By Kim Callaghan
The way brands use marketing is ever-changing. Television, newspaper and radio ads aren't the only way (or even the best way) to reach audiences anymore. Influencer marketing is one of the newer types of brand marketing. It's becoming more important all the time. Does traditional marketing still work? Of course. But influencer marketing reaches audiences differently and can be more effective in today's consumer markets.
Influencer marketing uses 'influencers' to communicate directly to their audience about products and services. They connect consumers with brands as intermediaries. The Award Pool platform integrates right into an Influencers channel to help them create challenges and competitions around those brands. The interactions between Influencer and consumers can produce authentic and relevant marketing results. An influencer can be any public figure who has a following. Key influencers types include micro-influencers, celebrities, bloggers, social media influencers, and key opinion leaders. Each one reaches the market differently, and each is suitable for different marketing campaigns.
Micro-Influencers usually have smaller (in the thousands) followings but very engaged audiences. These small, niche influencers are currently one of the most effective ways to use influencer marketing. They provide direct and engaging content they produce for their audience.
Celebrity Influencers have massive audiences and can promote brands to millions of followers. Think Selena Gomez, Leo Messi, Beyonce.
Bloggers that have built up thousands of readers can also be influencers. A good blogger match can create marketing campaigns to target a brands' key audiences.
Key Opinion Leaders are high-level experts in their fields and can be a great marketing source for brands with the right match.
Other influencer types include kidfluencers, gaming influencers, nano-influencers, and even virtual (computer-generated) influencers.
So what do influencers do? And why does influencer marketing work?
Influencers share content on their social channels, in the media, or on their blogs. Their followers choose to consume their content because it is valuable or entertaining. Followers value the opinions and thoughts of influencers and are usually interested in the same things.
When an influencer partners with a brand, they share content related to that brand's products. Influencers can add challenges and competitions to make the content even more compelling using the Award Pool platform. The content shared might include videos, photos, reviews, articles, blog posts, contests and more. When consumers view the content, they trust the source and are more likely to try the product. The engaged audiences of micro-influencers are a key example of this. They're a great fit for brands because they have specific audiences and followings. Their engaged audiences trust their opinions and recommendations. They often comment and interact more with their posts.
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly effective as traditional marketing is becoming less successful. Consumers trust their peers and thought leaders more than advertising. Using influencers for word-of-mouth marketing and social proof brings confidence to consumers. When they see someone they trust using a product or service, they're more likely to want to try it themselves.
Choosing the right Influencer for a brand can make or break an influencer marketing partnership. The Influencer needs to match the brand's audience. The brand must be something that the Influencer's audience will like and find relevant as well. Influencer marketing campaigns can be looked at in two general ways: reach and niche. As the reach of an influencer increases, cost-effectiveness usually goes down. The smaller audiences are generally more aligned and engaged with the content. They're also more accessible to brands using influencer marketing. Niche audiences are very focused and allow for segmented, intentional marketing campaigns.
How influencers can help businesses
As marketing changes, looking at new marketing techniques can help brands show their products to their consumers. Using influencer marketing can help brands get right in front of consumers. The Award Pool platform helps Influencers with interactive content and the ability to increase their audience with referral challenges. With the right partnership, influencer marketing campaigns can increase trust, reach, knowledge and, of course, sales of a brand's products.
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