The first thing that springs to mind when I think of influencer marketing is Kylie Jenner sipping on various weight-loss teas.
It’s becoming more common for brands to partner up with celebrities to create a buzz around their products and this is only set to grow in the next few years as influencer marketing becomes a core part of marketing strategy.
By paying or sending freebies to these high-profile social media figures, brands can reach a wide and trusting audience. An influencer may have a weekly vlog where they feature a review of the product, or could share an Instagram post wearing a new product. Because the influencers audience view them as a trust worthy source and a friend, recommendations from these individuals have a much larger impact on a potential customer than an Amazon review. According to Forbes, a huge 92% of consumers place more trust in an influencer than a traditional advertisement.
Brands need to be careful when finding the right influencers for their brand – sending a free set of yoga pants to an influencer in the tech sector would be a waste of money and resource. By researching each influencer carefully and making sure their values align with your own, you can be sure that the audience you reach is relevant.
Some influencers are subtle with their sponsored advertising by subtly tagging or name dropping a brand. A great example of this was when Kim Kardashian stayed in a $30 million Manhattan triplex Penthouse, courtesy of Airbnb. Kim K made sure to snapchat every angle of the penthouse and tagging @airbnb in a thank you post on Instagram.
With just over 1 and a half million likes, it’s safe to say that the Airbnb brand gained a whole load of exposure from this picture alone.
Other influencers are less subtle and label any paid-for posts with #ad to inform their users. This solidifies the trust between influencer and consumer whilst still exposing the potential audience to the brand.
For example, Love Island contestant Jessica Rose labels her sponsored ads with #spon to alert her followers, for example on this promotional post:
A post shared by Jessica Rose (@jessica_rose_uk) on
Whilst high-profile influencers such as Kim K can earn up to $500,000 per post, a new breed of ‘micro-influencers’ have sprung up. With up to 100,000 followers as opposed to Kim’s 9.4 million, these smaller influencers tend to be more specialised and create a more personal feel through their sponsored ads. With a more targeted audience, utilising micro-influencers could be integral to a strong marketing strategy for brands looking for conversion rather than brand awareness.
It is clear users are mistrusting of blatant advertising, considering 47% of online consumers use an ad blocker. Going forwards brands will need to be clever about how they integrate their sponsored influencer posts with the users feed to create a seamless and unobtrusive marketing strategy.