Who is an Influencer?Oleh Mykhaylovych
You can see all around that everyone is talking about influencers and influencer marketing. People seem to be going crazy about it. So what is this and why does everyone care so much about it?
I would define influencer marketing as a brand-new trend that creates fresh opportunities for marketers to be heard by their customers. If you take some time browsing this topic on the web, you will not find one specific answer with a concise definition.
Influencers are people who can affect the purchasing decisions of others. Not only can celebrities be the most powerful influencers but also everyday people who have thorough knowledge of the niche, or are an authority, in the right position to know etc. You can also add that influencers are those who can raise brand awareness and make people talk about a product, brand or item you have created. Jay Baer says that: “True influencers drive actions, not just awareness”.
Because of advertising overload, a large number of customers became cynical toward advertising. Many of them have begun using ad blocks and other plugins to decrease the level of information noise recently. As a result, an alternative communication channel appeared. Human psychology shows that it is natural for individuals to desire more information or seek out advice before making a purchasing decision. Marketers can fill this gap with information about a product. You are more likely to buy a product recommended by friend than to be hassled by a brand incessantly, right?
According to a variety of research, approximately 90% of customers trust recommendations and reviews from other people, even if they do not know them personally. Peer reviews have a greater influence than advertising or promotional content that comes from a brand.
If you want to use influencer marketing as a part of your online marketing strategy, try to avoid confusing influence with popularity. The value an influencer can provide is not always about the number of followers but how relevant they are for your industry.
Why is influencer marketing so important to your business?
According to the Tomson’s survey, marketers rate influencer marketing as their fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel. Almost every brand uses the advantages an influencer provides. Around 59% of marketers plan to increase their budgets for this channel over the next year. It also appeared that influencers and email marketing are the most cost-effective channels, baiting all affiliate marketing and paid searches. Seeing and considering all facts while working with your audience via influencers can be the most effective marketing campaign you have ever launched.
As I mentioned above, people trust other people more than any brand, company or advertisement. Word of mouth is a tool that consistently works but has been neglected for some time. A study by McKinsey found that marketing introduced to a customer by the word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.
When you start working with your influencers they bring not only their own audience but also an entire network of their followers. People like to share the content of their influencers: what makes them look more cool and noticeable among their friends.
Due to a loyal audience, an influencer can drive traffic to your site, increase your social presence or even sell your product through their story or just a recommendation. Influencers can solve a lot of shortcomings for your business. They can teach your customers about products or services, help you with inbound marketing and SEO and sometimes work with negative feedback about your product, providing positive content about you and your product.
I can probably claim that nowadays influencer marketing is social. The world has shifted to social media, and it is easier to connect with other consumers via Facebook or Twitter to make better decisions by learning from their experience.
Besides, influencer marketing can be targeted to exactly your audience and warm them up to become your lead.
What is the difference between Influencers and paid advertisement?
Influencers are an Opt-in Network. Their audience makes the decision to follow them. Unlike the traditional and “old-fashioned” advertising in which audience did not have a choice but to see a commercial because they were lazy to switch channel or they were staying in the traffic and an billboard is just there in front of there eyes. Today, effective marketing channels are mostly opt-in.
The great thing is that the audience wants to be there either it is Twitter or blog posts, etc. They are looking for recommendations and when you find an influencer who is a good fit for you their words can bring your brand up. Nowadays, a term influencer is less foggy and the importance of it becomes clearer for marketers. If you have an understanding of influencer marketing, you are ready to start searching for them.
Who is the best influencer?
The question comes about as to who is the best influencer and where they can be located. Looking through different research and making some of my own bloggers consider being best influencers. One of the most useful things about bloggers is that they usually have at least one active social network. It often happens that there is a different audience in different resources of bloggers. Someone can read every post in the blog and others can follow on Twitter and go through his tweets to find the most interesting stuff.
But before start your influencer marketing campaign, create an image of the influencer. Kristen Matthews (@KristenWords) gave a short list of how you can do this:
· Personality type – Decide if you need an activist, an informer or someone else to promote your brand or product.
· Genre – Pick one or two. For example, fashion, cars, marketing, etc.
· Niche – You can choose one, two or three, depending on your industry.
· Topics – Choose the ideal topic that your influencer is talking about in blogs or social media. This will help you explain why you can cooperate by referencing on this topic.
· Type of reach – Decide how you want to reach your audience. Consider whether you are interested in traffic to your site or more social followers.
Let’s go through the real influencers in online marketing.
Noah Kagan is a founder of Appsumo.com. There is no need to introduce him to you. You know why? He is powerful influencer on the web. But what makes him so influential? Let’s get a short review of that. Noah is an expert in online marketing. He launched a startup with a great success and many professionals in this sphere use his app, plugins (by the way, you can test it here and press the share button on the left) and other useful things for marketers.
You can visit his Twitter and see all the followers. The most amazing thing is that all of them are willing to read his tweets. When he posts something about new tool and says how it great it is, you will see enormous traffic to your website. The point is that everyone in his network trusts him and values his thoughts.
A lot of marketers, growth hackers and even founders of other startups read his marketing blog, which is full of case studies, examples and vitally important facts to avoid mistakes. Noah’s content spreads throughout the web with enormous speed due to his network. So, can you imagine if he just mentions you in one of his posts? I bet your Google analytics will go crazy with the traffic, and in a better way this will give you hot leads or even sales.
Rand Fishkin is the well-known wizard of Moz.com. He created a powerful platform for SEOs which has had grown to a popular marketing platform. Rand covers an audience of online marketers and SEO specialists. Beside this, Rand is the co-founder of our favorite resource inbound.org. One of the coolest things that he provides is WhiteBoardFridays. Huge amount of Moz fans are willing to watch the next video that can help them find a solution for their problem or answer their question. He shares his knowledge, conducts research and gives tips about stuff that is a pain for every marketer. So, if you are interested in having an impact or claim about your product to SEOs or inbound marketers – Rand is whom you need.
Another great example of an influencer is Neil Patel, the founder of Kissmetrics. Neil helps huge companies like Amazon, HP and NBC grow their revenue. Forbes considers him to be one of the Top 10 Online Marketers and The Wall Street Journal claims him to be a top influencer on the web. He created a network with marketers, founders and entrepreneurs that are ready to test and try every tactic he explains. As Noah and Rend, Neil provides people with valuable information that he receives from his own experiences. And what can be more valuable? You can find thousand of useful tools, links and research on his blog.
All of the aforementioned influencers created valuable relations with their followers. The audience trusts them and perceives information from their posts as a valuable piece of advice. If one of their followers has doubts, the first thing they will do is search through influencer’s posts to find the answer to their question or find a solution to their problem.
Influencers are a powerful tool to speak to your audience. Establishing relationships with them will help you broadcast your product, strengthen brand advocacy and generate more prospects for your business.