The difference between influencer marketing and traditional marketing methods
Influencer marketing has been around for a long time, but it is gaining in popularity among companies that are looking for authentic ways to connect with their target audience.
Traditional marketing methods are falling flat with consumers who are finding ways to ignore marketing that has become intrusive in their lives. Research has shown that Millennials do not respond to ads, while four out of five American consumers ignore the ads they see online. Traditional marketing methods that consumers find easy to ignore include:
- Email newsletters
- Banner ads on websites
- Paid advertising on social media
- Newspaper and magazine ads
Although traditional marketing can be effective when used in the right context, companies find that influencer marketing is a great addition to their advertising arsenal. However, marketing using an influencer’s power is nothing new.
Familiar influencer marketing utilizes a famous face or a public figure to promote a product or service. This type of influencer is mostly found in television commercials and in magazine or radio ads.
Marketing today uses influencers who can be found on the Internet. Often, these are normal people who have influence over a certain demographic, or they have numerous follower on a popular social media website. These people can promote and/or recommend a product or service authentically to an audience that trusts them. This increases the selling of that product or service.
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Types of influencer marketing
There are a few different kinds of influencer marketing. They can include famous faces on television or in movies, public figures and politicians, and popular users of social media sites, like Twitter and YouTube.
When choosing an influencer, it is important to think about in which domain and for which industries they have the potential to influence, but it is also important to think about the skills they possess.
The three main types of influencers include those with:
- Reach: These influencers are able to deliver a message to a large number of people through a popular publication, the host of a popular television show, or the number of social media followers they possess.
- Contextual Credibility: These people have existing knowledge, expertise, and authority on a given subject so their recommendation is highly valued.
- Salesmanship: These people are especially adept in explaining things in a convincing way. They are often referred to as micro-influencers, because they are so persuasive and can be very effective even if their audience is small.
In some cases, an influencer may reach out to a company because they are already a fan of that company’s product or service. However, it is more common for a business to seek out influencers as part of a larger marketing plan.
There are a couple of ways a business can find influencers that include:
- Searching for an influencer among existing fans
- Searching hashtags that relate to the company’s industry
- Conducting a Google search to find popular bloggers
Third-party tools can also be used to find influencers. They include FollowerWonk, which enables you to sort through individuals on Twitter quickly and easily, and BuzzSumo, which allows you to search popular content based on types of companies or bloggers.
The most direct way to conduct influencer marketing is to find an influencer and pay that person money. This is a common arrangement when an influencer is famous. However, true influencer marketing operates under the assumption that an influencer who is paid is less effective than an influencer who genuinely wants to promote a product or service, regardless of compensation.
Today, influencer marketing rarely involves direct payments, especially as it relates to internet influencers. Instead, companies provide influencers with other benefits that include access to information, free products and services, or invitations to special events. The goal of influencer marketing is to utilize an advocate who wants to promote a product or service, regardless of monetary compensation. This makes that person more genuine, and therefore more influential, which can have a greater impact on the success of a brand than traditional advertising methods.