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Is Influencer Marketing the New Celebrity Endorsement?

influencer marketing, marketing trends

From the beginning of marketing time, businesses have looked to influential members of society to help sell their products, especially through celebrity endorsement. With the boom of social media marketing, a new form of endorsement marketing has emerged—influencer marketing—and when used effectively, it’s proving to be an extremely successful strategy.

Pepsi Co. is one of the best examples of successful marketing with celebrity endorsement. They have recruited an elaborate list of celebrities to promote their product and have built their brand by placing familiar faces, such as Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Katy Perry, in their ads alongside their famous blue can of pop.

Influencer marketing differs from celebrity endorsement in that it hires individuals to spread the word about their product to others rather than placing the individual in an advertisement and spreading it to audiences through the media. It proven to be more successful than traditional marketing because consumers receive the information from someone they trust and look up to as opposed to an advertisement directly from a business.

How it Works

One of the best things about influencer marketing is that you can easily integrate it into your social media and content marketing strategies. Social media tends to be a large part in influential marketing because influencers promote products by posting on social media sites, the most popular being Instagram and YouTube. 

Once you’ve chosen an influencer, the process works somewhat like a partnership between influencer and business. As the business owner, you’ll find an individual online—try searching sites like Vine, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to find influencers—and hire them to promote your product.

Your influencer will then post photos or videos of themselves associating themselves with your business and using your products on their social media accounts. To make the process even easier, you can provide your influencers with the caption, description and even photos for each of their posts. (Just make sure they know exactly what you want in the caption.)

Who are Influencers?

Influencers are the individuals you hire to promote your business; however, not all of them are, or have to be, celebrities. Choosing the right person to promote your product begins with knowing your consumers. By developing buyer personas, you can understand your consumer’s wants, needs, interests, and behaviors.

With this information, you can begin searching for individuals that your consumers look up to, follow online, and are likely to be influenced by. The best place to find influencers is online, specifically social media. Consider the following when evaluating potential online influencers:

  • Does my target market follow this individual or similar individuals online or on social media platforms?
  • Is the individual part of my target market?
  • Does this individual have a large enough following online to effectively spread the word about my business to my target market?
RELATED: DO YOU KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE?

Influencer marketing has proven to be one of the most effective new forms of marketing over the past few years. By selecting influential individuals that your target market looks up to and follows online, you can increase their exposure to your business in a less formal, intrusive manner. Not only does it transform your marketing message into a more relatable and trustworthy source, but it also expands your business’s marketing reach on the web!