Promoting a brand online has deeply evolved during the last few years. On one hand, the power of social media totally transformed marketing strategies. On the other hand, consumers are more independent and do not believe in the traditional ads that much anymore. Consumers tend to trust third parties that seem to be more authentic and close to their customers or followers. Influencer marketing is the term for this new trend.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who built a community of followers in a particular niche and who is able to affect their behavior or decisions by engaging with them and by showing credibility. Many niches are represented and some of them are trending more than others such as beauty, sport, gaming, tech, travel, and lifestyle.
Influencers are a form of media
As technology continues to evolve, marketing strategies are also progressively changing. Not that far long ago, TV, radio and print were the methods of advertising but now, the internet and social media are the new kids on the block.
Just as actors or models would promote brands in magazines in the 90s, influencers are the fully-fledged media rep who took over on different kind of platforms. It could be a blog, a YouTube channel, an Instagram or a Facebook account for the most popular, and the list goes on much longer. There are also Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok…The number of new media is endless and you don’t have to be a celebrity anymore to attract crowds online. The silliest thing is, even animals can! You don’t believe me? Have a look at Loki’s Instagram account that has 1.8 million followers!
Furthermore, influencers are much more than just another media platform for promotions. If we take the example of the tech industry, many influencers became experts in the field, able to test new technologies, sometimes even before their official launch. Getting the insights, tutorials, pros, and cons, etc, are all what consumers often look for and influencers are able to offer them.
How influencers changed the advertising world?
Consumer behavior changed
The modern consumer is independent and wants to discover a brand by himself or to hear about it from someone he trusts. Hence influencer marketing became a very efficient way to promote a brand. An influencer has the ability to make his audience buy a product, visit a website or follow a brand. In fact, 70% of teen subscribers think that YouTubers are more reliable than celebrities and 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising (Source: success.com).
Influencer marketing blows statistics
The best advantage of working with influencers is being able to target precisely the right audience for your brand, which is the most important factor to convert a promotion into sales.
According to an infographic created by One Productions, influencer marketing can generate up to 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising. A mind-blowing statistics for advertisers. More than that, influencers are also considered as reliable as friends. The same infographic claims that 88% of customers trust online reviews by strangers as much as they would trust a friend.
Remember Loki, the Instagram dog star we were talking about earlier? GoPro partnered with the wolfdog to promote an Instagram meet up and got almost 90k likes on a single post. How awesome is that?
How to choose the right influencer for your niche?
As influencers only relate on specific topics, the hardest part of influencer marketing is to find the right ambassador for your brand. Working with an influencer with millions of followers interested in new technologies might not be the best choice for your flower shop.
Macro VS micro influencers
It would be tempting to collaborate directly with the biggest influencers to reach the maximum audience in one shot. Although engagement tends to be decreasing while the followers increase. The influencers with the biggest followership also tend to reach out to their community lesser and rarely engage with them personally.
On the other hand, micro influencers have a better rate when it comes to ‘reach’ and ‘engagement’. They are usually more loyal and trustworthy. And you would probably need to work with several micro influencers in order to achieve your sales target.
Big tech brands often use the micro-influencers strategy for their marketing campaigns, such as Microsoft or Adobe (Source: www.oneproductions.com).
Authenticity and credibility
Having hundreds of thousands of followers is not enough to be a good influencer. Especially after a few scandals revealing that famous influencers did pay for fake followers, fake likes or fake comments to increase their audience and engagement, and negotiate better deals with brands. Others were found guilty of promoting brands that they did not even like just because they were paid for it.
Overall, building online followers take time and keeping people’s trust is an every day’s responsibility.
Forest Interactive works with influencers
Forest Interactive fully embraces influencer marketing. We are collaborating with influencers all over the world, especially for one of our products, Wallet Codes, which allows the purchasing of Steam codes through mobile credit. Our target audience is gamers and we have discovered amazing influencers in the field and have selected a few of them to partner up with us, always with great results like below and more to come as well!
Yunni from Taiwan
Momo Chan from Indonesia
Lorelyn Faith from the Philippines
Mythica from Pakistan
TNT Dota 2 from Myanmar
Working with influencers has allowed us to bring awareness and trust to our products. Wallet Codes is now known to be the easiest and safest way to redeem Steam Wallet codes via mobile credit.