A form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers. Wiki.
A recent study showed 6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms to live TV. In 2015 18-49 year olds spend 4% less time watching TV and 74% more on YouTube. With such significant growth it’s no wonder many marketers are turning from traditional spending to online platforms, particularly video.
HubSpot, the CRM software company fairly recently coined the term, inbound marketing. The whole idea behind inbound marketing turns traditional marketing on its head. There should be less focus on gaining customers through persuasive advertising and instead on producing engaging content. A potential customer is much going to prefer buying from a company that helps add value to them than an advertisement they’ve heard on the radio.6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms to live TV Click To Tweet
Inbound marketing strategy
This is where influencers come into the equation. Companies struggle to have any real social influence among consumers unless they have some kind of cult following like Apple or Tesla. So instead they look to content creators as a helping hand. Casey Neistat is a self made vlogger and filmmaker with a YouTube subscriber count succeeding 7million. He’s well known to have helped brands like Nike and Samsung produce compelling messages that actually resonate with audiences. Casey’s recognised this growth himself and his recently created venture, Beme, promises to be a new way of looking at news stories online. Lets look at an example of a good collaboration between a company and social influencer:
‘Bob’ likes watching gaming video’s on YouTube. One of his favourite YouTubers is PewDiePie. The video game publisher EA are about to release the latest game in the Battlefield series. Doesn’t it make the most sense for Bob to discover the latest game through his favourite YouTuber? Well both EA and PewDiePie did work together through a program setup specifically aimed at YouTube gamers. This mutual kind of content creation works for both companies and influencers alike.
Social influencers are not just restricted to video, other networks like Instragram and Snapchat are still on the up. Instagram stories now amount to 250 million active daily users while snapchat is just behind with 166 million.
Influencers & Celebrities
Depending on what you’re reading the definition of an ‘influencer’ might not always be the same. It can be easy to think an influencer is simply a celebrity. The two definitely cross but they’re not necessarily the same. Celebrity endorsements for products and brands are nothing new, they key difference could simply be seen as:
- Influencers are usually self-built and carry weight in a specific subject
- Celebrities bring exposure and are not necessarily linked to a knowledge base
You could easily say an influencer is a celebrity and you might not be wrong but you probably couldn’t always say the same the other way around.
With such growth among audiences for social influencers it still seems like a relatively untapped avenue for markets to explore. It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether the growth continues and if marketers are willing to embrace collaboration.