« Influencer Marketing » sounds like the new marketing buzzword these days. In a lot of minds, the expression conveys they idea that you can have famous people promote your product for you and bingo, your sales are going to explode. And yes, wouldn’t it be nice if a YouTuber with 3 million subscribers shared their love for your brand?
The reality is quite different though, so let’s clarify what Influencer Marketing is, and how it really works.
Influence: it happens everywhere.
While it’s true that the Internet has given anyone the power to spread their message, Influence is as old as our consumer world is. If you grand-mother received old bread from the local baker and told all her friends around a cup of tea, there is a good chance that bakery would lose some business. We all influence the people around us, positively or negatively. Look at anyone who just got their new car, they want to convince everyone that their car is the best in the world.
So when we talk about Influencer Marketing, not everything happens online. Giving consumers an incredible in-store experience, for example, can start up the influence process.
Influence: it’s not a game of numbers
For decades, marketers have thought in terms of big numbers. We wanted the TV programs with the biggest audience, the magazine with the most readers… because we felt that the more people we would talk to, the higher the chance our customers would be in that crowd. But today, we have access to very powerful targeting tools. Working with Influencers who are active within one particular topic already guarantees that their followers are part of our target market.
Of course, we’re still tempted to prefer a YouTube Channel with 2 million subscribers instead of 200.000 because, hey, the more the merrier. But in reality, what really create influence is passion. And a very passionate community of 10.000 can leverage your sales in a much powerful way than a community of 1 million that gets pitched a new brand every week. Plus, “smaller” Influencers will sometimes be more accessible or open to collaborations.
So, think quality over quantity, here.
Influencer Marketing: it’s not free
If you have ever run a blog or a YouTube channel, then you know how much work it is to brainstorm idea, think of a concept, create all the content, edit and promote it. For a lot of online content creator, their hobby keeps them as busy as their full time job.
Please don’t think that because you give them a free product, you’re entitled to all that good work for free. If there were anything efficient and free in marketing, we’d know it.
Influencers marketing deserve a compensation for their work as much as you do. Of course, budget will vary a great deal depending on many factors. And for smaller bloggers or YouTubers, sometimes they will be happy to exchange content for a product they really like – but you should not assume that it is the norm and you can get away with that in all your Influencers Campaign.
Influencer Marketing: it’s a relationship game
If you want to start working with influencers, you should start building relationships with them as of right now. Make no mistake: this is a business. And in any business project we rather work with people we know and trust. So the sooner you start talking to people and building relationships, the better. They will be much more open to hear about your next campaign in the future.