Monday, September 14, 2015

You're Already an Influencer Marketer

You might be a small company trying to put yourself on the map or you might be trying to put yourself on the map. Maybe you are unaware of this, but you and the people around you play a big role in terms of creating social impact. You might not know it, but you likely already are an Influencer Marketer.
What is Influencer Marketing? It is a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals who have influence over potential buyers. Brands have targeted popular bloggers and celebrities, but now there is a surge of “everyday” consumers (like yourself) who are making just as big of an impact.
Firstly consider social factors, perhaps you didn't perceive it this way, but all of your social media platforms are marketing tools. These are free places for you to share your products and content with people who credit you as worthy. Influencer marketing does work with numbers, targeting people with large followings to endorse products, but it also deals with expertise. Otherwise known as "mavens", people who know a lot about a topic. This is a person who is well-respected amongst their circle and who doesn't need a lot of followers to create a lot of influence. Impact is driven by credibility and expertise on a subject matter and the relationship between the influencer and his/her followers.
People want to hear from people they admire, people they respect and people they trust.  According to a marketing inspired study, word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. Certain companies and people have really good word of mouth and therefore render exceptional results.  For example, if Hootsuite put out a blog post on how to increase your Instagram following you might be more likely to trust in it simply because it was produced by Hootsuite, a company that has established themselves as gurus in the social media industry. Based on their influencing power, you might deem Hootsuite the best, and ignore all blog posts of a similar calibre. A company that a lot of people are talking about, in a positive way, has a lot of running power. The same goes for famous people. If Oprah Winfrey suggests a book, you might run out and read it because all her book club novels are so highly acclaimed, and everything that comes out of her mouth is not to be questioned. Influence can impact us through these vast pillars of social strength, or it can affect us on smaller scales.
I know people on Instagram with over 2000 followers who could literally post anything and still get a lot of positive attention. Even if it's pointless or silly. Why? Because they have dedicated followers who value them as credible. This loyalty is also displayed when you know a person who doesn't have a lot of followers, but still gets a lot of likes. They are effectively and consistency affecting at least 100 people (per post) who value what they have to say and admire.
Influencing is a great way to market within your community. Remember that 61% of people are referring to blog posts before making a purchase. As Scott Cook (CEO +Founder of Inuit) says, "a brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is--it is what consumers tell each other it is."People want to hear from real people, and they respect the opinions of certain influencers. For example, I follow a fashion blogger, who has great taste, if she suggests a place to shop at, I am going to listen because I value her influence, and hold her in high regards. See how it works?
 Don't underestimate the power of your own influence or the power of influence you have within your community. Reach out to people, see if they are willing to work with you, see how many people you can create a sharing relationship with. A true influencer marketer will pay tribute to the things around them that they think are great, so don't be afraid to represent someone else-- because hey, maybe they can do the same thing for you. Have a talented singing friend? Blogger? Designer? Jewellery Maker? Work together. Share some of their media with your social community. The people who find you influential will trust your opinions, likely keep your suggestions in mind, and hopefully share your content along. If you build relationships with these influencers, you can leverage them to build your own credibility.

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