Influencer Marketing Broken Down

There's constant storytelling between WAA team members, stories which detail our parents’ continuous inquiry and misunderstanding of what it actually is that we do. That’s due to the lack of education in the industry, which is why like to spend time talking to every person we know, every person our friends know, and every person our dogs know.

Marketing is defined as “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services”. Any Marketing 101 class will explain the four ‘P’s of the marketing mix, Porter’s Five Forces and the BCG Matrix, but what they often don’t approach is the development of consumer behaviour and drastic changes in the marketing industry. That means, you don’t find out about this crazy thing called digital marketing until you’ve hit your third year, if at all.

Influencer marketing is probably one of the most simple yet made to seem overly complicated processes in digital. In fact, it’s one of the simplest and traditional ways of marketing – it’s basically word of mouth marketing after injecting itself with steroids. It dates back to the 18th century when the royals were prominent enough to influence their people to purchase chinaware. We’re going to break down influencer marketing for you, no analyses or matrixes required.

What is an influencer? An influencer is any person who is regarded as influential – it’s as simple as that. To avoid defining a word with the same word, let’s say, they’re someone who people listen to, who they trust and believe in. They’re also someone who can persuade someone to do similar to them without needing to explicitly perform the persuasion. A 2009 Nielsen study showed that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know when purchasing, and 70% trust consumer opinions posted online. Those people that the consumers are trusting, they’re influencers.

92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.

70% of consumers trust consumer opinions posted online.

Influencer marketing is about tapping into that consumer trust and getting real, unbiased people to talk about your product. It’s a wholly unique way of marketing, one that bypasses the normalcy of branded marketing, and puts your product directly in the consumer’s hand. Most marketing attempts are branded; newsletters, banner ads, social media content on their brand channels, they’re produced by the brand about the brand. Which is basically like any political leader blindly screaming that their party is better than every other. It’s not until they get their message through to their supporters and those supporters begin to address and discuss relevant issues to the people around them, that they really start to gain respect, or, at least, brew some feelings within the public.

With influencer marketing, you not only get to tap into that trusted demographic, but you also are getting non marketers to spread your marketing message. This opens eyes to your offerings. Makes sense for these people to be the ones promoting your product, right?

But what are you paying for? The thing that sets influencer marketing different from simple public relations, is the fact that the influencer is being paid to talk about your offerings and to have an opinion on it. That fact sometimes sits a little funny with some, but it shouldn’t. You’re not just paying for a review of a product. You’re paying for the time, skill, and often wit of a writer or photographer to create content around your product. You’re then paying for access to their already established – and most importantly – converted niche audience. This audience should mimic your existing audience, and there should, in a successful campaign, be a transference between the influencer's audience and your own. You’re getting the message across, just in a more authentic, thorough and trustworthy way.

Make sense? Yes!