Who is an influencer and should use one too?

The term ‘influencer’ has become somewhat of a dirty word in today’s society. Most conflate the title almost exclusively with Instagram fitness models who try to sell their impressionable audience ‘useless’ fitness teas and expensive workout plans. Certainly, there is some truth to this stereotype as the lack of regulation regarding this area of product promotion has led to scandals such as this: https://www.bravotv.com/the-feast/kim-kardashian-slammed-for-detox-tea-instagram-endorsement and this: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/08/youtube-csgo-lotto-fcc-no-fine/

However, it’s certainly not all bad and there are plenty of Canberra based companies that are doing it right. So we thought we’d give you the rundown on what influencers are, why they are becoming more important and how they can benefit businesses big and small.

What is an influencer?

Put simply, an influencer is an individual or collective who has built an online following in a particular niche (e.g. gaming, makeup, fitness, etc.) via content creation. This relationship with the audience can then be leveraged by said influencers to influence the purchase decisions of their audience. 

Canberra native Camille Aniversario is a perfect example of what a modern influencer is. The mother of three originally started a personal Instagram account based around sharing photos of her young family and writing accompanying blog posts about their lives and blog posts of her family (https://www.instagram.com/camilleaniversario/). The account quickly gained attention from other Instagram users and traditional media outlets which allowed her to not only promote other local brands but also her personal endeavours.  She now is the owner of four Instagram accounts with a combined audience of over 22 thousand followers. The content found on these accounts ranges from simple lifestyle blogging to business promotion and more recently, advocating for local women’s rights organisations.

Why are companies moving from celebrities to more niche influencers?

As online content platforms have drastically changed the media we engage with and how we consume it, so too has it changed people’s views of mainstream celebrities. The younger generation no longer looks to inaccessible Hollywood movie stars for guidance and instead turn to more relatable online content creators. I mean who are you more likely to trust; a movie star who you might see in one, maybe two movies a year, or an online blogger who’s personal and professional content you consume everyday?

The statistics reflect this shift as well. A study conducted by Roth Capital found that 78% of millennials aren’t influenced by celebrity endorsements, whilst another conducted by MediaKix showed that over 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. Moreover, industry experts believe that as traditional media platforms continue to become eroded by online content hubs, global expenditure on influencer marketing is expected to reach $6.5 billion annually by the end of the year. This figure is even crazier when you take into consideration that expenditure was only $1.7 billion in 2016.

Why would you hire an influencer?

  1. Improves Brand Awareness – Tapping into a highly engaged online audience is an effective way to further the reach of your brand as well as its general salience. The key to maximizing influencer strategy is ensuring that you’re providing valuable content that adds to their social media presence also, ensuring value on both sides.
  2. People value authenticity (which is something that typical celebrities lack) – Influencers have spent years in some cases building relationships, trust, and credibility with their fans. People not only respect their content but also their personal recommendations which is something your brand can leverage in order to motivate their audience to purchase your product
  3. Allows more niche-targeted marketing – Through relevant influencers, your content is placed in front of social users that are already interested in your niche. This means you can forgo spending additional funds on market research in order to find and test your target audience – the influencer has already done the leg work by curating an engaged audience
  4. Cost-effective – Recruiting influencers to market your product is much cheaper than other traditional avenues. A study by Bloglovin’ shows that a majority of micro-influencers charge less than $500 for a sponsored post. Additionally, because of the targeted nature of influencer marketing that the strategy is effective in bringing in better quality customers which further increases its return on investment.
  5. Can assist in content marketing – Most businesses are unable to dedicate the resources needed to constantly create engaging content for their customers. This is where influencers come in as they can help fill in the gaps of your own content schedule by producing more diverse (and in many cases higher quality) content.

Influencer marketing can be incredibly beneficial for startups, established businesses or simply those that have been struggling with gaining traction in their social media marketing.

If you wish to learn how you can effectively incorporate influencer outreach into your marketing strategy contact our team and schedule a consultation. We are proud to be on the cutting edge of this trend and we are excited to show Canberrans how this tactic can accelerate your online goals and benefit your brand! Keep an eye out for a list of Canberra influencers we are currently developing and will be launching very soon!