Some of you will only have to flip back a couple of chapters, others of us may need to go back to near the beginning of the book but we all remember high school, right? Remember the coolest guy or girl in the school? Maybe they were star athletes or were academically gifted. Maybe they wore the most fashionable clothes or drove the coolest car.
For a few years of our lives especially during our formative years, these people were approaching some type of demigod status! If the cool jock said that wearing pink shirts with polka dots were what the “cool” kids did – we would have worn pink shirts with polka dots – right? Before you jump to the defend yourself, know that we are all guilty of this same thing. Remember bell-bottom jeans? No? How about parachute pants…the list goes on.
School administrators called it “peer pressure”, some psychology experts called it something akin to the herd mentality theories but we’ve outgrown all of that, haven’t we? Not according to marketing statistics and a little thing now being called influencer marketing.
In high school, kids who are in the “cool kids” club have a level of influence other simply don’t. As adults, these “cool kids” are professional star-athletes or music hit sensations. Models, movies stars and others who attain celebrity (the cool kids club) status are all immediately endowed with a level of influence. It is much like a membership has its privileges scenario.
Taking advantage of this influence and power is not a new concept by any means. Marketing is a profession almost as old as time itself. With television, radio and print came a new platform for marketers to work within. Marketers used this avenue to essentially put megaphones into the hands of these cool kids club members.
Brands like Wheaties cereal used celebrity athletes on the cover of their cereal boxes as a megaphone. More recently we see Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey touting the experience of a luxury automobile as a megaphone. These celebrities are the cool kids with influence, and now we get to the heart of influencer marketing in the age of technology.
One company designed to connect students with educational marketing schools defined influencer marketing this way:
“Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy. This market influence typically stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. ”
Like audio, television, and print transformed marketing years ago, so has technology and the internet changed the industry today.
Influencer marketing is more than handing a celebrity a megaphone and asking them to be seen publicly representing your company. Influencer marketing is more personal, organic and it is working. A Forbes article entitled, Why Influencer Marketing Will Explode In 2017, shared this statistic:
84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months
To appreciate and understand the power, influence and impact of influencer marketing, it may be helpful to take a closer look at what is really happening. Before technology hit its stride and before social media became the hottest spot on the planet – a lady formerly named Bruce graced the cover of those Wheaties cereal boxes.
Television commercials, billboards and print ads were enamored with celebrities boasting about this product or that service. These cool kids stood atop a podium using these marketing platforms, megaphone in hand speaking to as many people who would listen. It was effective, but it certainly wasn’t personal.
Imagine our coolest guy or girl in the school pulling you aside, talking personally to you about what they liked, didn’t like or even engaging in some general conversation! Wouldn’t that be groovy? Awesome? Go ahead, choose your generational description, the point is the same – influencer marketing is that personal conversation today.
Consumer brands have long embraced influencer marketing, but B2B brands have also jumped into the fray.
“Businesses of all sizes across the world are leveraging the help of influencers for their B2B marketing. B2B influencer marketing is a cheap and efficient way to create successful marketing campaigns … ”
That was from a recent Entrepreneur article that explained how influencer marketing is being embraced in B2B marketing – because behind every business we find people. Managers, owners and decision makers are often considered as part of the cool kid crowd and even cool kids want to hang with cool kids. It is all about being part of the club.
Anyone who joins the cool kids club is instantly part of that group, that select crowd chosen by the coolest guy or girl in class. Businesses who work with an influencer will have access to that ‘select crowd’ – and have the influence of their cool kid to guide this following.
This is generally the most decisive factor in how much companies spend for an influencer. The larger the following, the more “likes”, customer engagements and interaction with followers the more expensive that celebrity will be to employ in your campaign. A few of the benefits your company will get include:
If your marketing plan hasn’t considered taking advantage of influencer marketing maybe you should take another look. The cool kids club is exclusive, but the really cool thing is, everyone can join!
Stay tuned for a future post where we will drill further into influencer marketing for B2B brands.
Meanwhile, if you have questions about how to integrate influencers into your marketing campaigns, give us a shout today.