Bloggers are rock stars.
Marketing companies, public relations firms and businesses are taking note of the influence bloggers have over their captive audiences of readers and possible consumers. And, they’re harnessing it.
If you haven’t heard of influencer marketing, listen up. It’s not a new trend, but it’s gaining a roller coaster-like momentum and quickly becoming adopted by companies selling both services and products.
What is this New Communications Strategy?
Last month I attended the New Media Expo in Las Vegas. Although various forms of marketing were discussed — content marketing, affiliate marketing, social selling — influencer marketing was definitely a hot topic among bloggers.
So, what is influencer marketing? In its simplest form, companies reach out to established bloggers and ask them to creatively promote their products or services on their blogs. This might take the form of a paid sponsored post written by the company’s marketing department being posted on the blogger’s website, or the blogger agreeing to review a product or service in exchange for a payment or free sample.
This communications strategy lets companies enter new markets by getting their names in front of guaranteed audiences that regularly read specific blogs. For example, a company can start a blog on their website, publish insightful content, then slowly build a fan base. Or, they can reach out to a blog that closely matches their ideals, and tap into that blogger’s already established audience and offer them products and services in an indirect way, separate from their own promotional efforts.
Who are Influencers?
Bloggers of all types are getting involved in influencer marketing. After listening to several speakers at the New Media Expo, it’s generally agreed upon that bloggers involved in influencer marketing don’t have to have huge audiences, but rather, dedicated audiences.
If your blog and related social media posts create conversations, companies will want to work with you. This partnership helps companies spread their messages wider and further, with less effort, and helps bloggers keep their sites regularly updated with interesting content.
From a consumer’s perspective, would you rather buy a product from a friend who does a review on their blog, or from a side-bar ad you see when checking your email?
The power of influencer marketing is huge, and I expect you’ll see more and more of it as you read your favorite blogs. Go Google “influencer campaigns” to see some of the best campaigns from the last year or two.
Are you involved with influencer marketing? Where do you see this trend going in the next five years? Let’s chat in the comments below!