From the earliest days of television (and a lesser degree, radio), savvy marketers have pushed their products with the help of celebrity pitch people acting as the designated faces of given brands. There’s no arguing the impact of celebrities endorsing anything from automobiles to alcohol to insurance, as the practice creates a sense of comfort and trust among consumers, which ultimately translates into sales dollars.
The irony about using celebrities for marketing purposes is that the practice is exclusively style over substance, despite being highly effective. Truth be told, how many celebrity endorsers are experts with their respective products? The answer is close to zero, yet countless advertising budgets allocate significant funds for such face time because marketing gurus know the public is driven by familiarity. That said, as powerful as celebrity usage is in advertising, a new strategy is taking hold and may soon offer celebrity endorsements a suitable challenger.
Spheres of Influence
Influencer Marketing is defined exactly as it appears: Marketing via an entity who influences a demographic of consumers. How is this different than celebrities influencing the public with their fame and notoriety? It’s simple. Influencer Marketing incorporates expertise into the sales equation, an integral ingredient that builds credibility and buyers’ trust, as well as consumer loyalty.
Think of influencers as market share representatives who are well versed in the nuances of the goods and/or services they are promoting, and augmented by resumes and skill sets that support their expert opinions and recommendations. Also, with the power of social media as a marketing tool, influencers have become serious players in the advertising field as they carve out their own niches, and essentially become content area experts who can be trusted to pitch virtually any product.
Examining the Power of Influencer Marketing with Consumers
Doubt the scope of Influencer Marketing? Think of how many purchases you have made solely based upon an online review. Now take that online review, multiply it to the Nth degree, then back it up with an expert opinion and high visibility. Voila! Influencer Marketing. The more familiar an influencer becomes to a specific consumer cohort, the greater the scope of influence for a particular brand through a multitude of media outlets.
Consider how important trust is to the average consumer. People patronize specific retailers because they inherently trust those retailers to provide quality and affordability, among other valuable selling attributes. People also gravitate to persons they trust, either aesthetically or ethically, thus the importance of a qualified influencer to handle marketing. Once trust is established within a vendor-customer relationship, the selling process is easy. Gaining such trust is the true challenge, and influencers with stellar reputations and individual expertise are poised to continue gaining traction as important marketing assets.
As much money as a company like Ford spends for actor Matthew McConaughey to promote Lincoln, could better results be had using a well-known influence marketer with automotive industry expertise? Possibly, but there is no denying that a skilled influence marketer would appeal to a certain market segment, more so than a notable Hollywood celebrity.
If you’re unfamiliar with how Influencer Marketing is growing into the chosen method for some companies to advertise, do a bit of research and identify the most in demand influencers and their host companies, especially those that exploit social media. Then consider if Influencer Marketing might be a viable consideration for promoting your company’s goods and/or services.