The Evolution of Influencer Marketing
Videos have become ubiquitous on the internet of today. In fact, it can be difficult to remember a time when we couldn’t just grab a phone or sit down with a computer and pull up a video. We have grown so accustomed to looking for videos that we often scan for a video before we read past the headline. Videos are everywhere you look, but it wasn’t always this way.
The Old Days of Market Influencers
Before the days of Facebook and Instagram, influencers were primarily bloggers. Just as with Instagram profiles now, there was a blogger in just about any possible niche who was passionate about their products. When they received a product they wanted to try, they would create a text-based blog entry along with some pictures of the product. Back then, that was all it took for a social media content creator to fire up their followers about a particular product or brand. The influencer themselves along with their followers would share these posts on Facebook or Myspace, and word would spread through the social web. The tools of the time may have been a bit more primitive, but influencers were still effective at promoting products and expanding the reach of brands.
Why Influencers Use Video
As it began to get much easier for anyone with decent equipment and a little knowhow to create videos and post them for all to view, influencers began turning to this medium to connect with their audience and show them the latest and greatest. It should be no surprise that audiences feel a much deeper and more direct connection with videos than just by reading text on a blog. Once the entry barriers to video content disappeared, it was the natural choice for influencers to communicate with their followers.
Though the tools have matured a bit with Facebook largely giving way to Instagram and TikTok in the influencer universe, they use the same techniques to spread awareness of products and brands as they did 20 years ago.
Influence Marketers Harness The Influencer-To-Audience Connection
Influence marketers are people who use social media and other avenues of promotion as a way to market products. They use demographic info and follower feedback to know where to advertise, and they monitor the results meticulously. They use endorsements, product placements, people, and companies that are experts in their fields. They keep all of these things in mind when they are creating their influencer marketing campaigns. They include testimonials, reviews, and their own experience to advertise the product to the public. Their ads are prominently placed, and the influencers they target create conversations that drive product and brand recognition.
What do potential customers look for?
As mentioned above, customers want more than a commercial or text about a wonderful product. They want quality and value, and they want a third party to endorse the product. In recent surveys, 61% of respondents said they are more likely to buy a product based on advice from someone they trust rather than any advertising by the company that created the product.
Consumers in 2022 expect content that engages, entertains, and informs them. As ever, they want to feel as if they know everything they need to know before they make their buying decision. Video is the most direct and compelling way for a brand or an influencer to convey that information today. In the future, as virtual reality becomes more widely available, it may become the next platform of choice for influencers and influence marketers.
Social Media for influencer marketing campaigns
Social media videos generate up to 1200% more shares than texts and images combined. It surprised no one when Facebook and Instagram copied Snapchat when they introduced their “stories” feature. We share our children’s pictures, our mother’s recipes, and invitations to our wedding. Our family may live next door or across the globe, but we virtually visit them often. So of course, when we find a gadget that we can’t live without, we share. When we need to repair or replace an item, whether it’s a $10 item or a $10K item, we are going to check out social media. A few keystrokes and we find an influencer. We know this is where we get the real deal. They do not have a reason to lie. A buyer will watch videos even before they look up the data from the product site because they want an unbiased opinion.
Influencers are typically pretty fastidious and will not promote questionable products or services. They will not be paid off. They will not sell their position to the highest bidder. How can we be sure? Because that would be a fast, one-way ticket out of business for an influencer.
An Influencer for Every Niche
It doesn’t matter what product or service you offer, there’s nothing that can’t be promoted via a Social Media Influencer campaign. There’s an audience, platform, and campaign to drive your company. What an influencer may have had a hard time explaining 20 years ago can now be clearly shown in a video. There is always an expert. There is always an experience. And there is always a social media avenue that fits the bill.
Instagram & TikTok for Your influencer marketing campaign
Instagram and TikTok are two different social media platforms. While they share a portion of the age demographics, TikTok appeals more to the 18 to 29-year-olds, while those 30 or above still primarily turn to Instagram. Facebook has the most viewers (3 billion) and TikTok and Instagram each have around 1 billion monthly users. Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company. This means that all the valuable data that Facebook gathered and continues to gather is accessible to Instagram. Instagram is easier to use for an Influencer marketing campaign. Within just a few minutes, you can be creating full-featured professional videos. Plus, its photo and video-centric interface lends itself far better than Facebook as an influencer platform. The same goes for TikTok; that’s why you hear so often about TikTok influencers who quickly build such huge followings. But if you want to know how many people that clicked on a particular video were women in their 30s, you could probably get that info better from Facebook or Instagram.
Influencer Management Platforms Bridge The Gap
How do influence marketers maintain relationships with their influencers? In the past, this required a lot of legwork with emails and direct messages. Today, however, platforms like PopTribe can foster brand collaborations without the need for the influence marketer to do all the work that needs to go into maintaining the influencer relationship. This has made the powerful paradigm of influencer marketing accessible to even more small businesses, entrepreneurs and large brands.