By: Ashley N. Rosa
November 15, 2021
Have you been influenced into buying something online? Perhaps making new daily habits after viewing a YouTube video or Instagram picture? There’s been more times than I can count when I have made a purchase based on a Youtubers recommendation.
We build a solid trust with influencers who seem to share the same values, way of life, or who inspire us. As viewers, we trust their recommendations and want to adapt some of their habits into our lifestyle. This trend of relying on the influencer’s recommendation and buying the products they love is known as Influencer Marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Nowadays, brands use influencers as a form to gain brand recognition and increase sales. Influencer marketing is applying traditional marketing techniques and adapting them to the new digital age. Companies collaborate with influencers that relate to their brand and who have a common target audience. Companies prefer to use a person who is considered widely popular online and have their own trusting audience to promote their brand rather than a celebrity. It’s the notion that they are trustworthy and are not incentivised simply based on compensation. Influencers are typically experts in a niche; therefore, their audience is very specific and reliable.
Influencers are reachable and that’s what’s most appealing to the public. In a sense the audience feels more connected to them than they might to a movie star. Influencers have spent years cultivating their brand, establishing trust, an audience, and an honorable reputation.
They are knowledgeable experts in a specific field and share their insights and experiences online. They are the audience’s go-to person who provide answers to questions and show us around their life through vlogs.
Influencers are on a smaller scale in the sense they don't have billions of followers and may not be known globally such as other celebrities. As influencer marketing relevance becomes more prominent many influencers have grown exponentially. Emma Chamberlin, Addison Rae, Charlie D’Amelio, and many more have begun to appear in movies, TV shows, and various other opportunities that have coined them as “celebrity influencers”. In the past few years we have started to see Influencers rise into celebrities, but that's not the case for many. There are influencers who have millions of followers but are only relevant in their country and may not have the stardom that movie, or athletic celebrities have.
Influencers should be thought of in a spectrum of both the platform they use and their following. The spectrum can vary from having a small close knit fan base of a few hundreds or thousands to slowly becoming well known and reaching millions to starting in a movie or tv show. What is important to note is that they would carry their trusting audience with them wherever they are taken. That is what sets the influencers apart.
How does it work?
A brand will do an organic paid content collaboration with an influencer depending on the platform they use. For example, if a YouTube influencer is working with a skincare brand, the video will most likely be promoted showing their morning or night routine to demonstrate what are the benefits and why you should use the product that is being promoted. This will catch the audience members attention in a natural and subtle way, and it will most likely make them search for the product or the brand. Influencers can also promote the product on various platforms depending on the industry they are collaborating with. There are various ways paid collaboration deals are made. One being based on commission of the number of sales generated from the ad.
Influencer Marketing in Action
This can be seen with the famous skincare youtuber, Hyram. His channel is solely based
on providing the best skincare tips and products review, depending on your skin's condition. He has built an honorable reputation on providing honest feedback on all products brands. His audience trusts his opinion, and many visit his channel before going to the mall and purchasing a product. Skincare brands such as Tatcha, Murad, Ordinary, Origins and many more, have decided to promote their new products through him. Since these brands have a common target audience, therefore partnering with hyram, who is knowledgeable in skincare and has 4.59 million subscribers, has made these brands increase their brand awareness, build trust in consumers, and increase in sales.
Brands will also do collaborations by producing a product with the influencer. Jaclyn Hill, a famous makeup guru, has had many product collaborations with Morphe cosmetics. She produced her own eyeshadow palette and makeup brushes with the well-known
company. This collaboration was years in the making as Jaclyn Hill grew her fan base and promoted various Morphe products without receiving any compensation. Morphe eventually noticed that her viewers trusted her opinion and took them into account. Jaclyn Hill was a fan of Morphe, which made the collaboration more authentic. As a result, Morphe began doing paid partnerships with Ms. Hill and eventually collaborated on the launch of her products.
Influencer marketing has transformed the way brands market their products and reach their audience. Influencers are seen as honest and reachable people. Influencer marketing is more than just finding someone with a large following, paying them money, or giving them visibility in exchange for positive publicity. It is for this reason why celebrities are not a common form of marketing anymore. In today’s world, transparency is everything. We look up and follow those who are relatable and give us a sense of validity. This is what this new era of marketing provides.
Connect with the author on LinkedIn.