With the rise of YouTube and Instagram stars has arrived a new form of marketing — influencers who promote products or brands in exchange for a fee or service from marketers and partners. And we’re talking big bucks. TapInfluence pays out more than $1 million monthly to influencers in their marketplace. Analytics platforms, like Snaplytics, have come out of a need to provide insights to measure influencer campaign success.
The Basics of Influencer Marketing
At the core of influencer marketing are influencers, people who have built up a large and loyal customer base on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. Jenna Marbles became a YouTube sensation, Shawn Mendes had millions of Vine followers, and Bretman, the Instagram makeup artist who became the first male Covergirl all got their start on social media.
These people have the advantage of selling or promoting products to their audience through word-of-mouth or affiliate links. It’s well-known that recommendations from friends or word-of-mouth marketing are much more powerful than cold calling or traditional ad targeting. The one downside is that word-of-mouth marketing is difficult to track and attribute. With influencer marketing, brands and marketers can pair up with influencers to reach a new or niche audience.
What Influencer Marketing is NOT
Just as influencers build a relationship with those who follow them, it’s important for marketers to place that same value on their relationship with the influencer. Connecting with an influencer is not a one-and-done kind of situation. The partnership requires time and buy in from brands and marketers to provide understanding of the intention and goals to the influencer.
Understanding what the brand’s core audience is and connecting with influencers who speak directly to those people is the best way to gain the most from influencer campaigns. That may mean connecting with an influencer who works in a niche market. Less eyes may get on the product or brand, but they will turn out to be much higher quality.
Where Performance and Affiliate Marketers Fit In
Leading the pack for influencer platforms is Instagram. Building a large following on Instagram is easier than a few of the other influencer platforms, and it’s easier for marketers to view metrics to make sure their campaigns are running successfully. After Instagram, the most popular platforms are Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Being able to track these metrics and successes is vital in affiliate marketing.
Influencer marketing has been around for a few years, but the market and best practices are still being developed. Just like traditional media marketing, influencer marketing is a proven and viable source of revenue. There’s an opportunity for performance ad networks and affiliates to join the scene. On January 18th, influencer marketing experts joined a HasOffers webinar to present:
- Why influencer marketing isn’t just a trend, but a valuable revenue source
- What influencers really want out of a partnership with marketers and partners
- Which metrics matter most when it comes to influencer marketing and how to optimize
- How to build influencer marketing without any experience
- How to negotiate and set a price when working with influencers
- The best way to approach the creative process
Watch the webinar and hear from influencer, co-founder and SVP of operations at The BLU Market Lisa Navarro, VP of sales at The BLU Market Erik Radtke, and user acquisition consultant specializing in mobile and influencer marketing campaigns Adam Hadi.
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Anna is a TUNE content marketer and an MBA Candidate at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. She's also the mentoring and events manager for the TUNE House: scholars.tune.com. In her spare time you can find her reading (mostly fiction and business), biking, eating the great food around Seattle and traveling.