that you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts and in order to do that you must have a deep understanding of the various types of marketing and the types of results that you can hope to achieve for your business. Influencer marketing can potentially have a wide span and many people will be glad to be involved on the receiving end of your marketing efforts.
Influencer marketing is definitely an approach to marketing that you should consider for your business. However, you should bear in mind that it works most effectively in tandem with other types of marketing that also work well for your business and achieve positive results. Influencer marketing should not instill fear. If it does, the solution is learning about it so that you understand just how valuable it can be for your business. Of course, the core of what drives influencer marketing is trust and we all understand that solid relationships are based on trust.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.